£1.5m investment to preserve York’s 1,900 year old walls

City of York Council is investing £1.5 million to preserve and protect York’s medieval city walls, which are renowned as being the finest and most complete walls in England.

Stretching over 3.4 kilometres, they are also the longest historic walls in the country too. With five main ‘bars’ (big gateways’), one postern (a small gateway), one Victorian gateway and 45 towers, it takes around two hours to walk the entire length of the walls.

The council already invests around £100,000 a year on routine monitoring and inspection, but more funding is urgently needed to ensure the 1,900 year old walls can be preserved for years to come.

Approval was given back in February to invest council capital funding into a five-year programme of works.

These works are now set to get underway this spring to make further and much needed improvements to:

  • Monk Bar steps: which have become sunk and twisted
  • Replacing Micklegate roof: in addition to the new roof, two new walkways gates will be installed. This will allow the museum to remain open when we close the walls for operational reasons. Road closures will be in place for traffic. Pedestrians will continue to have access. More details to follow.

Repair and restoration works at:

  • Tower 39, tower 32, tower 2, Bootham Bar to Robin Hood Tower, Anglian Tower and Red Tower utilities.


Repairing and restoring York’s City Walls

Micklegate Bar

Micklegate Bar

Plans to invest £350,000 repairing and restoring York’s historic City Walls will be considered by City of York Council on Thursday 9 June.

Proposals for the first phase of works to repair and restore the York City Walls over the next five years (from 2016/17 to 2021) will be taken to the Executive Member for Transport and Planning as part of plans to preserve the Walls and set out a quinquennial programme to manage their restoration.

The Executive Member for Transport and Planning will be asked to approve the plans repair and restore the City Walls, including three priority schemes which have been identified for repairs this financial year using £90,000 funding from the Bar Walls budget for 2016/17 and the allocation of £260,000 in capital funding. They are:
• Micklegate Bar Roof
• Monk Bar Steps
• Tower 32.

After an initial 15 month programme of inspection and monitoring from 2014 ten locations in need of repair and restoration are proposed in the report and will be considered for the second phase of this project in future budgets.

John Oxley, City Archaeologist at City of York Council, said: “York’s City Walls are the best example of medieval City Walls still standing in England today, which over a million people walk across every year. Repair and restoration work is needed in many areas along the 3.4km route and we are hoping to continue the restoration of the Walls following the success of the Walmgate Bar project. This report looks to bring about the first phase of repairs ahead of a longer term programme of engagement and investment that will seek to ensure residents and visitors will be able to continue to enjoy York’s famous City Walls”

The City Walls are open every day from 8am to dusk. To find out more about the Walls visit: www.york.gov.uk/citywalls

Investing to protect York’s medieval Bar Walls

Walmgate bar painting

City of York Council is investing over £100,000 to protect and preserve York’s historical Walmgate Bar Walls which date back to the medieval period.

Walmgate Bar is the most complete of the four medieval gateways in York and the walls themselves are the best example of medieval city walls still standing in England today, which over a million people walk across every year.

Originally built as defences, the focus is now on conservation and the council is working with English Heritage to carry out a number of improvements to Walmgate Bar this month to help preserve over 1,900 years of history.