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David Ford, History EditorTours > Ancient York

Monk Bar
At the northern end of Goodramgate
by David Nash Ford BA, Editor, History on Britannia

The loftiest and strongest of York's medieval gateways, Monk Bar was erected in about 1330 to replace a previous city entrance on the site of an original Roman Monk Bar, YorkGate. The clergy appear to have complained about a main road crossing the Minster Close, so this self-contained little fortress was built further to the south-east. The upper storey was added in the 15th century. The barbican has gone, but an interesting surviving feature is the external gallery complete with 'murder-holes'.

Today the gate houses a small museum tracing the life of the popular Yorkist, King Richard III and run by the Richard III Society. There is particular emphasis on an examination of his supposed involvement in the murder of the 'Princes in the Tower'. You can also see the old portcullis in full working order and the turret room prison cells used for recusant Catholics and mutinous apprentices in the 16th century.

Next Stop: Goodramgate



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