Monument record MYO4646 - YORK CITY WALL between Micklegate Bar and Tower 12


No summary available.


Grid reference Centred SE 5972 5149 (39m by 26m)
Map sheet SE55SE
Civil Parish York, City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

In 2022 CYC stonemasons under the monitoring of York Archaeology undertook a programme of investigation and repair to the wall on this stretch close to Micklegate Bar (Chainage 690-700).

It was necessary to partially dismantle the wall face to investigate the cause of the movement and repair it. Facing stones were removed from six courses as well as the coping stones. The stonework was carefully taken down course by course over several days and marked,
recording their row number and position within the row. Each stone was inspected by the archaeologist for tool and masons’ marks, but none were identified.
Dismantling of the inner wall face exposed a wall core consisting of medium to large angular and sub-angular limestone fragments bonded with a greyish yellow lime mortar. The inner
and outer faces of the wall had separated from the wall core, presumably because they had been re-built in the past and not properly tied in to the original core material. The outward movement had caused voids to open up between the core and the facing stone and was the cause of the cracks which had become visible from the outside.

Once the stonework was removed the wall core was consolidated with lime rich mortar and strengthened stainless steel ties. The facing stones were then reinstated in both faces of the wall.

It would be reasonable to suggest that the wall above the pedestrian archways north-east of Micklegate Bar represents a complete rebuild. No photographs or detailed records of these works being undertaken are known to exist. However, a photograph made by an unknown photographer when Walmgate underwent the same treatment in 1862, shows that the entire wall above the widened pavement was dismantled and rebuilt during the process (Murray 1986, 119). It is likely that the same procedure was followed at Micklegate Bar.
At Micklegate Chainage 0690–0700, the city wall was internally reduced in thickness to accommodate the stairs and walkway into the existing structure. The parapet wall above walkway height is only around 400mm thick at its narrowest point, less than a third of the thickness of the wall just a few metres to the north-west, providing the outward appearance of a substantial wall but being entirely insufficient for defensive purposes. It is almost certainly this narrowing of the wall structure, and the poor-quality of the 1863 re-build, which caused the wall face to separate from what is probably the original medieval wall core, weakened the structure and resulted in the recent movement and visible joint separation.

York Archaeology, 2023, City Walls, Chainage 0690–0700, Micklegate Bar (Unpublished document). SYO3014.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Unpublished document: York Archaeology. 2023. City Walls, Chainage 0690–0700, Micklegate Bar.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Aug 16 2023 4:18PM


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