Monument record MYO4960 - Roman interval tower (SW6)


A series of six polygonal projecting stone interval towers as part of the early 4th century remodelling of the south-west defences. Situated in the Museum Gardens, the south-east half exposed in 1960.


Grid reference SE 6004 5204 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Interval Tower SW6. In Museum Gardens N.G. 60055203. Fragments of the core of a wall of the rear compartment are visible in St. Leonard's Hospital, behind an inserted fireplace. The S.E. half of the projecting front of the tower has recently been excavated and is now (1960) exposed. Unpublished: information from the excavator, G. F. Willmot.

This projecting polygonal interval tower of the 4th century lies 125½ ft. from the W. Angle Tower and 125 ft. from Interval Tower SW. 5. The foundations and base of three segments of the front, each some 8 ft. long, have been revealed and fit a six-sided plan. The total projection was some 17 ft. and the total width at the junction with the fortress wall 32 ft. The walls at the base, allowing for a missing inner face, are 6½ ft. thick, probably including a plinth, as at the W. and S. Angle Towers. Their masonry is like that of the fortress wall and of one build with it, but the two foundations abut, for, while the 4th-century fortress wall was built upon the Severan foundations, the tower was a completely new feature with new foundations. These foundations, trench-filled, consist of layers of rubble and mortar similar to the composition of the wallcore and are as deep as the 1st-century ditch, long filled in and forgotten, which the tower straddles. The tower rose out of the side of the wide 4th-century ditch, which here had its scarp strengthened with oak piles.

'Roman York: Military Sites', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 1, Eburacum, Roman York (London, 1962), pp. 5-47.

NMR Information

Full description

A Roman interval tower (SW6 on the key plan) was situated in museum Gardens. Fragments of wall core are visible behind a fireplace in St Leonard's Hospital. The SE half of ther tower was exposed in 1960. (1)

The excavation of the tower is still open, and a fragment of the SE wall at SE60045204 is visible to a depth of 1.0m. See GPs AO/63/113/1 and 2. (2)

1 An inventory of the historical monuments in the City of York. Volume I: Eburacum: Roman York
2 copies. 1962 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, England 17-19
2 Field Investigators Comments

AREA STATUS Listed Building Grade I

RCHME, 1962, Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, Volume 1 Eboracum, p17 (Bibliographic reference). SYO62.

NMR, 2019, NMR data (Digital archive). SYO2214.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.
  • --- Bibliographic reference: RCHME. 1962. Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, Volume 1 Eboracum. 1. p17.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Sep 10 2021 9:35AM


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