The Bars
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There are four "bars" or entryways, usually in the form of an arch, which allow access through the ancient stonewalls surrounding the city of York.
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Stewart C
Chatham, UK1,074 contributions
Oct 2022
The city walls of York have a number of gatehouses or ‘bars’ that pierce the wall to allow access to and egress from the medieval city of York. These impressive looking gateways date back to a time when a city wall defended the city and carefully guarded gateways controlled who came in and who left. A gateway is a natural weak point in an otherwise continuous stone-built wall so the ‘bars’ were designed to be defensible and robust.
There are four main bars namely Micklegate, Bootham, Monk and Walmgate and in addition two minor bars at Fishergate and Victoria. The four main Bars would originally have had an additional barbican, and extra enclose with its own entrance gate designed to trap attackers in an enclosed ‘killing ground’ in front of the main gateway. Only Walmergate retains its barbican and if you are interested in medieval city defences then it is worth a visit.
We visited all of these bars whilst undertaking a self-guided city walk and each bar has information boards available with text and pictures. They are also supplied with QR codes which you can scan with your smart phone for additional information.
Written October 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sandygranny
Sandy, UK966 contributions
Feb 2017 • Couples
You can enter the City of York from one of the following four main gates (aka bars).

Bootham Bar: Although much of Bootham Bar was built in the 14th and 19th centuries, it also has some of the oldest surviving stonework, dating back to the 11th century.

Monk Bar: This four-storey gatehouse is the tallest and most elaborate of the four, and was built in the early 14th century. It was intended as a self-contained fort, and each floor is capable of being defended separately. The current gatehouse was built to replace a 12th-century gate. Today, Monk Bar houses a museum called the Richard III Experience at Monk Bar and retains its portcullis in working order.

Walmgate Bar: Most of Walmgate Bar was built during the 14th century, although the inner gateway dates from the 12th century. It also retains its portcullis and 15th century oak doors.

Micklegate Bar: The Bar retains its portcullis and 15th century oak doors. On the inner side, an Elizabethan house, supported by stone columns (originally of Roman origin but modified in 1584), extends out over the gateway. The house was occupied until 1957. The Bar has been repaired and restored many times over the years, most notably in 1648, following the 1644 Siege of York in the English Civil War when it was bombarded by cannon fire, and in 1840 after it had suffered years of neglect. It was also damaged in 1489 when, along with Fishergate Bar, it was burnt by rebels who were rioting over tax increases.

There are smaller gates/bars and a number of towers as well. There is an information board for visitors to read for each gate/bar, giving the history of these gateways into York.
Written March 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JeanPaulBelmondo
Basel, Switzerland734 contributions
Apr 2014 • Couples
Enter from which ever Bar you wish but do take a walk around the walls. You will have some great views and in the spring you can enjoy lots of daffodils on the slopes. The walls are in really good shape although they aren't completely circumferential.
Written July 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nnmercman
Camberley, UK13,823 contributions
Mar 2019 • Solo
There are four medieval main gates (bars) into York (Bootham/Micklegate/Monk/Walmgate) and linked by the walls. York city council like to say “you can see 2000yrs of history in 2 miles”. However, it’s not quite as simple as it sounds as the walls are not continuous plus there’s steps/stairs to negotiate. Views make it well worth the effort and it’s definitely one of those “must do” things to cross off your bucket list - just pay attention as you walk round as there are some long drops to be wary of!
Written March 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nellielim
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia4,110 contributions
Apr 2017 • Family
The 'bars' are gatehouses of the York City Walls. They restrict traffic during medieval times and were used to extract tolls as well as being defensive positions in times of war. The four main 'bars' here are Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Walmgate Bar and Micklegate Bar. Beside the four main 'bars' there are two smaller bars, Fishergate Bar and Victoria Bar. There is a museum at Monk Bar as well as Micklegate Bar.
Written June 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jolyon67
Melbourne, Australia5,714 contributions
Jan 2015 • Solo
York's imposing city walls are broken in four places by the towering gateways or bars, which mark the main ancient entry points into the city. Going clockwise you have Bootham Bar in the northeast. It is the closest to the Minster and is free to enter.
Next is Monk Bar which houses the Richard III museum. For £3.50 you can explore its three floors and lock yourself in a tiny room called the Little Ease Prison.
The least visited is Walmgate Bar which is the furthest from the town centre. It is the most complete and has a coffee shop in the lovely wooden building attached.
Finally Micklegate Bar, close to the railway station, is where royalty use to enter the city. Inside is the Henry VII experience which is also £3.50. There is a joint ticket for Monk & Micklegate Bars for £5.
All the bars date to around the 12th century and have three floors. Bootham Bar still has its portcullis. It is worth trying to get to Walmgate if you can. It is pleasantly devoid of tourists.
Written March 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Happy-To-Wander
Hugh Town, UK581 contributions
Nov 2013 • Family
We took in two different sections of the York Walls on separate days. We walked from Monk Bar to Bootham Bar one day which skirts around the grounds of the University's Dene and is a very peaceful walk.
The second section we took was from Micklegate Bar around to Barker Tower at Lendal Bridge. We took this route as an easier way to get to the Minster without having to navigate the busy roads as we did the previous day. It offers some pleasant views, but be aware that there is a long section with no railings to one side and if you've got children with you it could be stressful! I will try and upload a photo of this section to illustrate.
The walls are free to walk around and offer a less busy route, or a pleasant stroll if you're so inclined.
Written November 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda N
York, UK1,345 contributions
Dec 2015 • Couples
I have never thought to review the bars of York as I live there until I saw it on Tripadvisor. There are four main bars (gates) into the city. Bootham, which retains a portcullis, Monk Bar, Walmgate Bar and Micklegate Bar, the Royal entrance. Monk Bar has a museum above it and Walmgate Bar used to have police residence above. There are other smaller bars in the walls of York and it is certainly interesting to walk around the Bar walls to view the City. Yes, we are lucky in York.
Written December 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

johnhp702
Derby, UK18,583 contributions
Mar 2015 • Solo
Visit each Bar and read the information board's that give you a history of these gateway's into York
Written March 31, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dimitris L
Sydney, Australia45,296 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
We went walking on the city walls of York starting at Micklegate Bar. It's an impressive building, as it was built to be one of the several gateways to York city in older times. According to the information board it was the most important of the four main gateways and the focus for grand events. The name comes from 'Micklelith', meaning great street. It was the main entrance to the city for anyone arriving from the South. At least half a dozen reigning monarchs have passed through this gate and by tradition they stop here to ask the Lord Mayor's permission to enter the city.

The lower section of the bar dates from the 12th century, the top two storeys from the 14th. The building was inhabited from 1196. Like the other main gates, Micklegate Bar originally had a barbican built on the front, in this case demolished in 1826.

For centuries the severed heads of rebels and traitors were displayed above the gate, the many victims include Sir Henry Purcey (Hotspur) in 1403 and Richard, Duke of York in 1460. The last of the severed heads was removed in 1754.

A great Gateway, worth visiting.
Written November 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Bars - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)