After months of conservation work the Red Tower roof is due to be completed soon.  The City of York Council plan to mark the event with a special opening ceremony and a “Conservation Weekend” on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th August 2023.

The Friends of York Walls will also be opening Fishergate Postern Tower on Saturday 12th August from 10:00am to 4:00pm

The Red Tower during roof conservation work – May 2023

The official CYC press release follows, and is also  HERE

York celebrates building conservation at Red Tower

For immediate release: 01/08/23

City of York Council will celebrate the reopening of the Red Tower on 12-13 August, following work to renew its roof for future generations.

Everyone is welcome to join us that weekend at the Red Tower, for a range of activities designed to help the public learn more about the history of the city and conservation work.

The medieval tower was once part of the city’s historic defences and is the only brick structure on the city walls. The reopening will celebrate the reroofing of the Red Tower, and the conservation/management of the City Walls undertaken by the council, partners and stakeholders.

Keymer Tiles, will be providing an opportunity for members of the public to get involved, with clay tile demonstrations and a live clay carving event. Donald Insall Associates, the City Walls architects, will also showcase some of their designs for future City Walls schemes.

The council’s ancient monuments team will also be taking part to showcase their work in the city. While local stakeholders (Red Tower CIC and Friends of York Walls) will be hosting fundraising activities, and sharing their knowledge of the city walls.

Jo Coles, Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care at City of York Council, said:

“York’s city walls are the most complete and finest in England, making them one of our most treasured historical assets. That is why it is incredibly important that we continue to maintain and repair the walls, so we can all enjoy them for many years to come.

“The Red Tower reopening follows conservation work designed to safeguard the future of one of York’s most historic buildings for everyone in the city. By working closely with partners, we have been able to preserve the historic character of the building, whilst also redeveloping the building for business, social and civic uses.”

Contact Information

Notes to editors

The Red Tower

A medieval tower that formed part of the city defences of York. It marks the termination of the city walls, and is the only brick tower in the city, hence the name. It has undergone numerous restorations over the years.,

The 500 year-old watchtower has, in recent years, been transformed into a local community hub and is currently undergoing restoration work to the roof of the building, undertaken by the Council’s own Ancient Monuments Stonemasons and supporting roofing specialists.

For further information please contact:

City of York Council
Newsdesk / Out of hours: 01904 555515

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Posted 2nd August 2023  AF

Fishergate Postern Tower – Open Days

@  Junction of Piccadilly and Lead Mill Lane   YO1 9AF

We will be open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

No booking is necessary – just turn up !

Sat 28th & Sun 29th January  = Residents Weekend
Sat 18th  February
Sat 18th  March
Sat 8th April
Sat 15th April + Sheriff’s Army Patrol. ( at FPT approx. 2:30pm ) 
Sat 29th April + Sun 30th April ( Ebor Morris walls circuit )
Sat 13th May; + Sat 27th May  = Spring BH Weekend
Sat 17th June
Sat 1st July + Sat 15th July 
Sat 12th August
Sat 9th September + Sat 16th September  = Heritage Open Days 
Sat 30th September
Sat 7th & Sun 8th October  = York Unlocked
Sat 28th October  = Halloween Saturday
Sat 11th November

PLUS other possible dates – check the website for details.

FREE  ENTRY   (but donations are always welcome)

Climb the spiral staircase of this early Tudor tower, work the model portcullis and find a remarkably complete garderobe, masons’  marks, re-used roof beams and our displays, including brand new replicas reborn from fragments found in our recent archaeological dig.

Disabled Access (Partial – ground floor only)

These events are provided by volunteers of The Friends of York Walls.  We are also looking for new Volunteers, new Committee Members and new Trustees.  There would be no pressure for you to devote any more time or effort than you feel comfortable with.  If you are interested, or would like to get involved, please pop along for a chat one open day or email  us at

These opening dates of Fishergate Postern Tower are a part of our 2023 season. Check back here to see any last minute changes !

For all 2023 open days please see    HERE

Our 2023 Information Leaflet is available    HERE 


Updated  2nd August 2023   AF



Some April 2023 dates for your diary –

Fishergate Postern Tower (FPT) will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 15th April + Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th April


SATURDAY 15th APRIL – FPT OPEN + The Sheriffs Army annual walk of the walls took place on Saturday 15th April when they called in at Fishergate Postern Tower around 2.45 pm to 3.00pm.  Lots of special costumes were at FPT on Saturday 15th !

Some Photos of the 2023 Event are now available HERE


Pre-Event Official announcement from the York Guild of Freemen =

The Sheriffs Army is Marching Again – 15th April 2023


This year we shall be led by Suzie Mercer, Sheriff of York and as usual guided by John Oxley MBE, former City Archaeologist who will provide us with informative guides at various points of our route round the Bar Walls.

From 1:15pm we shall gather at City Screen to enable participants to change into suitable medieval attire (optional), before we gather in the yard in front, for formal photographs before we process to the Mansion House Steps for the Proclamation to be read at 2pm.

We shall then proceed to join the walls at Lendal Bridge to begin our patrol making various stops en-route. Once again we shall call at Fishergate Postern Tower (around 2:30pm) where the Friends of York Walls will greet us and there will be a chance to explore the Tower. For the Second year we have been invited to call at the Phoenix Pub behind Fishergate Bar for refreshment and a toilet call. Red Tower will be under restoration of its roof this year, so we shall be able to view progress as we pass it. We shall leave the walls at Bootham Bar then process back to City Screen via Petergate and Stonegate. Participants are welcome to join us for the whole walk or any part they wish to.


SUNDAY 30th APRIL – FPT OPEN + This year May Day’s Eve is Sunday, the 30th of April and from 11.00 till 5.00 that day Ebor Morris will be dancing their way round the city walls. This annual tour brings us a rare opportunity to hear and see the past in action with a backdrop we’ve also inherited from the depths of time, a backdrop of our city walls.

Traditional music and dance at Monk Bar May Day 2022

Historical enactors pretend they are from the past, but these dancers are not pretending, they are continuing a tradition, keeping part of our past alive. This time of year is when the pre-Roman people of this land celebrated ‘Beltane’, the shift from winter to summer, so this event has one link to a time before our walls were built. No-one seems sure where or when the traditional dances come from but, as with the city walls, some things in them are probably very old while others we owe to those people from more recent times who have kept the past alive by adding a little to what they’d inherited.

The Sunday schedule starts and ends with dances on the city side of Fishergate Bar just outside the Phoenix pub [11.00-10 and 4.30- 5.00]. Their tour involves walking, not dancing, along the wall-walk – even though a dancing walk from London to Norwich in 1599 is a documented part of the history of Morris – but they do plan dances on Robin Hood Tower [12.20-30], Toft Tower [2.20-35] and Bitchdaughter Tower [3.40-55].

On Toft Tower they’ll dance the ancient Escrick longsword dance – longsword dances are the local traditional group dance for men, many Yorkshire villages having their own style; the ‘swords’ are mercifully edge and point-free – but even so would you brave their becoming interlaced into a star around your neck?

They also plan to dance in these picturesque places: 11:15 – 11:25 city side of Walmgate Bar, 11:45 – 12:00 outer side of Monk Bar, 12:40 – 13:00 city side of Bootham Bar, 14:40 – 14:50 outer side of Micklegate Bar, @ 16:10 – 16:20 Fishergate Postern, but you can see their full schedule at:


NOTE – “York Walls Festival” – originally planned for 29th & 30th April 2023 – has unfortunately had to be postponed until a future date. 


Updated 16th April 2023   AF


A number of old royalty and copyright free books are often digitised and made available online, and sometimes for download.  Here are a few interesting ones relevant to York’s Walls and Castles and York’s history =

Thomas Parsons Cooper (1863–1937), a self-educated official of the York United Gas Light Company, became interested in the defences of York through his enthusiasm for heraldry. Two books by T. P. Cooper have been essential sources of information for other work on York’s History.  These are York: the Story of its Walls, Bars and Castles (1904) and The History of the Castle of York (1911).
York: the Story of its Walls, Bars and Castles (1904) has the full and long title of York: the Story of its Walls, Bars and Castles – being a complete history and pictorial record of the defences of the City of York, from the earliest times to the present day (1904)    LINK   is   HERE 
The History of the Castle of York (1911) has the full and long title of The History of the Castle of York – from its foundation to the present day (1911) with an account of the building of Clifford’s Tower.     LINK   is   HERE 
William Hargrove (16 October 1788 – 29 August 1862) was an English newspaper proprietor and historian of York.  In 1818 Hargrove published a History and Description of the ancient City of York; comprising all the most interesting information already published in Drake’s “Eboracum,” with much new matter and illustrations. The digitised copy is quite poor for some pages.
History and Description of the Ancient City of York – William Hargrove   LINK  is   HERE
EBORACUM: or The History and Antiquities of The City of York – from its Original to the Present Times (1736) by Drake    LINK   is   HERE
Pubished  17th November 2022   AF