“York Unlocked 2023” –

Fishergate Postern Tower and Tower 39 will be open on 7th & 8th October

On Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October 2023 various places in York, not normally open to the public, will be “Unlocked” for you to visit.

Tower 39 on York’s City Walls is one of these locations.    See the York Unlocked Website details  HERE

‘York Unlocked’, in partnership with City of York Council, Friends of York Walls and York Walls Festival present an extremely rare opportunity to see inside one of the corner towers on York’s Bar Walls that is usually inaccessible to the public.

Booking for Tower 39 is via the Eventbright link and is ESSENTIAL before you visit.

Fishergate Postern Tower will be open 7th and 8th October from 10am to 4pm –  but NO BOOKING IS NECESSARY

Walking Guides to “York’s City Walls Trail” can be found HERE  and details of the “Walls Audio Trail”   HERE


Please read the conditions of entry for Tower 39 before reserving a ticket

Please note that there are strict conditions for entry, and by reserving a free ticket you acknowledge the conditions and agree to abide by them without exception. You also agree that you will unfortunately be refused entry if you do not adhere exactly to the conditions. The York Unlocked volunteer’s decision is final in all circumstances.

The conditions are in place for your own safety. ‘York Unlocked’ are responsible for this event. Please do not contact City of York Council or Friends of York Walls with any enquiries.

Contact: connect@york-unlocked.org.uk

Conditions of entry to ‘York Unlocked: Tower 39 on York’s Bar Walls’:

– By reserving a ticket you acknowledge that York Unlocked may unfortunately have to cancel your visit with no notice, This would happen if your safety could not be guaranteed due to unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances.

– All visitors must wear substantial footwear suitable for uneven floor surfaces. Bare feet, sandals, high heels etc. will not be admitted. Weatherproof clothing is also required.

– By reserving a ticket I understand that I am entering a small, dark, damp, dusty and dirty historic space. The approach to the tower is across sloping grass which may be damp and muddy.

– The venue is not suitable for young people under 10 years of age or people with mobility issues and disabilities.

– Large bags, backpacks and luggage will not be permitted inside the venue. There are no luggage, baggage or buggy storage facilities. There are no toilet or hand-washing facilities.

– By reserving a ticket I agree to follow the instructions of the York Unlocked volunteers immediately and without question, while on the site.

– COVID-19: there are no restrictions in place for visiting this location, but bear in mind you will be sharing your visit to this small space with four other people. You are welcome to take precautions.

– By reserving a ticket I agree to still or moving images of me being potentially used in online and printed articles, promotions and posts.

To find Tower 39 please head to Fishergate Postern Tower at the south end of Piccadilly (YO1 9AF), opposite the ‘Postern Gate’ Wetherspoons public house. Please enter the grassed area inside the Walls and walk up to the inside corner where the Walls turn eastward and you will see our volunteers waiting to welcome you. Please feel free to ask a volunteer at Fishergate Postern Tower if you cannot find Tower 39.

Tower 39 is very close to Fishergate Postern Tower, another fascinating building on York’s Bar Walls, that is taking part in ‘York Unlocked’. Please leave additional time (around half an hour) to visit this tower as well. There is no need to reserve a ticket for Fishergate Postern Tower (open from 10.00 to 16.00 both days), but you may need to wait for entry if the maximum number of people allowed are already in the tower.

The Phoenix Inn is also extremely close-by, and is a wonderful historic pub situated just inside the Walls at Fishergate Bar. The Phoenix is taking part in ‘York Unlocked’ so please feel free to pop in and have a look around, even if you do not wish to have a drink. Please check opening times as they may not be the same as those for York Unlocked.

DOWNLOAD your York Unlocked programme via this link.


Published 3 Oct 2023     AF

Fishergate Postern Tower be open for the “2023 Heritage Weekends”
On  Saturday 9th September from 10:00 to 16:00
and  Saturday 16th September from 10:00 to 16:00

See inside this watch-tower on York’s City Walls. Infrequently open to the public, our volunteers are on hand to show off the spiral staircase, Tudor toilet and timber roof. Find out about the history of the Walls and look out for any approaching invaders!    The Tower was built around 1504 where the City Walls ended on the banks of a swollen river Foss, with York Castle on the opposite bank.

This opening is part of the national 2023 Heritage Open Days events – details HERE  and  HERE

The Fishergate Postern Tower listing is HERE

No need to book but Max 24 people per tour/session.  Fishergate Postern Tower (FPT) is opened on other occasions by the Friends of York Walls. Visit the Friends website for more information about FPT and the Walls. Join Friends of York Walls, via the website (or just get our e-newsletter for free!), and find out about the Sponsor a Stone project, which allows members of the public to contribute towards the refurbishment and maintenance of FPT.    www.yorkwalls.org.uk



Published 1st Sept 2023  AF


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
Email: newsdesk@york.gov.uk

Follow us at:

City of York Council on facebook
City of York Council on twitter
City of York Council Instagram

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    friendsofyorkwalls@gmail.com

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