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Tours > Ancient York > Bootham Bar

David Ford, History Editor Ancient York
by David Nash Ford BA,
Editor, History on Britannia

Bootham Bar
At the Northern end of High Petergate

Bootham Bar Due to its position near the West Front of the Minster, Bootham Bar is probably the best known of York's city gates. This is where one of the city's four original gates, the North-Western Roman Gateway, was erected in wood in AD 71. Its stone replacement had disappeared by the time of the Norman Conquest. A second wooden structure was rebuilt, again in stone, in the 12th century and some of this masonry survives in the present structure which, for the most part, is two hundred years younger. It once had a defensive barbican like Walmgate Bar, but this was demolished in 1835.

Like the other city gates, Bootham has displayed the heads of traitors in its time: notably Thomas Mowbray in 1405. It easily survived an unsuccessfully attack by Lord Scrope on behalf of the Royal impostor, Lambert Simnell, in 1487; but was heavily damaged by the Earl of Manchester's troops during the Siege of York (1644). It was restored seven years later and pedestrian archways added in the following century. Fortunately, plans to demolish the bar in 1831 were eventually scrapped.

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