New visitor attraction planned for York’s historic gatehouse | JORVIK Viking Centre

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The story of York’s city walls, from Romans to Victorians, is set to be told in a new visitor attraction within the stones of the famous fortifications themselves. City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar will open to the public on 2 April as part of the JORVIK Group of Attractions.

The new attraction, within the gatehouse of Micklegate Bar, will provide visitors with an insight into how York came to be a walled city, and how the walls have evolved and changed since the first embankments were built by the Romans. The top floor features a central map with displays highlighting the features from different periods in history that are still visible today, as well as those that have been lost to time.

“York’s walls are one of the top attractions in the city, with tens of thousands of people walking parts of them every day to see the city from a different angle. City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar is the perfect drop-in point at the start, end or even midway around the walls to learn a little more about the history of the most complete set of city walls in the country,” comments director of attractions, Sarah Maltby.

Visitors will also learn about historic characters who have links to Micklegate Bar, which was historically the main entrance to the city for anyone arriving from the south, and particularly, the gate through which visiting Royals would pass (with the permission of the Lord Mayor). From Royalty to soldiers and even a policeman who took up residence here, video presentations bring their stories to life.

Alongside visits to the attraction, the Micklegate Bar team will be running guided tours around part of the walls and the streets which they enclose to more of the history behind the fortifications. An accessible version of the tour will also be available for anyone unable to get onto the walls as well as enhancements for those people with additional needs (more details are available by talking to the Reservations Team) . The tours will run throughout the summer until the end of October, when the City Walls Experience will also close for the winter.

City Walls Experience replaces the Henry VII Experience, which opened in 2014 and operated until Covid restrictions prompted its closure in 2020. Its sister attraction, the Richard III Experience at Monk Bar currently acts as a virtual hub from where livestreamed sessions about York’s heritage are beamed across the world to schools and visitors joining online events. Monk Bar itself will be open for exclusive tours in the summer.

Admission prices for City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar are £3.50 for adults, £3.00 for concessions and children, with family tickets available. Tickets including the walking tour are £6.00, for adults and £5.00 for concessions and children. Advance booking is strongly recommended as capacity at the site and on tours is limited. Tickets can be booked at yorkcitywalls.com, with a full new website due to launch later this month. Join tickets with other attractions in the JORVIK Group, including JORVIK Viking Centre, DIG: An Archaeological Adventure and Barley Hall are also available.

ENDS

 

Pictures show: The three characters whose stories will be told at Micklegate Bar, Princess Margaret, policeman Harry Sowden and Civil War commander, Sir Henry Slingsby. Please credit photographs to Charlotte Graham.

 

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel: 01904 500698

Email: jay@pyperyork.co.uk