Six-figure spend on city walls planned after cracks found in the ancient stonework

Tower 32 – which sounds like a science fiction film – is in fact this tower on the York walls on Jewbury. Photographs: YorkMix
7 Jun 2016 @ 3.34 pm
| History, News

York is set to invest £350,000 to restore parts of the city walls that are cracking up.

The walls were monitored over 15 months from 2014, and ten locations across the two mile route have been reported as in need of vital repair.

About 2.5 million people walk across the walls each year and city archaeologist John Oxley says that the restoration will ensure visitors continue to enjoy “the best example of medieval city walls” in England.

A report to be considered at City of York Council’s transport and planning decision session on Thursday (June 9) says the first phase of the long-term restoration programme would take place over the next five years.

It focuses on three areas in most critical need of restoration: Micklegate Bar, Monk Bar and Tower 32.

Micklegate Bar roof

A view of the top of Micklegate Bar from the walls. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr
A view of the top of Micklegate Bar from the walls. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr

Four sets of vertical cracks have appeared in the corners of the roof. Internal timber work and lead replacement is desperately needed to keep the weather out and strengthen the overall structure.

Monk Bar steps

Needs to step up… Monk Bar. Photograph: YorkMix
Needs to step up… Monk Bar. Photograph: YorkMix

Significant subsidence has caused the steps to migrate south. The steps need to be safely lifted and waterproofed to counteract the considerable water damage leaking through the road arch.

Tower 32

Another view of Tower 32. Photograph: YorkMix
Another view of Tower 32. Photograph: YorkMix

Tower 32 has developed major vertical cracking and subsidence along the wall. The council report says a new door is required, together with foundation work and masonryto restore the tower to its former glory.