Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:
Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

York (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


SE5952SE 1112-1/12/781 14/06/54

YORK MUSEUM GARDENS St Mary's Abbey remains: Precinct Walls (Formerly Listed as: MARYGATE Precinct walls of St Mary's Abbey) (Formerly Listed as: BOOTHAM Postern and Tower (formerly listed as Queen Margaret's Arch)) (Formerly Listed as: BOOTHAM St Mary's Tower) (Formerly Listed as: MARYGATE Tower immediately to south-west of St Mary's Tower) (Formerly Listed as: MARYGATE West Tower (Marygate Landing))


Includes: St Mary's Tower MARYGATE. Defensive wall approximately 150 metres long from Queen Margaret's Arch and Postern Tower to St Mary's Tower, including 2 intermediate towers; defensive wall approximately 400 metres long from St Mary's Tower to the Water Tower on Marygate Landing, and 3 intermediate towers. Walls 1266, raised, crenellated and extended 1318; St Mary's Tower and Water Tower 1324, St Mary's Tower repaired 1644 following Civil War damage; Queen Margaret's Arch and Postern Tower 1497, Postern Tower raised and altered in C17. Pedestrian arches beside Queen Margaret's Arch and the Water Tower inserted c1836. MATERIALS: walls and towers of magnesian limestone except Postern Tower which is red brick faced with ashlar; Postern and St Mary's Towers have tiled roofs, respectively hipped and conical. EXTERIOR: walls with crenellations vary from approximately 2 to 5 metres in height and have irregularly spaced dwarf buttresses with offsets and steeply sloped copings. Some merlons are pierced with cruciform arrow slits; others retain grooves to house wooden shutters protecting embrasures, three of which are fitted with replicas. Queen Margaret's Arch: stub wall attached to Postern Tower contains segmental arch, chamfered and with defaced coved hoodmould on outer side; inner side rebated for gates and flanked by buttresses with offsets. Bronze plaque of 1899 incorrectly records date of arch as 1503. Inserted arch adjacent has shouldered head.

Postern Tower (sometimes known as Bootham Tower): 2 storeys and attic, on moulded plinth. Vertical panelled door in 4-centred arch in moulded surround with flat hoodmould and sunk spandrels: similar doorway to left side now blocked by 2-light window. Upper floor windows are inserted in splayed openings except for single segment-headed light in moulded surround over door. In right side, C19 ground floor window is of 3 diamond latticed lights with board shutters on ornate C-hinges. INTERIOR: brick newel staircase in thickness of wall. Openings have 4-centred arches of chamfered brick. St Mary's Tower: 2 stages, an irregular circle on plan, originally with chamfered plinth. Doorway to Bootham has board door in moulded surround with restored 4-centred arch with keyblock. To right is 2-light window with trefoiled heads in chamfered square-headed surround. Upper stage has three re-used 2-light windows with ovolo-moulded mullions and transoms and moulded sills, and one cruciform arrow slit with oillets. Inner side has wide chamfered doorway with 2-centred head and C20 board door. Two upper stage doorways led to wallwalk on each side, both in chamfered surrounds, one with corbelled head, one with flat lintel. Water Tower (sometimes known as Marygate Landing Tower): originally 2 stages, now sunk in sloping ground to wallwalk level. Exterior is circular on plan, interior hexagonal, with single opening to each inner face: chamfered doorway to wallwalk has shouldered head, four cruciform slits have oillets to the arms, one vertical slit at wallhead has chamfered opening. INTERIOR: openings are splayed and have shouldered lintels. Adjacent pedestrian gateway is 4-centred double chamfered arch. Scheduled Ancient Monument. (An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York: RCHME: The Defences: HMSO: 1972-: 160-173; An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York: RCHME: Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse: HMSO London: 1975-: 14-22). Listing NGR: SE5998352340


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
An Inventory of the City of York II Defences, (1972), 160-173
An Inventory of the City of York IV East, (1975), 14-22


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 22 Aug 2006
Reference: IOE01/15829/16
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David Robson. Source Historic England Archive
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