The first gate in York’s walls was located here in Roman times, when it was known as the porta principalis dextra and led to the fort where the Minster now stands. The present bar is around a thousand years old or later, however.
The gate still has a portcullis (the gate is kept fixed up, so go inside to see it), though its barbican was removed in the nineteenth century. At the same time, the city actually pulled down a stretch of the ancient walls next to Bootham Bar (to improve traffic flow!). It was only after a local campaign that the bar itself was spared the same fate.
Tip This is a good point to go up onto the walls. It is also the finishing point of our walk around the walls.
TIME Allow a few minutes