The city walls originally had several postern gates, where people on foot could gain access to the city. Originally there was a much larger gate nearby, but that was destroyed by fire in the late 1400s. This postern, a replacement for an earlier wooden structure, dates from around 1502. It originally had an archway and a wooden gate which was let down between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Halfway up the wall you can see the exit of the medieval garderobe (latrine), thankfully no longer in use.
The gate has several floors, accessed by very narrow stone staircases. Currently the building is not open to the public, though the Friends of York Walls, a local group, is negotiating with the city council, with a view to opening at least the small ground floor area for community use, perhaps as a café.
TIP Local volunteers do open up the tower for visits several times a year. You’ll find details of these events on the Friends of York Walls website.
TIME Allow a few minutes