This is the tallest, and most elaborate, of York’s bars, with four floors, and was built in the 1300s in such a way that each floor could be defended separately. It replaced an original Roman gate further along the walls.
The coat of arms on the outside is of the Plantagent royal house. Look for the small statues on the battlements, showing wild men ready to hurl rocks on attackers. The gallery on the bar was built for this very purpose. The bar can still be closed with its working portcullis.
Rooms in the bar currently house a small museum, but in the past they have been used as a home, and even as a jail where Roman Catholics were held. (Note that while access to Monkbar is free, there is an admission charge for the museum.) The small museum is dedicated to Richard III as the Richard III Experience. (Micklegate Bar houses the Henry VII Experience.)
Tip Nestling in the shadow of the bar is the Monk Bar Model Shop, a mecca for train and other model enthusiasts of all ages.