Red Tower

At the end of the walls walk: A red-brick anti-climax?

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This watchtower at the end of the walls was built in 1491. Unlike the rest of the walls and its buildings along the way, you’ll see that it’s not made of stone, but of humble brick.

The guild of masons feared for their livelihoods if this fashion for buildings made by tilers were to catch on. The construction of the building led to acts of sabotage to stop it, and there was even a case of murder.

Note the medieval garderobe (latrine) built into the side of the building.

Beyond this tower there was no need for walls as the ground was swampland, partly caused by the damming of the River Foss, so this formed one of the ends of the walls. The land silted up from the seventeenth century on, and this led to the raising of the ground around the tower, and the covering of the lower parts. This is partly why the tower seems much lower than other gates and bars.

The Red Tower marks the end of Section 2 of the Walls Walk.

TIME Allow a few minutes

Tip In the summer months a local community group hosts a café in the Red Tower, which serves wholesome freshly made food.

At A Glance

Walls open till dusk.


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