EYO6889 - York City Walls chainage 2167-2215 Watching Brief




Location Chainage 2167-2215
Grid reference SE 6051 5228 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



York Archaeological Trust





A watching brief during repair work on a 48.00m long section of the City wall to the north-west of Monk Bar. The wall under repair appears to be of one build, with buttresses added at a later date. There is a plaque to the north-west of the observed section stating repair works took place on this section in 1898. Number 3 Monk Bar Court is built up against the wall walk, and the courtyard to the rear of 4-7 Monk Bar Court adjoins the wall walk.The repair works involved the removal of the flagged surface of the wall walk and excavation through the deposits beneath to allow the placing of metal tie bars between the rampart wall and wall walk wall. In order to stabilise the walls around trenches 7-9, twenty-one tie bars were inserted between the fill of the wall walk and the wall walk wall. On the external face of the rampart wall sixteen tie bars were inserted through blockwork joints in to the fill of the wall walk. Trench 7-9, lifting of the flagstones exposed a narrow void between rampart wall and the deposits in the walkway. The inside face of the wall walk wall was of brick construction and probably constructed at the same time as the fill beneath the wall walk as much of these areas of brickwork were keyed together. The internal facing stones of the rampart wall did not continue down beyond the course overlapping the surface of the wall walk. The upper parts of the city wall were made up of comparatively thin stone. Beneath the last course of facing stone only the rubble and mortar core build of the wall was present, to a depth of c. 0.20m beneath the paving stones of the wall walk. Beneath this level was what appeared to be a different wall, 0.20m wider, stepped out into the wall walk. It was built of mortar bonded blocks of limestone, weathered on the face within the wall walk. It was present for the full depth of the excavation, about 1.5m, and when the base of the trench was probed, appeared to extend down for at least a further 0.5m. This wall was only present within trenches 7-9 and would seem to be the original medieval wall onto which a later, possibly 19th century, slightly narrower rebuild was added. The weathered inner face suggests that a wall walk was not present during the period when it was exposed. In Trench 9 a brick cross wall was revealed at a depth of 0.44m below the wall walk surface in the east end of the trench. This was 16 courses deep and two bricks thick, bonded with a medium strength lime mortar. It was butting up against the lower rampart wall but appears to have been broken through by the wall walk wall. A brick cross wall was also recorded in Trench 7, 0ยท36m below the wall walk with 21 courses exposed in the trench, the wall still continuing down beneath the base of the trench. This wall was built against the lower rampart wall and appeared to be broken through by the wall walk wall. The wall was on a similar alignment to the side wall of 3 Monk Bar Court, an 18th century building extensively rebuilt in the 19th century. The wall in trench 7 aligns with a property boundary wall dividing the rear courtyard of 4 and 5 Monk Bar Court, a property built around 1840. Both these walls predate the extensive repairs of the City wall which took place in 1898 and would seem to suggest that the wall walk was not present when they were built. Trenches 4-6 were located 24.80m to the north-west of trenches 7-9. The internal facing stones of the rampart wall only continued to a depth of c.0.20m below the surface of the wall walk. Below this level the wall consisted only of corework. The deposits beneath the wall walk consisted of loose mortar and sand together with medium to large limestone fragments. All of this material was removed to a depth of c.1.00m below the present walkway level. NMR Information Watching Brief: Report includes a series of watching briefs carried out at a separate sites along York city walls: two small trial holes dug against the buttresses at chainage 693.1 (SE 5974 5148) and 1681.8 (SE 6013 5224) (see also Event 1319668); and repair to a 48m long section of wall of at chainage 2167-2215 (SE 6050 5229).

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.
  • --- Unpublished document: YAT. 1993. City Wall Chainage 693.1, 1681.8, 1800-1804.4, 2167-2215.

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

  • YORK CITY WALLS between Tower 29 and Monk Bar (Chainage 2100-2200) (Monument)
  • York City Walls in entirety (Monument)

Record last edited

Jan 11 2021 11:35AM


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