Building record MYO1062 - YORK CITY WALLS (LENDAL TOWER)


13th century boom tower converted to a water tower in 1616, and engine house for water-pumping in 1756-1836. Converted to offices in 1932.


Grid reference SE 5999 5195 (point)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish York, City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (9)

Full Description

Defensive tower converted for use as water tower, now used as offices. c1300; heightened 1616, strengthened and extended c1677; altered for offices c1846; refitted 1932. Magnesian limestone, much re-used and including carved fragments of canopy, finial and other mouldings from the ruins of St Mary's Abbey (qqv): roof not visible but said to be of copper. EXTERIOR: 3-stage circular tower with extruded circular stair tower, on chamfered plinth; 3-storey extension. All parts are embattled. Tower entered through Lendal Hill House (qv): unused C19 shouldered doorway with panelled double doors survives in extension. Blocked slit lights are visible on ground floor of both towers: 1- and 2-light windows elsewhere in chamfered openings with chamfered mullions. INTERIOR: not inspected. RCHM record brick partition wall on the lower storeys retaining evidence of engine housings; wooden spiral staircase in stair tower; rooms on first and second floors fitted with panelling. HISTORICAL NOTE: the tower was leased to the Waterworks Company by the York Corporation in 1677 for 500 years in return for a peppercorn rent, still paid annually by the Company in 1994. (An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York: RCHME: The Defences: HMSO: 1972-: 108).
Listing NGR: SE5999151959

Derived from English Heritage LB download dated: 22/08/2005

NMR Information:

[SE59995196] Lendal Tower [GT]. (1)

Remains of the Mediaeval St Leonard's Tower or Lendal Tower are incorporated in the 17th century water tower (2) and the remains of a postern can be seen in the waterworks' yard. (3)

Correctly described. The emains of the Mediaeval tower probably comprise the lower courses of the present structure on the south and west sides. See GP AO/3/105/1 for south aspect of the tower. (4)

The tower was originally a bom tower, circular and measuring 28 feet in diameter with walls 4 feet thick, with a spiral staircase in a turret to the NW. From 1616 the tower was used as a waterwork, the north and east sides being demolished to take the rectangular structure supporting the tank. The waterworks were improved in 1674, being enlarged and heightened. Between 1756-1836 the tower incorporated a steam engine to raise water to the cistern, but this was replaced in 1836 by a new engine house at Acomb landing. Restored as offices in 1932. (5)

Documented. (6)

Sources/Archives (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Feb 5 2021 3:48PM


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