Fishergate Postern Tower
Friends of York Walls, Fishergate Postern Tower, Piccadilly, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9AF
See inside this watch-tower on York’s City Walls. Rarely open to the public, our volunteers are on hand to show off the spiral staircase, Tudor toilet and timber roof. Find out about the history of the Walls and look out for any approaching invaders!
The Tower was built around 1505 where the City Walls ended on the banks of a swollen river Foss, with York Castle on the opposite bank.
The narrow, 500 year old stairs twist to the right as you go up, making it difficult for a right-handed attacker to use a sword (or any weapon) as effectively as a defender facing him from above. The stairs take you up to the first floor room, which has a small twisted corridor off it leading to the garderobe, for human waste to drop straight into the river. The Foss had been made very broad by the building of a dam in the time of William the Conqueror, which raised the level of the river so it flooded the land between the Tower and the Castle, where the modern road called Piccadilly is.
You can see the modern lie of the land if you continue up the spiral staircase to the top floor (look out for masons’ marks on your way) and look through the windows, which were the open embrasures of battlements for the first few years of the Tower’s life. The roof beams may be older than the Tower itself: the roof was added in the late 1500s, using second hand timbers that carry obvious signs of their earlier uses.
This event took place in September 2023 and the entry is now archived.
Friends of York Walls CIO
Date last modified: 27th June 2023 at 16:53