Monk Bar, York

3.5 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars - 14 Reviews

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  • Monk Bar & Richard III Museum
    Monk Bar & Richard III Museum
    by zadunajska8
  • Monk Bar
    by ettiewyn
  • Monk Bar
    by ettiewyn
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    Monk Bar - Richard III Museum

    by ettiewyn Updated Nov 25, 2012

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    Located in Monk Bar, there is another small museum, the Richard III Museum. The gate was constructed in the early 14th century and the large gatehouse (the largest of any of York's) includes three different rooms. Each room could be defended separately, therefore the gate was a small fortress in itself. The portcullis is still there and the last time it was lowered was in 1953. Over the centuries, the building was used as a prison and a police station, and people lived there until 1914.

    The third room was added in 1484 by King Richard III, therefore it seems suitable to make the gate home to a museum about him. Richard III was a king with a very bad reputation and he only ruled for two years, but he was popular in York. One of the most infamous story about him is the one about the Princes in the Tower: In May 1483, Prince Edward, the heir to the throne, was taken captive by Richard together with his younger brother. Edward's coronation was postponed and they brought to the Tower of London - and never seen again. As this was largely to the advantage of Richard, who became king the same year, it is thought that he was involved with their death, but it was never totally proven.
    The museum sets out to give Richard III a fair trial, so it largely revolves around his life and the story of the Princes. There is a huge amount of information, and a recreated court scene, and in the end visitors are asked to give their own verdict.

    I must admit that this museum was not among my favourites in York, it mainly consists of information and papers to read, and to me that was too much. It rather looked like a school project than a museum. However, the entrance fee is not high, and I think it is worth it just to see the interior of this very old gate, to climb up the ancient stairs and to see how historic and narrow everything is!

    I cannot find any information about opening times or admission fees, but the fee was not much (maybe around £2).

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    Richard III Museum at Monk Bar

    by zadunajska8 Written Nov 5, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Monk Bar & Richard III Museum

    We found the Richard III museum inside the Monkbar of York City walls whilst doing the walk along the walls. It was only £2.50 for admission and so we decided to have a look inside and were delighted to discover that in fact it is included in teh Yorkshire Pass and so cost us nothing on top of what we had already paid for the pass.

    The museum is clearly run on a tight budget and doesn't have display cases of many precious objects from the pass, instead it uses written displys to present the case for and against Richard III as one of our most maligned monarchs. Most people will find out much more about this king than they ever would have picked up from school or the TV and you are left doubting the accepted story of Richard as some deranged, deformed, homicidal maniac.

    The room 1 floor up from the entrance has a model of King Richard in the dock and a recording presents a mock trial with some supporting evidence displayed around the room. This is a bit quirky and a bit cheesy but also interesting. You also get to vote upon who you think killed the princes in the tower before you leave. I had been convinced that Henry Tudor (Henry VII) was a far more likely candidate than Richard, although my partner was less convinced.

    It is a relatively cheap and ammateur museum, but what can you expect for £2.50? It does present much more information however than some of the flashy attractions in York such as Jorvik. You'll get more history per pound here!

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    RICHARD III MUSEUM-Monk Bar

    by EdinburghRoc Updated Jul 26, 2011

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    Richard III in Monk Bar

    Monk Bar, York's tallest and most impressive Medieval Gatehouse, it was built in the 14th Century. Originally a guard house, it has been both a prison and a police house and was lived in untill 1914.
    The Bar boasts a rare example of a working portcullis, last lowered in 1953. Largely original, the ancient mechanism still works, and can be operated by visitors.
    There are three rooms in all, the uppermost being added by King Richard III, in 1484.
    Aye just think your standing where Richard III once stood himself.
    I think he was a good guy, you can't trust the Tudors.

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    Monk Bar

    by Balam Written Oct 11, 2010

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    Monk Bar
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    Monk Bar is Yorks largest and most ornate GatewayIt was constructed during the 14th century and was litterraly a small fortress with each of its floors being defendable and it still has the only working portcullis in the city which was still until 1970.
    It would originally have had a barbican on the front which would have consisted of un foofed walls coming out from the gateway but this was demolished in 1825
    The front of the gate has an arch which supports a gallery with murder holes were boiling water/oil and other items could be let down onto attackers.

    The rooms above the gateway have had lots of uses over the centuries which include living quarters, a jail for Catholics during the 16th century and now The Richard III Museum
    On the first floor is a shopand you can see the portcullis here. Additionally for a small fee you can enter the Richard III museum on the 2nd floor where the still working mechanism for portcullis is housed.

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    Monkgate Bar (Monk Bar)

    by Airpunk Written Aug 31, 2010
    Monk Bar Gate
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    Monkgate Bar is the Northern entrance toYork and the only gate where the porticullis is preserved in working order. It was built in the 14th century and had an additional floor added during the reign of King Richard III in the late 15th century. This makes it the talles gate house in York. Barbican which was torn down by 1825. One of the two additional arches has disappeared too. During the centuries, the gate house was used for several purposes, including as a prison and a police station. After the police moved out in 1914, the tower had no specific purpose until the Richard III Museum moved in in 1992. You can visit the tower only, if you get into the museum.

    The Richard III Museum is decribed in a separate tip under “Other Museums”. If you think my museum tip is not good enough, you may also visit their homepage directly via the link below.

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    Richard III

    by Arizona_Girl Updated Jul 21, 2010

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    Monk's Bar (Tower)

    Being the closed minded American that I am (not that I try to be but I don't know a whole lot about England's history). I didn't know much about Richard III. In the Monk's bar (tower) is a museum about Richard III. Yes it is a little pricey for what you get. But it was worth everything I learned.

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  • Ricmenoli's Profile Photo

    Monk Bar

    by Ricmenoli Updated Sep 2, 2008
    Monk Bar

    Monk Bar, one of York's four gatehouses, is York's tallest and most impressive medieval gatehouse. Its is located between Monkgate and Goodramgate, which in turn leads to Minster Yard and York Minster, inside York's walls. The Richard III Museum is housed in Monk Bar and presents an insight over the life of King Richard III, best known for its reputation of having killed their own nephews in order to assume the throne of England himself (the so-called episode of The Princes in The Tower). Richard III was the last king of the House of Plantagenet and was King of England only for 26 months, and his relation to Monk Bar ir related with the fact that King Richard III added its top storey in the 15th century.

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    Monk Bar

    by Aitana Updated Jul 13, 2008

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    This is the tallest and most elaborate of the four gatehouses. It was built in the early 14th century. Each floor was capable of being defended separately. There is a portcullis, still in good order. The sculpted men hold stones ready to be thrown at the enemy.
    The current gatehouse was built to replace a 12th century gate known as Munecagate, which stood on the site of the Roman gate porta decumana.
    Monk Bar houses the Richard III Museum.

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  • margaretvn's Profile Photo

    Monk Bar.

    by margaretvn Updated Apr 27, 2008

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    This is one of the city’s best original gates. It is situated at the end of Goodramgate. It has three floors and a portcullis that still works. It was a prison in the 16th century. There are decorative details showing men with stones ready to drop onto intruders.
    Here there is a museum - the Richard III museum. The museum shows the case of the murdered "princes in the Tower". So that visitors can judge if their uncle Richard III killed them. It is interesting to visit.

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    Monk Bar

    by Dabs Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    Monk Bar

    Monk Bar is not, as it's name suggests, a place to get libations, bar is actually the name of the gatehouses along York's old city walls. Monk Bar is the tallest of the four main gateways and dates back to 1300.

    I didn't have time to stop inside but the sign outside said that you could visit and see a medieval portcullis, medieval prison cells, the Richard II Museum and an exhibition on the War of the Roses.

    Be sure to look up at the top of the Monk Bar to see the rather curious fellows that are guarding the city.

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    Richard III's Museum

    by ChartIt Written May 14, 2007

    Wow this is a small museum, Has a bit of cheesy nature. It is small, but thankfully the price is small too. THeir ******* offeres a number of coupons that you can use all at once, and even give you a free postcard when you entre. Students and Children have reduced rates. It wont take you long to go through. I could have happily spent an hour in there. They do have an audio recording of fictional trial that would have taken place after RIchard III died accusing him of murdering his two nephews and rivals to the throne. You get to vote on who you think actually mureded the boys. The museum largely consists of laminated signs and information pined together. But really it is enjoyable. You get to explore the actuall Gate, which was used as a prison as well. So you can go into two cells, and learn about the martyers who died there. They also have a way to freak out out, and have a repentence book for those daring enough to climb to the executioners block!

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    Monk Bar

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 26, 2006

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    Monk Bar, seen from Goodramgate
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    Now the really BIG question: Did King Richard III actually murder the two young princes left in his charge? These two boys, Edward Prince of Wales and Richard Duke of York, were in his care, at the Tower of London, when they disappeared. In the 1930s, their skeletons were accidentally discovered by workers who were performing some maintenance on the Tower. Many, including Shakespeare, blame Richard III. But others disagree.

    The King was from York. Here, at Monk Bar, is a museum that tells his story--and allows you, the visitor, to judge whether he's guilty or not. History's ultimate verdict will probably remain deeply controversial. In any case, this modest museum is one of York's most intriguing places to visit. Put aside your preconceived notions, and just consider the facts.

    Don't forget to examine the bar itself, Monk Bar is the tallest and most elaborate, with a working portcullis (door), last lowered in 1953. It dates to the 14th century. If you visit only one of York's bars, make it this one.

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  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    A bit of everything

    by iandsmith Updated Dec 25, 2005

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    A very defensive concept
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    Despite, by this time in the tour, having had your fill of Roman and Viking lore, you should be aware that there is no evidence for a pre-fourteenth century gate on this site.
    Monk Bar consists of a four-storey gatehouse. It is the most elaborate and ornate of the surviving gates. The passageway and two lower storeys have elaborate vaulted roofs.
    The Bar dates from the early fourteenth century. The elaborate design of the gatehouse meant that it could function as a self-contained fortress with each floor capable of being defended.
    Monk Bar still has its portcullis and winding mechanism. In fact, the portcullis was regularly raised and lowered until 1970.
    Monk Bar hosts the Richard III Museum and Theatre Room.

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    Monk Bar

    by Galahad Updated Mar 7, 2005

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    Monk Bar 20.1.05

    This gateway into the city leads into Goodramgate and the Minster. An excellent entrance on to the section of the city wall that goes round two sides of the Minster. Monk Bar itself is 14th Century and houses a small museum on the first floor. The area between Monk Bar and College Street was in the mediaeval period an area housing several monasteries.

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