Richard III & Henry VII Experience, Monk Bar, York

4 out of 5 stars 20 Reviews

6 Goodramgate, York, North Yorkshire YO1 7LQ +oo 44 (0)1904 615505

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  • Inside Richard III Experience at Monk Bar
    Inside Richard III Experience at Monk...
    by spidermiss
  • Inside Monk Bar
    Inside Monk Bar
    by spidermiss
  • Entrance to Monk Bar from Monkgate
    Entrance to Monk Bar from Monkgate
    by spidermiss
  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Monk Bar

    by antistar Updated Sep 23, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The bars are the gates in York's city walls. Micklegate is probably the most famous, but Monk Bar is the biggest and most ornate of them all. It's a formidable structure - look closely and you'll see its design is not just for show. The gate comes complete with loopholes for arrows and murder holes for pouring burning pitch onto the heads of invaders. It's a fully functioning miniature fortress, although today it houses not archers but the Richard III museum.

    Monk Bar, York

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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Monk Bar

    by spidermiss Written Aug 11, 2014

    Monk Bar is one of the four fortified gateways on the city walls with its 'bartizan' towers. It first was built in the 1300s, when the threat of Scotland was high and the top storey was added in 1484, during Richard III reign.

    Monk Bar had great defensive features at the time which had a grated barbican, a roofless wall enclosure to guard the main gateway's approach. The main gateway contained a medieval gate (portcullis), aided with machinery for operation, and 'murder holes for any attackers drawing close to the city.

    The Monk Bar including the portcullis was restored at the beginning of the 20th Century and has been used a temporary prison and a Police house which contains two 'garder odes' (medieval toilets).

    The Monk Bar houses the Richard III Experience which is an excellent exhibition about the King's reign.

    Monk Bar, York Monk Bar off Monkgate Entrance to Monk Bar from Monkgate Entrance to Monk Bar from Monkgate Inside Monk Bar
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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Richard III Experience at Monk Bar

    by spidermiss Updated Aug 10, 2014

    I'm intrigued about Richard III (1452-1485) and wanted to learn more about him. Out of curiousity I went to to the Richard III Experience at Monk Bar.

    The exhibition tells you about the build up to Richard III reign (1483-85); his residency in Yorkshire, and the battles that raged between the houses of Lancaster and York including the War of the Roses; his reign and his death at The Battle of Bosworth. Richard III is considered controversial especially the build up to his reign and known as 'a hump-backed' monster which Shakespeare focussed on in his play. There is a conflicting evidence backing these claims so nothing is really proved and confirmed. There was information about the remains of his body being discovered at a car park in Leicester lately near where the Battle of Bosworth took place and evidence suggests that the DNA and skeleton is of Richard III.

    A bit about Monk Bar (will plan to do a full tip in the future):
    Monk Bar is a four story gatehouse which dates back to the 1300s with an additional floor was added in the 1400s. Monk Bar played a crucial role in Richard III presence in York.

    The experience cost me 3.50 gbp (June 2014) but you can revisit for free within 12 months of visiting the attraction. It opens 10.00am-5.00pm from April to November and 10.00am-4.00pm from November to March.

    Richard III Experience at Monk Bar Richard III Experience at Monk Bar Inside Richard III Experience at Monk Bar Inside Richard III Experience at Monk Bar Monk Bar, York
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  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    Monk Bar - Richard III Museum

    by ettiewyn Updated Nov 25, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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

    by Myfanwe Written Jan 11, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a great little museum which we happened to come accross whilst walking along the City walls. It is one of York's best kept secrets; situated in York's tallest and most impressive Medieval Gatehouse - Monk Bar. Built in the 14th Century as part of York's famous City Walls it was originally a guard house and has been both a prison and a police house, lived in until 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 is said to have been added by King Richard himself in 1484, allegedly supervising its construction and paying for it out of his own money.
    In 1992 it was decided to convert Monk Bar into the Richard III Museum, in honour of the King many felt had been unjustly maligned by historians.
    As well as the exhibition where Richard is put on trial, you are invited to sit as juror and then decide if he was guilty or not guilty. There is a great gift shop at the entrance to the museum - it's a bit like an aladin's cave!

    This museum is well worth a visit and unlike a lot of attractions in York is relatively inexpensive to visit. During our time of visit we held a 'Hidden Secrets' pass following a visit to the Roman Baths so had a further reduction on our admission. (see general tip).

    Monk Bar Richard III Museum Richard III Museum Richard III Museum Richard III Museum
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    Richard III Museum at Monk Bar

    by zadunajska8 Written Nov 5, 2011

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    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!

    Monk Bar & Richard III Museum
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    RICHARD III MUSEUM-Monk Bar

    by EdinburghRoc Updated Jul 26, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Richard III in Monk Bar
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    Monk Bar

    by Balam Written Oct 11, 2010

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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.

    Monk Bar Monk Bar Monk Bar Monk Bar
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    Monkgate Bar (Monk Bar)

    by Airpunk Written Aug 31, 2010

    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.

    Monk Bar Gate Monk Bar Gate The porticullis of Monk Bar Gate
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    Richard III

    by Arizona_Girl Updated Jul 21, 2010

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    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.

    Monk's Bar (Tower)
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    Richard III Museum

    by Sjalen Updated Jun 18, 2010

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    This museum believes, as does the Richard III Society, that Richard was innocent and did NOT kill his nephews in the Tower of London. What did he have to gain? His own son was dead...Shakespeare wrote the play he wrote because he wrote for the winning side - the Tudors. Go there and make up your mind.

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    Monk Bar

    by Ricmenoli Updated Sep 2, 2008

    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.

    Monk Bar

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  • Aitana's Profile Photo

    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 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.

    Monk Bar

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