What can YOU say in six sentences?
York’s four main bars survive intact. In medieval times, these gatehouses used to restrict traffic by extracting tolls, and were also used as defensive positions in times of war.
Micklegate Bar, which was built between the 12th and 14th centuries, stands across the ancient route from London to York. Kings and queens have passed here and it has also been witness to some of the bloodiest moments in the city’s long history - it now houses a small museum where you can discover much of York’s past.
The severed heads of traitors were displayed here on spikes, as were those of the Jacobites captured in the 1745 Risings; in 1461, the then Duke of York had his head spiked at Micklegate so that, as Queen Margaret says in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, “York may overlook the town of York”.
Thankfully, you won’t find any disembodied heads today!