The Praetorian Gate was originally the main entrance to York during the Roman period, also known as the Porta Praetoria. The gate was rebuilt in around 300 AD and it is thought that there were originally two arches.
The gate is no longer present having been demolished many centuries ago, although there is a plaque noting the former location of the gate which is situated on Harker’s, on St. Helen’s Square. The building which is now Harker’s was constructed in 1824 for The Yorkshire Insurance Company, taking its name from the nearby Harker’s Hotel, and it was then that excavations discovered evidence of the former Roman gateway.
In 2004 plans were drawn up to build a replica gate to mark the 2005 York Roman Festival, and to show the importance of Roman history to the city, although the recreation didn’t take place.