Queen Margaret’s Arch

Queen Margaret’s Arch is visible on the right-hand side of the above photograph, which dates to around 1885. The arch was built in 1497 and led into the grounds of St. Mary’s Abbey. It is thought the Arch is named after Margaret Tudor, who was the daughter of King Henry VII, who visited the city in 1503.

The above photograph shows York Art Gallery in the centre, which was built in 1878, and much of the area was demolished, but the Arch was retained and is still present today. It narrowly avoided destruction in 1961 however when York City Council’s Development and Planning Committee recommended it be removed to make way for a new traffic island at aid traffic flow in the city.

The English Heritage record for this Arch reads, “Queen Margaret’s Arch: stub wall attached to Postern Tower contains segmental arch, chamfered and with defaced coved hoodmould on outer side; inner side rebated for gates and flanked by buttresses with offsets. Bronze plaque of 1899 incorrectly records date of arch as 1503”.