Walmgate Bar was constructed during the twelfth century at the end of Walmgate, although most of what exists today was added in the fourteenth century. A house was built on the bar in 1584, and the bar was damaged during the Civil War and still has some marks left by cannonballs which hit it.
In 1830 a number of houses situated by the bar were burgled by lifting the doors from their hinges and removing items from inside. The barbican of the bar was nearly demolished in 1831, as was already the case with other bars in the city, but public pressure saved the barbican and this is now the city’s only remaining example. Completing this reversal of fortunes the bar itself was restored in 1840 and an archway to the side was added at the same time, with another gateway added in 1862.
In January 1870 a letter was sent to the York Herald, noting that there were a number of men and women who were standing on alleys, “making remarks upon passer-bys, obstructing the footpath and indluging in the most obscene and filthy language even on a sabbath day”.
The gate today also retains the portcullis and its fifteenth century oak doors.