Tuesday, 24 November 2015 15:19

Walmgate Bar

Walmgate Bar in York was originally the main south-east medieval gateway through the historic city walls. The Scheduled Monument comprises a stone gateway with two-storey building above with elements dating to the 12th century, together with the best-preserved stone barbican in the country, as well as an Elizabethan timber extension at the rear supported on stone pillars.

In 2013, S&CC Ltd were asked to prepare a scheme of protection, strengthening, conservation and restoration works for Walmgate Bar, for York City Council. The project was undertaken as part of other works by the firm around the City Walls.

 

Stabilisation of the gateway tower and the attached barbican required innovative solutions. The aim was also to prevent the need for further structural maintenance of the fabric within 50 years.  

Works to the timber-framed Elizabethan extension to the medieval stone gatehouse required particularly complex engineering. Most critically, modifications to the first and second storey timber tower, now used as a café, had to improve stability by moving load paths and design for the eventuality of vehicle damage to the two vulnerable supporting posts at ground level. S&CC Ltd was asked to prepare designs to protect these posts and reduce the risk of highway impact, so allowing the removal of the unsightly temporary propping around the stone columns.

Other features of the restoration programme included replacement of the cracked grey render to the rear timber frame; improved insulation using hemp lime render, making the building more serviceable; provision for the public to walk around the barbican walls with new handrails; and alterations to allow the public to access the roof to enjoy the views with a new balustrade and decking.