Walks and Talks: 

With only 2 weeks to go until the York Walls Festival 2019 we are nearly prepared for festival weekend! Have you planned what activities you will be doing yet? Here’s a reminder about what walks/ talks we have on offer for you!  

York’s Red Brick Treasures Walk: 

Firstly, we have the Red Brick York Walk. Ian Tempest, a Red Tower volunteer, will lead a FREE walk celebrating York’s most important red brick buildings and the history of York! 

Where: Starting from King’s Manor (York) 

When: Saturday 10th August 2:00pm 

No booking required – just turn up!  

This walk will conclude at Red Tower York where a FREE Barbecue Plus will be just beginning! You cannot miss out! 


GoodOrganisation Gavin Sullivan Walk:


This 60 minute FREE tour starts from in front of York Explore Library at 10.00 & 12.00 on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of the festival, no booking –just turn up! 

Children will be encouraged to participate and interact, being active in traditional games, creative in activities, imaginative in taking themselves back in time! They should be prepared for some horrible yet wonderful stories! The tour is however no fairy story and the stories of the past are true. 

This tour has been specially created for the festival and offered free as a result of cooperation between Friends of York Walls and GoodOrganisationGoodOrganisation works to help people affected by homelessness benefit from ‘tourism with a difference’. Since June this year Gavin has offered a 90 minute family fun tour booked through www.goodorganisation.co.uk . 

He writes: “I quickly realised I could offer a child and family friendly tour having built up skills in childcare doing roles such as playworker, teaching assistant and being a Dad to two children. The tour is something I feel passionate about and it is my wish to give what I have learnt to others who would like to know more about York. I have had my troubles in the past but the tour has given me more focus to achieve and look towards a brighter future.” 


APP Walk:  

Our APP also offers guided quests/ walks! 

Our Adult Tour starts from Fishergate Postern Tower and takes you on a guided walk to Monk Bar! The Children’s quest starts at Multangular Tower in Museum Gardens and takes you on a fun filled quest to Old Baille!  

For instructions on how to use the app refer to our designated ‘Mobile Phone App’ page on our website here 

Download the APP now from the APP store (iPhone) or the Google Play Store (Android). 

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.yorgame.yorkwallsfestival2019  

iPhone: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/york-walls-festival/id1462419922  

*Needs android 6.0+ (2015 onwards) or iPhone 5S and up. 


Morris Dancing: 

Time your walk from Fishergate Postern Tower to Walmgate Bar just right to catch sight of Ebor Morris! They will be Morris dancing from 12pm –2pm on Sunday 11th August – don’t miss them! 


Million Step Man Update: 

We caught up with the Million Step Man last week! Brian will be walking the walls for 24 hours to raise awareness for York Mind! You can guess how many steps he will do within the 24 hours for a £1 donation, with the chance to win a cash prize! There will also be an activity card where you can hole punch your card at given venues. If you collect all of the hole punches you will get a certificate! Bring your completed card to retrieve your certificate from our Festival Information Point in Museum Gardens (near Multangular Tower).  

Keep an eye on our social media to see an interview of Brian telling us why he’s doing a 24 hour walking challenge around the York City Walls for York Mind! 

Give to Brian’s just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/remember-breathe  


Barry Crump’s talk – ‘What the Walls meant to Medieval York’  

Barry Crump delivered two pre-festival talks yesterday on ‘What the Walls meant to Medieval York’. Both talks lasted an hour with a Q&A session at the end and were full of people who were eagerly anticipating the York Walls Festival 2019 on the 10th and 11th August.

I will briefly explain some of the aspects Barry Crump talked about. Barry stated that the Walls peaked in the late 1300’s and then declined due to lack of maintenance. He argued that as wealth declined, the walls became neglected. However, he also argued that when people became increasingly richer they were less inclined to public spending (quite like today). 

Barry discussed the City walls and their functions. He stated that at their peak the Walls were a formidable defence. Barry explained that the Walls were initially constructed to act as a defence for the city. However, he also explained that an idea of what somethings purpose is, is not always the reality. He argued that the walls have helped York in regards to protection, however they are not invincible. 

Barry stated that from 1251-1449 it was in the King’s interest to have towns and cities well protected. Therefore, the walls would raise money in order to keep up the maintenance of the walls. This was able to function due to taxes and trade; the walls have kept themselves up through tolls. Barry argued that building stone city walls are a huge benefit to a city as they improve trade. They also hand over a sense of control over who can enter the city. Barry then discussed the use of the walls for ceremonies and propaganda. It is notable that Monarchs have to be allowed in to the city which is an opportunity for the city to display loyalty and power.

In contrast Barry also discussed the negative aspects of the walls. He stated that the walls were used for display. In medieval times there were severed heads, whips and stocks at each of the Bars. Micklegate Bar continued to have heads on spikes long after the Wars of the Roses had ended. Barry argued that this was a necessary evil at the time as there was no army or no police force; display and example are important tools to emphasise the power of the Corporation and the walls were an essential part of that.

To conclude the talk Barry stated that the everyday reality is more interesting than the fiction. The walls and the medieval period in general are dramatised and romanticised, however a modern day society will never understand the walls during them times due to lack of context, socially and physically. Individuals will possess different interpretations due to the context of their own personal understanding. 


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