My Castle Gateway 2: Walking Tour

Over the first weekend in July, the My Castle Gateway team took to the pavements and have been touring, with residents and visitors, around the area of The Castle and Eye of York.

Walking and talking, those who joined us have  been discussing the future potential and plans for the area in and around the soon to be former Castle Car Park.

Did you miss it?

Don’t worry, we took the tour (and a camera) so you don’t have to!

We’re looking at how the new public space – set to replace the Castle car park (which is being replaced on St George’s Field by 2021) will look and feel, and connect to the rest of the city.

The Castle Gateway masterplan includes a new building here, at the back of Coppergate Shopping Centre ().

And potentially a new extension to York Castle Museuam  ()  where the Shakespeare Rose Theatre ( ) sits currently.

It would provide better access to the museum and an improved welcome area.

What activities would you like to see in the new space, indoors and outdoors?

Our tour groups include York residents who think children need open space to let off steam, such as water features they’ve experienced in other cities or space allowing them to run on a section of this grass motte surrounding the tower.

Others also value a space offering opportunities to respect and reflect on significant events in Clifford’s Tower’s history.

In re-imagining this space, we also want to understand how we can make the most of the views of the River Foss, which can be opened up here allowing greater access to the water.

Tour groups have suggested York’s museum gardens (@MuseumGardens) and city park in Bradford (@CityParkBD)are great examples of public space that works.

We’ve been considering how we can create a space which works really well for events (which generally require flat, open spaces)while also inviting people in for social gatherings, picnics and relaxation.

Tours like this and many other events continue over the summer. You can book on by visiting the My Castle Gateway events page here

This four lane street cuts the area off from Tower Gardens and the Ouse beyond it. The public realm works provide an opportunity to improve the connections and flow between the two spaces, allowing people to enjoy the nearby riverside space and have easier access to it.

The York Castle Museum () is central to the plans for the area.

The museum hopes to remove the much more recent building which acts as the current entrance and links the museum’s two buildings. This would allow people to move through and enjoy the original Castle wall which sits behind it.

Removing this building would also open into the garden area to connect to new public walking and pedestrian routes.

Read more about the Castle Museum’s plans for transformation from Reyahn King, Chief Executive of the York Museum Trust here.

The museum also has to work out how to interpret and incorporate the infamous ‘last drop’ (where executions used to take place) which sits on the end of the building which is set for a new extension.

The below overgrown area round the back of the  museum will be cleared and open up to become a new pedestrian walkway.

Coming out into the space pictured below, which is currently part of the museum’s grounds.

This space will be where the new pedestrian/cycle bridge over the River Foss will land.

Proposals include revealing a fantastic view of Clifford’s Tower and pedestrian route through to the Eye of York through this wall (below).

This really important site includes these original drawbridge footings. The gates in the bottom left corner of this picture will mark the connection between the new routes and a new supercrossing for cyclists and pedestrians over the ring road from St George’s Field(the site of the new car park to replace Castle Car Park).

Our tour finishes with a reminder of the powerful stories the York Castle Museum has to tell about our city, including graffiti like below, from a prisoner back in 1831.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, why not come to one of our many events over the summer to hear ideas and share your thoughts on the project.

Book on at or offer your thoughts to us on Twitter.

Follow for more events and conversations.

Leave a comment