Multangular Tower, York England

Multangular Tower Audio Guide

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Multangular Tower Quick Facts

  • The Multangular Tower is part of what remains of the original Roman Walls that surrounded and protected the Roman Fortress.
  • The Vikings (Danes) destroyed much of the Roman Walls and Towers at a time when they were not as formidable, but preserved the Multangular Tower.
  • It is called the Multangular Tower because of its shape.
  • Find the path at the left of the structure in Museum Gardens to take a look at the rear of the tower.
  • The tower was possibly constructed in 200A.D. and was one of two corner towers and was part of a huge stone wall overlooking the River Ouse.

Where to find the Multangular Tower

The Multangular Tower is situated within York’s Museum Gardens and it is easy to find using the Museum Street entrance to the park. You will see the structure on your right hand side on entry.

More About Multangular Tower York England

Don't forget to find the path to view the Multangular Tower from the rear.
Don’t forget to find the path to view the Multangular Tower from the rear.

This is the Multangular Tower which is one of two similar towers erected by the Romans. Septimus Severus and Constantine the Great have been named as the tower’s builders but today it’s thought more than likely it is older still, around 100AD. The 2 corner towers facing the Ouse were much bigger than the interval towers between them. This tower is 30ft high and as the name suggests has ten sides but originally there were 14. The sides that are missing were the access to the interior of the tower. You will notice the plinth skirt at the foot of the tower of which foundations were made of a kind of concrete.

Down a narrow drive alongside Kings Manor you will find a short path up the bank to the Multangular Tower.  This legionary fortress served as one of the two corner towers and was probably constructed in 200AD.  It was part of the huge stone wall that looked down into the River Ouse at the bottom of the Museum Gardens.  It was designed in such a way to defend against enemies attacking the wall itself.

St Leonard’s Hospital and Rear View of the Multangular Tower

Today, you can see the inside wall of the structure by following the path to the left towards Kings Manor and using the access on the right-hand side up the bank. Across the other side of the lawn you will see the remnant of a chapel belonging to St Leonard’s Hospital, the largest medieval hospital in the North before being destroyed in the dissolution of the monasteries.

St Leonard's Hospital was the largest in the North of England.
St Leonard’s Hospital was the largest in the North of England.

St Leonard’s Hospital was not the first hospital to exist here as it replaced St Peter’s Hospital that was sadly destroyed by fire in the 1100’s. St Leonard’s was so large that it was within the grounds of York Minster a short walk away. It is no secret that Henry VIII destroyed abbey’s around the country during the dissolution of the monasteries and St Mary’s Abbey was no exception, and neither was St Leonard’s Hospital. In fact, after its destruction, there was not a hospital in York again until the 1700’s.

The chapel undercroft of St Leonard's Hospital is the only part of the structure remaining today.
The chapel undercroft of St Leonard’s Hospital is the only part of the structure remaining today.