Red Tower York England

Red Tower Audio Guide

Red Tower Quick Facts

  • The Red Tower is the city walls only red brick structure.
  • The materials used to build the tower caused fatal controversy between the stone merchants and the tilers.
  • It was constructed in 1490
  • The tower now serves as a small cafe and has been restored inside.

Where to Find The Red Tower

Red Tower in More Detail

The Red Tower is another good location to begin a walk around the full circuit of the city walls due to the access here.  It is close at hand to Walmgate Bar and walking clockwise around the circuit brings you out at Layerthorpe Bridge where you can head townwards towards The Shambles. 

The red tower is the only brick construction on the city walls and was constructed in 1490, though it wasn’t called the red tower until around 1511. The construction material failed to impress the local stone merchants that even caused a fatal dispute.  Sabotage was employed due to unhappy masons due to the tilers employment and this lead to them petitioning the city council to protect them from the masons.  However, this was to no avail because tiler John Patrick was murdered by two of the stone masons. The two masons were charged with murder, William Hindley and Christopher Homer. However, they were later acquitted.

Sadly after 1511, over time it fell into disrepair and by 1736 the tower was in ruins. More happily it was restored in 1800 and was then known as Brimstone House. This was because it was bing used to manufacture gun-powder.

Unlike Fishergate Postern Tower it only has two storeys and a room contained within the roof structure.

The Red Tower was controversial and fatal disputes occurred between the stone merchants and the tilers.
The Red Tower was controversial and fatal disputes occurred between the stone merchants and the tilers.