88-96 Walmgate, York, YO1 9TL, United Kingdom

Tel: 01904 231 333


Fax: 01904 231 334

Email: info@inyoryk.co.uk



Walmgate; 900 years of history

Our boutique hotel in York is situated on one of the oldest streets in the city. Walmgate Bar was originally built in the 12th century and some of the buildings standing today date back to the 14th century.

The Bar is the most complete of York's four medieval gateways - the only one still to have its barbican, portcullis and wooden inner doors. It has stood guard at the south-east corner of the city for almost 1000 years. 

The area in which our York hotel stands has weathered many threats throughout its 900-year history.


Walmgate through the Middle Ages


The inner stone gateway dates back to about 1100, so it is a good 150 years older than most of York's stone bar walls. The Barbican itself dates from the 1300s and the wooden gates from the 1400s. Throughout medieval times, a watchkeeper was based at the Bar, who would have checked visitors coming into the city.

Traitors' heads were displayed from Walmgate Bar in medieval times, as they were at other York bars. In 1469, the head and banner of Robert Hillyard (Hob of Holderness) were displayed above the gate. Robert (or Hob) seems to have been the leader of a rebellion that may have been in part a protest at an ancient tax in northern England levied by St Leonard's Hospital. Twenty years later, in 1489, the Bar was badly burned by rioters, who again seem to have been protesting about taxes.


Civil War on our doorstep


The Bar's most serious test came in 1644 when Parliamentary forces were besieging the city.

It was bombarded by cannon from Lamel Hill and St Lawrence's churchyard. Two cannons were then put in the street near the Bar, and another a 'stone's throw' away. The Parliamentary army also began to dig two mines, with the aim of tunnelling under the Bar and blowing it up from underneath. But they were foiled by the defenders. The Royalists dug a counter-tunnel and flooded the mines that the Parliamentarians had been building.

It didn't save the city: York surrendered to the Parliamentarians on July 16, 1644. Walmgate Bar had been badly damaged, but by 1648 had been repaired.

Almost 200 years later, in 1836, unexploded Civil War mortar shells were found while workmen were working on a nearby drain, according to the Inventory of the Historical Monuments of York. By this time, the Bar had fallen into neglect.


The Victorian Walmgate Slum


It survived a recommendation by the York estates Committee in 1831 for the Barbican to be demolished. And in 1840, the Bar was fully restored by the York Corporation.

You wouldn’t know by looking at it today but, by the mid-19th century, Walmgate the street on which our York hotel now stands had become a notorious slum. It was at the bottom of the social scale in York. Its population had grown rapidly due to an influx of Irish immigrants, whose numbers, though falling, continued to be considerable at the end of the century."

A letter to the York Herald in January 1870 gives a good idea of what the area was like. It describes "a number of men and women" standing nearby, "making remarks upon passers-by, obstructing the footpath and indulging in the most obscene and filthy language even on a sabbath day." Such a thing would never happen in York today, of course.

Within living memory, many York people of a certain age still remember the cattle market on Paragon Street- just around the corner from our hotel in York. It was there from 1827 until the mid-1970s - and the pens stretched right up to the Barbican of Walmgate Bar.

Today the Bar hosts a number of shops, restaurants, bars and two churches as well as our boutique, York hotel.

Book your stay at our York hotel and discover more of our neighbourhood’s fascinating history.

We have just had a super stay here celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. The location was ideal for us only a short walk to the restaurants, bars and shops and the car park only 2 minutes walk away. The rooms are amazing very comfortable and clean. There were some complimentary nibbles in our room when we arrived which were amazing and greatly appreciated and made our stay even more special.

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Hotel Indigo York Reviews



A lovely hotel within walking distance to the centre of York. Very friendly, helpful staff on reception, bar area and dining room. The rooms were immaculately clean and well presented. The bed was absolutely huge and was extremely comfortable. The hotel has a modern, funky feel to it and was very welcoming. The breakfast was superb . Would definitely stay here again.



<p>Conveniently positioned within easy walking distance of the city and Minster. This was our third visit so obviously we’re fans. That said although the previous visits were excellent this time the stay was even better. On check in we were given a complimentary upgrade to a superior room as IHG elite members. The room was spacious, clean and well furnished. Large TV. Massive comfortable bed with high quality bedding. Complimentary snacks with fresh milk and the bonus of a Nespresso coffee machine complete with six “pods”. Decent sized bathroom which was clean and well stocked with quality toiletries. Breakfast on both mornings was excellent. Wide choice of hot and cold items. Plenty of quality juices and smoothies. Service excellent even when busy nothing seems rushed. Very highly recommended.</p>



Excellent hotel. Rooms very nice and extremely clean and quiet. Friendly staff both at reception and restaurant. Breakfast had fantastic choice. Location was really good lots of nice bars and restaurants just minutes away. Short walk to the Shambles and they offered parking just 2 minutes away for a small daily charge. Would definitely stay again. 5 Stars.


Perth, Australia

We have found that it’s the little things that make a huge difference when you’re travelling. They’ve nailed the little things here! You’re always warmly greeted when you pass reception. Comfortable bed, soft towels, immaculate room and free chocolate in the fridge! Breakfast is delicious and finally a coffee I enjoyed. Location is fabulous and parking was easy. Well done to the Team at Hotel Indigo.



We stayed at the Indigo for my birthday recently. It was very modern with quirky room features. The breakfast was world class - such a great variety of treats, including a good selection of gluten and dairy free food. The staff were very helpful and attentive.


Milton Keynes

Stayed for 2 nights, very good quality modern hotel with good sized rooms and breakfast. Cold buffet and hot food freshly cooked to order . Great location within a 5/10 minute walk of York center. Would highly recommend.



<p>My partner, daughter and I stayed for 3 nights on a city break in April 2018. The room was great, Fresh milk in the complimentary mini fridge, fantastic big bed, really really clean, excellent room service and thick black out curtains. The service was excellent from all the staff at all times - reception staff were helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. The breakfast was also fantastic, so much choice on offer and again, nothing was too much trouble. The hotel is really well located for the city. It was excellent value for money and we would definitely stay there again. Absolutely 10/10 all round.</p>


South Ayrshire

This is a nice hotel in a quiet area of York, but still within easy walking distance of the city centre / shambles walls etc. Lovely continental breakfast and a quiet bar area. Ideal if you want a bit of peace in a busy city.



Stayed one night in this hotel ,was very impressed. A warm welcome on arrival from the receptionist and the room was ready ahead of check in time. The room was lovely, very luxurious with lots of nice touche. Biscuits, chocolate and drinks in fridge. Very close to main town and York Minster. Had a lovely evening meal in the hotel restaurant, very reasonable priced and a nice breakfast in the morning before leaving. Would definitely stay here again.



Lovely hotel close to York centre and near all the main sites. Within 5 minutes walk to the Shambles. Excellent staff and facilities. On arrival complimentary mini treats in room due to it being my Birthday. Complimentary water and chocolate and biscuits in room together with tea making facilities. Made the 2 night stay in York most enjoyable. Would definitely stay there again and recommend.


Greater Manchester

We had a very pleasant stay on a Saturday night when visiting York. The hotel is only a few minutes walk from the Shambles and central York area. The staff were all good and friendly with good check in service and also in the bar. The breakfast choice and service was also very good. The room and the hotel was decorated very well. We stay here again if staying in York.

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