Ancient Monument Gatehouse To be Re-Roofed

THE 1000-YEAR-OLD Bootham Bar in York, a Grade I listed, Scheduled Ancient Monument is to get a new roof.

The historic fortified gatehouse entry into York city, known as Bootham Bar, features a flat roof between two bartizan, circular turrets.

Heritage Re-Roof

It needs its lead roof, dating from 1970, to be renewed as it is leaking water from the gutters causing the oak roof trusses beneath to rot. The northeast truss in particular is extensively decayed and has been propped temporarily as a precaution until repairs can take place.

The gutters are to be moved to the exterior of the building to prevent future water ingress and improvements are to be made to increase access to the roof for future maintenance through a larger access hatch.

Civil and Structural engineers, Mason Clark Associates has prepared a report on the condition of Bootham Bar, outlining the known repairs that took place during the 20th century. In the report, it is recommended that a main contractor is appointed which is specialist in heritage projects, cautioning that further defects may be uncovered during the roof work, potentially increasing the cost.

In the roof replacement plans, code 7 lead is specified with welted joints on a timber substrate. Code 9 lead is specified for a new gutter with a sump and laid to new falls. New cast iron rainwater goods are also detailed, including chutes and hoppers.

A Heritage, Design and Access Statement from Donald Insall Associates issued in November last year said the deteriorating state of the roof was identified during a 2020 Conservation Management Plan developed by them for City of York Council, alongside historic research and site visits.

Bootham Bar

Bootham Bar is on the site of one of four main entrances that existed to York’s Roman fortress dating from 71 AD. It’s archway dates from the 11th century while the rest of the stone structure was completed in the 14th century. In 1501 a door knocker was added to the gatehouse for any Scots who were required to knock before entering the city once they had obtained permission from the city mayor.

In mediaeval times, Bootham Bar was used to display the decapitated heads of traitors. The structure was almost demolished in the 1830’s, but following public protest was preserved and renovated.

Bootham Bar is still used as a gateway and is part of the York City Walls. It is a tourist attraction and cultural heritage asset open to the public.

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