Micklegate Bar: Overall view of the gatehouse from the city side
The name of this four-storey-high gatehouse is from the Old Norse 'mykla gata' or 'great street', and leads onto Micklegate, the main street. It was the traditional ceremonial gate for monarchs entering the city (from the south), who, in a tradition dating to Richard II in 1389, touch the state sword when entering the gate. A 12th century gatehouse was replaced in the 14th century with a heavy portcullis and barbican (no longer extant). The upper two floors contain living quarters, which today are a museum of the bar, and the city. Its symbolic value led to traitors' decapitated heads being displayed on the defences. York has more miles of intact wall than any other city in England.