This is the first of a series of 30 pictures taking you on a guided tour of the snickelways of York. It follows a route suggested in a great little book by Mark W Jones with that same title. The copy I have is the 8th edition but that is a few years old now and there have probably been a few more.
A snickelway is another word for a snicket, ginnel or alleyway and York is riddled with them. They allow you to escape from the crowds and the traffic and see some parts of York that most don't, as well as taking in all the major attractions.
The walk starts here at Bootham Bar. There has been a gateway here for nearly 2000 years - Bootham Bar is on the site of one of the four main entrances to the Roman fortress that stood here.
The existing structure is not Roman but it has been around for quite a while. The archway itself dates from the 11th century and the rest of the structure is largely from the 14th century. In 1501 a door knocker was installed as Scots were required to knock first and seek permission from the Lord Mayor to enter the city.
Its name is said to derive from an ancient description as 'the place of the booths', referring to the poor huts located just outside the city walls.
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