Anglian Tower, Museum Gardens, York

Located in Museum Gardens close to the Multangular Tower the recently restored Anglian Tower is one of only two non-ecclesiastical Anglo-Saxon structures in the Country.

Rediscovered in 1839 and restored in 1969-1971 the original construction date of the tower is unclear, however it is thought to be  late Roman or Dark Age British which dates it in the region on AD300-700 with it being buried in AD900.

The original two-storey tower, of which only one storey remains is thought to have been an addition to the original Roman City Walls, possibly part of the reconstruction of the City’s defences as ordered by King Edwin of Deira (who ruled AD616-633), however there is controversy over this.

The Anglian Tower was buried in AD900 when the walls were backfilled to create ramparts, and although was rediscovered in 1839 wasn’t excavated until 1969-71.

The following image shows the extent of the growth with each occupation.

Ramparts and earth bank grew with each occupation. Roman – Dark Ages – Norman – Medieval

A plaque on the site today is sited in memory of Jeffrey Radley, an archaeologist who died in an accident on the site in July 1970, it reads:

This plaque is erected to the memory of Jeffrey Radley M.A.E.S.A. who carried out the excavation of the tower and was tragically killed in a subsequent accident at the site on July 22nd 1970.

Thanks to Carlos62 for the main Anglian Tower image featuring the original plaques which sadly are now missing.


York resident and regular contributor. Fascinated by this historic city and always keen to promote local, independent businesses. The man taking the photographs and tweeting from jorvik

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