Ruins of Hull's famous Beverley Gate could be buried again: Amphitheatre marks spot where King Charles was denied entry to city
IT IS an historic medieval gateway to a city that once refused entry to a king.
Now, remains of the former town walls and 14th-Century Beverley Gate could be filled in as part of a new city centre makeover.
The remains have been on public display for more than 20 years after being discovered by archaeologists.
They stand in a purpose- built sunken amphitheatre between Whitefriargate and Queen Victoria Square, where King Charles I was famously refused entry into Hull in 1642. It was an act of defiance that helped trigger the English Civil War.
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But now the whole area could be transformed with the amphitheatre being filled in after initial talks between Hull City Council and English Heritage.
Councillor Steven Bayes, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "There is a pinch-point at the top of Whitefriargate caused by what is there at the moment and it does cut off Whitefriargate to some degree.
"We have had discussions with English Heritage to find out what their view would be if it was covered over again.
"Their answer was that they did not think they would be overtly opposed to the idea.
"They stressed that if we were going to do it, we had to make sure any scheme was well thought-out.
"I would stress there is currently no scheme on the table but to have English Heritage saying they would not oppose it in principle is an important first step.
"Having that in place hopefully avoids the sort of arguments now going on over the cobbles in Beverley's Saturday Market."
Options for the remains of the walls and the gatehouse could include moving them to ground level to create a new tourist attraction.
Both Hull City Council and conservation body English Heritage provided funding towards the original conservation project in the mid-1980s.
Councillor Bayes said any major physical work in the city centre would inevitably require significant funding.
But he said the new community infrastructure levy could help pay for some of the proposed facelift schemes in the city centre.
The levy allows councils to raise funding from developers carrying out new building works as part of any planning permission.
Cllr Bayes said: "The landscape of the city centre is a bit patchy and a lot of things put in during the 1980s are looking a bit tired.
"There will be competition from councillors wanting any money to be spent on footpaths and schemes in their own wards but we also have to take a long-term view about improving the city centre because it is a major asset."
Launching the City Plan last month, council chief executive Darryl Stephenson said the city needed to make more of its tourism potential and its links with the start of the Civil War. He said: "If this had happened in York, there would be re-enactments going on every week."