York Walks /1

Ripe for redevelopment . . .

Photographed on 21 January 2004

One of the reasons for compiling these pages was to record some parts of York as they are now, before they change. So many streetscapes have altered already beyond recognition, as a result of the demand for housing and "brownfield land".

There's a large area of brownfield land between the Stonebow and the River Foss. I wouldn't want the whole of York to look like this area, pictured below, but these shabby, semi-derelict areas have their own kind of atmosphere, which I tried to record, before it disappears. There are more views of this area, taken from across the river, in By the Foss – 1990 and 2004.

Abandoned Derwent Coachworks building, Dundas Street, off Stonebow.

Left: Dundas Street, off Stonebow

'The post-war developments alongside the Stonebow are well-intentioned but mediocre, and to the rear the land remains under-exploited or contains miscellaneous industrial uses.'

Lord Esher, 1968

This land is still 'under-exploited', but soon to be redeveloped.

Land between Peasholme Green and the Foss, with the tower of the incinerator of Foss Islands Road tip visible behind the line of trees.

Between Peasholme Green and the Foss. The tall chimney of the incinerator at the Foss Islands tip is visible on the skyline behind the trees, and the DEFRA building is on the left. (See Foss Islands Road, Navigation Road and Walmgate.)


For more photos of this area, from the other side of the Foss, see By the Foss – 1990 and 2004.

Below: Carmelite Street/Palmer Lane area, off Stonebow

Disused building, Carmelite Street/Palmer Lane area, off Stonebow.

This may look like a derelict industrial area now, but the land around here holds all kinds of secrets. The ancient Gild of Cordwainers (shoemakers) once had their Hall here in the Hungate area.

Hungate, looking towards Stonebow.

'At the farther end of Hungate, on the left of the street called Palmer Lane (formerly Pound Lane) stood the church of St. John the Baptist, in which Richard Russel, Lord Mayor in 1430, and John Thirsk, Lord Mayor in 1442 and 1462, both of whom resided in Hungate, were buried.'

C B Knight – This is York (1954)

Archaeological excavation in recent years has revealed more of this area's history. See The Hungate Archaeological Project (external link)

Above: Looking towards Stonebow from the Hungate area. See also – the other half of Stonebow and Hungate in York Walks /2.

Alongside the old telephone exchange on Garden Place, looking towards the entrance to Straker's Passage.

Alongside the old telephone exchange, Garden Place. Straker's Passage is at the end of the wall here on the left.

Looking up: the old telephone exchange and its communications mast.

Telephone exchange, Garden Place. This building, says Ronald Willis, in his Portrait of York (1982) was one of the first on the Stonebow site, and was "highly praised" at the time.

Imagine York is a searchable collection of photographs of York. It includes an image of the telephone exchange when it was new, fifty years ago: Photo of York telephone exchange, 1954, from the Imagine York collection – © City of York Council.

Phone mast, disused phone exchange

It was probably hi-tech at one time.

Some rather ugly, but functional buildings, draped with a banner advertising how someone thinks they could improve the area and give it a silly new name.

Despite the visions depicted for the area on the nearby 'Castle Quarter' banner, just up-river (see above), the Banana Warehouse hangs on cheerily, rather like the strange figure holding a chair by its riverside doors.

Above: buildings by the Foss, near Clifford's Tower.

Related pages: another major area due for redevelopment is York Central (aka the York Teardop) – part of the site is covered in York Walks /3: York's other railway museum.