York Walks /2

Gillygate gardens and Minster precincts

Photographed on 16 March 2004

From the bar walls between Bootham Bar and Monk Bar you have views of the much-admired gardens around the north side of the Minster, above Dean's Park and the Treasurer's House. Less generally admired, but just as interesting in their own way, are the gardens and yards of Gillygate, on the other side of the walls. A comparison of these two views is given below, with Gillygate on the left and the Minster side of the walls on the right (as they are when you're walking from Bootham Bar to Monk Bar).

Gillygate gardens and yards


Gardens of the Minster precincts

The busy, building-filled gardens of Gillygate, backing on to the city walls   Gardens by the Minster, viewed from the city walls, with spring-flowering shrubs and green lawns
The gardens of Gillygate, with a clever bit of advertising by the Mamma Mia restaurant, in the tangle of trees   Lots of space here in the gardens of the Minster precincts
The gardens of Gillygate – a tidily landscaped garden viewed from the city walls   Almost rural – spring flowers under the trees in the gardens of the Minster area
Gillygate houses and gardens, from the city walls   A contrast from the other side of the walls – open space and trees in the Minster precincts
Buildings and daffodils, in Gillygate gardens   Trees and daffodils in Minster gardens
Behind the Gillygate shops and houses, with  one of the towers of the city wall on the right   Minster precincts, all green with spring growth
I think this is the back of  the Bay Horse on Gillygate, though it's hard to see past the tangle of tree branches   Gardens around the Minster precincts, with their wide open spaces
The backs of buildings on Gillygate, with brightly painted window frames, viewed from the city walls.   Buildings around the Minster, where they'd never be allowed to paint their windowframes red

Gillygate suffered from planning "blight" for a long time in the 1970s. There were plans for a new inner ring road in York, and also plans to open up the views of the city walls, which involved demolishing these buildings backing on to the walls (photographed from the front, along with the rest of the street, in a later section on this site – York Walks /3: Gillygate).

By York standards they are not old and venerable, but they are characterful and varied, certainly when viewed from the city walls. Gillygate is now a busy street full of interesting small shops. If the buildings weren't there, what would the view be instead? Traffic. Traffic on a massive ring road. I think most of us are glad that the 1970s vision of York wasn't implemented.

Related pages:

For more photographs and information on Gillygate, see York Walks /3: Gillygate.

For more from these walls, in all seasons, see York Walks /3: Bar walls – Bootham Bar to Monk Bar (summer 2004), York Walks /2: Bar walls – Bootham Bar to Monk Bar (spring 2004) and York Walks /1: Bar walls – Bootham Bar to Monk Bar (Jan-Feb 2004).

And if you're wanting to get off these walls, into this area I keep describing as "The Minster Precincts" – visit Minster Yard.