York Walks /3

Bishophill details

Photographed in 2004

Bishophill is an area within the city walls, with the walls on two of its sides, and Skeldergate and Micklegate on its other boundaries. There's something about this area, particularly if you wander through it on a summer's evening. It feels like a well-loved place.

Perhaps one of the things that makes Bishophill feel like a definite community is the fact that it is enclosed on two sides by the city walls. Victoria Bar is a relatively recent opening in the walls, as this handsome plaque indicates. It reads:
"Victoria Bar – erected by public subscription under the direction of the City Commissioners – A.D. 1838 – George Hudson Esqre – Lord Mayor".

  Victoria Bar
Former industrial building, Bishophill  

If you follow St Martin's Lane from Micklegate, you come to a junction in Bishophill where several roads meet ahead of you. On the corner of Bishophill Junior and Bishophill Senior is this building, once a warehouse for T Cooke & Sons, more recently converted to residential use. It's impressive on its corner site, much larger than the rest of the buildings around.

Around the corner on Bishophill Senior is a churchyard where once was a church, demolished in the 1960s. A memorial to Gentle Vickers, who fought at the battle of Waterloo, is among the remaining headstones.

In the area now occupied by Buckingham Street there was at one time a grand mansion belonging to Thomas Fairfax, and later his son-in-law the Duke of Buckingham.

This sign is easy to miss, on a wall set back from the pavement, on an otherwise unremarkable-looking building on Cromwell Road. I guess the people who live here wouldn't want large groups of tourists visiting – fair enough. I visited once, about ten years ago, and remember a small walled burial ground, hidden behind houses, and very peaceful.

John Woolman, who is mentioned here, died in a house on Marygate Lane, and a plaque has been placed there to commemorate his life.

  Society of Friends (Quaker) burial ground, Bishophill

'Modern York has given us the amenities of City life, it has provided the City with drains, it has paved our streets, supplied us with water, gas and electricity. It has given us schools, parks and playgrounds, cleared away the slums and rehoused a large part of our citizens. Were a Roman soldier living here today he would make a willing offering to the genius of the place*.'
– J B Morrell, The City of our Dreams (1955)

* [Latin 'genio loci' – as recorded in two of the Roman inscriptions discovered in York.]

Trinity Lane is on the edge of Bishophill, joining Micklegate. The street contains the rather beautiful Jacob's Well, and its ornate carved doorway.

Jacob's Well, Trinity Lane   Jacob's Well – sign
Jacob's Well – carved doorway  

Holy Trinity Rectory – doorway

See also:
York Walks /3: Carr's Lane – from Bishophill down to the riverside
An earlier visit – mainly Priory Street – York Walks /1: Priory St and Bishophill
York Walks /1: Skeldergate – the riverside road marking the edge of the area of Bishophill
York Walks /1: Bonding Warehouse – on Skeldergate