York Walks /3

Carr's Lane, Bishophill

Photographed in 2004

'A delightful short-cut leading from Skeldergate up to Bishophill Senior. It climbs (more steeply than any other York thoroughfare) and twists between old brick and stone walls, stone paved and cobbled, and passes the churchyard of the demolished St Mary Bishophill Senior'
– David Lloyd, in the Esher Report (1968)

  Carr's Lane, July 2004
Carr's Lane, towards Bishophill   Carr's Lane
Carr's Lane   Sunlight through railings, on red brick and stone

Sometimes you love certain places, but you're not sure why, and resort to rather vague terms like "charming" or "full of character" (I do this a lot). My recent reading has made me realise that Carr's Lane is noteworthy not only because it is on quite a slope, and meanders in a slightly bendy way, but because of its varied textures, on the walls and underfoot.

The cobbles and paving are far more interesting than our modern tarmac, and the walls show the traces of previous buildings alongside this lane. The lane is alongside what used to be a churchyard, though the church fell into disrepair and was demolished in the 20th century.

Detail of paving, Carr's Lane   Detail of wall, showing former windows bricked up
Carr's Lane, July 2004, looking towards Skeldergate   Carr's Lane, late afternoon in April 2004
Carr's Lane, towards Skeldergate   Carr's Lane, towards Skeldergate, with the riverside buildings visible at its far end

The photo, right, shows Carr's Lane just before 6pm on 2 April 2004 (thanks to digital photography I can magically recall the time and date). You might be climbing this slight slope on the way to the Golden Ball pub, just out of view at the top there, where the light is all golden too. In previous centuries you might have been making your way back from work at the riverside warehouses and factories, or, more recently, shops and offices. But wherever, and whatever century, this image made me think of "coming home" at the end of a long working day.

  Sunny evening, Carr's Lane

Related pages: Similar lanes and narrow passageways are featured in York Walks /3: Narrow lanes and snickelways and York Walks /1: Straker's Passage.

For other streets and areas nearby, see York Walks /1: Skeldergate, York Walks /2: Queen's Staith and York Walks /3: Bishophill details.