York Walks /3

Layerthorpe to Heworth Green

Photographed on 15 August 2004

I'm using Layerthorpe as a general term for this area, as I think many of us do. There's a street called Layerthorpe going through the middle of it, and industrial areas on either side. I wandered down Hallfield Road on one side, and down the lane by the gasworks on the other side, towards Heworth Green. There's a lot of redevelopment planned for this area.

Frog Hall – former pub

Frog Hall – front entrance   Frog Hall – sign on side of building
Frog Hall, view of boarded-up front   Frog Hall, back view

The Frog Hall, built in the 1930s, closed in January 2002, despite the efforts of local campaigners to save it. The original plans for the site featured a McDonald's drive-thru, but these plans have now been abandoned and the building is apparently to be retained, but not as a pub. Why the place had to close – when it was by all accounts a well-used, well-loved local pub – is a mystery. (I suppose it was something to do with money, and developers wanting to make more of it. It usually is.)

Hallfield Road – views of Layerthorpe/Foss Islands

I had a wander along Hallfield Road in Layerthorpe, and took a few photos of the views across this industrial area. The photo below left shows part of the cycle track that was apparently previously a railway line to the Layerthorpe area, presumably just for freight rather than passengers. I don't think Layerthorpe has ever been the kind of area tourists would go to.

View from Hallfield Road across Layerthorpe area   Foss Islands Depot – chimney

Above right, the photo shows the view across from Hallfield Road to the Foss Islands Road refuse depot, with its old chimney. English Heritage records reveal that this is (as I suspected, but no one seems to believe me) a Grade II listed building. To quote from English Heritage's description: "Refuse destructor chimney. c1890. Red brick in English bond and English garden-wall bond; cream brick necking; ashlar base. Tapering octagonal shaft with moulded base on moulded plinth; corbelled brick necking beneath moulded cornice and flat cap."

(Glad to see it has that traditional item of Yorkshire dress, the flat cap . . .)

Former gasworks site

Love Lane by the gasworks   Love Lane

This lane runs between Layerthorpe and Heworth Green. I've heard it called "Love Lane" – as so many of these snickets seem to be. There are several "Love Lanes" in this city and probably most other towns. (None of them seem very romantic-looking, but they would be hidden from the street, so perhaps the "love" part is a euphemism for – well – you know.)

This one runs along the side of the gasworks. You can imagine all those couples in the early 20th century going for a romantic stroll by the gasworks.

Update -

Since I compiled this page, Peter from York, who was born and raised in this area before the housing was demolished in the 1960s, has kindly informed me that this "Love Lane" used to be called Forrington Lane.

. . .

A large part of this site is no longer used for industry, and was empty for years, used for car parking. It is now in the process of being dug up, and the land decontaminated. Though it's not beautiful, I thought I should record the work in progress, through small gaps in the fencing on Love Lane and the main gateway on Heworth Green. (Heworth Green was full of people going in to the city centre for Sunday shopping, and many of them looked at me like I was a bit weird.)

The discussions about this massive brownfield site have been going on a long time, so I'm a bit confused about where we're at, but I think it's going to be a(nother) large development, mainly residential, with offices. Some offices would seem to be a good idea – I'm glad that planners have remembered that it will be hard for all the people in the new flats to pay their mortgages if there's nowhere for them to work.

But then, what do I know. I'm just a weird person who wanders around on Sundays taking photos of building sites.

Former gasworks site   Rusty metal and muddy ground – work in progress

Related pages:

There are other old industrial areas soon to be redeveloped. See York Walks /1: Ripe for redevelopment (mainly the Hungate area) and York Walks /3: York's other railway museum (York Teardrop, aka York Central)