York Walks /3

North Street

Photographed on 15 August 2004

All Saints – spire, view 1

The highlight of North Street is the medieval church of All Saints, and the tiny lane that leads to it. The church is valued particularly for its fine medieval glass. (Sadly not pictured here, as I was on the outside, and it was locked up.)

All Saints – spire, view 2
All Saints North Street   Detail from rear of All Saints

Above and below: views of the church from the lane alongside. Above right: An interesting addition which appears to be part of the church. Below right: the stone church wall includes this small section of red brick.

All Saints spire, again   All Saints – detail of wall
Medieval building, detail   Medieval building and lane by All Saints

The image above (right) shows the part of the lane that joins North Street, with the church visible on the left, and (above left) a detail from one of the medieval buildings on this corner.

Lane by All Saints Church   All Saints Boxing Club

Also in this lane alongside the church is a low brick building which apparently houses a boxing club. I'm not sure if it's still based here, but it seemed a rather strange neighbour -I've never associated boxing with the church.

I think that the church has had problems with vandalism, so the railings alongside it and the grilles on the windows provide some protection. I can't imagine why anyone would want to damage this church.

  All Saints, detail of security  measures

It had to happen sometime – a rant about litter

The narrow lane alongside this beautiful church shows that there are people in this city who don't value it at all. When I visited, it was full of litter. I try to understand people and why they do what they do, but I still can't understand why somone would want to mess up a place like this.

An elderly lady appeared to be picking up some of the litter and putting it into a carrier bag. She did this in a slightly embarrassed way, so although I said hello I carried on taking my photos and pretended I hadn't noticed. I pick up litter sometimes too, and it isn't something you want an audience for. Cleaning up after other people isn't pleasant and can be rather demeaning. Obviously some supposedly civilised members of our society don't realise that, or don't care. Or maybe they're getting some kind of cheap kick out of it, deliberately annoying the rest of us. I wish they'd realise that there are more effective ways to rebel against the status quo. Leaving your pizza box on the pavement says nothing more than "I am thick and can't find a bin".

Shame on you people, presumably old enough to think for yourselves, that you're so pathetic that someone as old as your grandmother has to come along here on a Sunday afternoon to tidy up after your Saturday night.

Rant over.

Mill House and "Viking" Hotel

Mill House, North Street   Mill House and modern hotel building, North Street

Mill House, on North Street, is rather handsome, in a plain, no-nonsense kind of way. On the opposite side of the road, right on the riverbank, is the building I still think of as the Viking Hotel, though it's now a Moat House hotel. It's appeared on photographs taken from the opposite bank, (in York Walks /3: Riverside – off Coney Street and Spurriergate) because it's hard to miss it off a photo, with it being so large. It's a modern and not particularly beautiful building – so I've tried to hide it on the photo above right by placing it behind a corner of Mill House.

St John's, Micklegate – former York Arts Centre

I had a wander around the back of Mill House, in the car park, to see if anything interesting was going on. The back of the church that used to be York Arts Centre is here, fronting onto Micklegate. I'm used to seeing it from Micklegate, but I've never seen it from this angle. It's to be redeveloped into a restaurant, I think. There appears to be work going on at the moment.

St John's – former Arts Centre – back view   St John's, tower

I've not really noticed before the odd little tower on the church, shown above right. My reference book tells me that it did have a steeple originally, but it blew down in 1551.

St John's, side wall   St John's wall with modern addition

This view alongside the church shows a newly-created walkway from Micklegate, which goes underneath this concrete and metal construction and alongside a very interesting wall made of all kinds of building materials. I'm not sure if the modern construction is merely an architectural statement, or if it's actually there to hold up the wall.

I've many happy memories of this building, from its days as the Arts Centre, as I'm sure many people have. It staged bands and clubs and comedy events, and was an excellent venue. It would have been good to see it kept as an Arts Centre, but sadly this wasn't to be.

Related pages:

Nearby, also running parallel to the river, is Skeldergate (visited in York Walks /1). Its riverside frontage is Queen's Staith (York Walks /2).