Sunday, 9 October 2011


This is the shortest street in York, and the entire length of it is shown in this picture. St Crux Parish room is on the left, then a ginnel through to the Shambles, and two small shops. Two further buildings in the ginnel are 1A and 1 ½  Whip-Ma–Whop-Ma-Gate respectively, and that is about it.

There is much speculation about the origin of the name, with suggestions that dogs or people were whipped here. No evidence exists for this though. The original medieval name of the street was Whit-Nour-What-Nour-Gate which could be interpreted as ‘Call this a street – you must be joking’. That would certainly fit with the local ironic sense of humour.


  1. I've been embarrassed to ask, but now I must: is the ginnel an alleyway, then? The passage behind the shops?

  2. How interesting a sight indeed. Please have a good new week.

    daily athens

  3. Must be great to work or reside at No 1 ½. Almost as good as but not quite to live it Tom Cat Lane, Wetherby which I first noticed many years back but it has stuck in my mind.
    A ginnel is a Northern term for a narrow alleyway or snicket this being another Northern word. Paul at Leeds in Yorkshire daily photography

  4. Petrea, yes indeed ginnel and alleyway mean much the same. As Paul notes above ginnel is a word perhaps more familiar in Yorkshire.

  5. Paul, I always liked the idea of living in Black Cat Lane Bilborough or Beastfair in Snaith myself.


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