Tuesday, 31 July 2012


This memorial in York Cemetery is covered in symbolism, most noticeable is carved ivy for friendship which covers the cross. It has the letters IHS overlaid one another at the centre of the cross, this can be an abbreviation of the name of Jesus, and can also mean 'with this sign we conquer' (death presumably). At the bottom are fern leave (humility and sincerity). There are four names  carved around the square base, the one at the front reads as follows:
Mary Swann
One of the children of S. Stephens
Fell asleep July 13th
Aged 12
I was struck by the elaborate nature of the memorial for a child from an Orphanage. The other three names are all adults so perhaps her name was added later, but her's is most prominent. The memorial is not in the children's section of the cemetery
In 1870 a new childrens' home and orphanage called St Stephen's opened at Precentors Court near the Minster.  It moved location twice, settling on The Mount in 1919 before eventually closing in 1969.
Taking part in Taphophile tragics

Monday, 30 July 2012

Window Light

The evening sun shining in through a window on the opposite side of All Saints Church in Kirby Underdale illuminated the window above.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Long & Short

Now what to do when you need a new pair of curtains...... perhaps the owners of this semi-detached house make a special effort to be on good terms with their neighbours. Who have the same problem but in reverse.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Floating Hotel

A city centre houseboat for rent if you want a room with a river view.....

Taking part in weekend reflections

Friday, 27 July 2012

Oak leaves

This sculpture is called Balloon Tree and can be found in the grounds of Bootham Park Hospital, a recently refurbished mental health facility. Made by metalwork artist John Walker he notes “The leaves come together to create a sculpture that represents hope and optimism. It promotes a sense of life, recovery and a positive future".

Thursday, 26 July 2012

That tree

Construction continues on the Mystery Play set. See the tree on the left amongst the scaffolding? Planted in 1989 by the Duchess of York it is now causing no end of problems for the builders as it is growing just where the seating needs to go. A little difficult to identify at the moment but I seem to recall it is a Cedar of Lebanon. Rumour has it the tree is schedule for the chop before too long, wonder if that would be the case if it had been planted by Princess Diana?

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

B is for Buttons

Buttons for sale on York market this week, I have not bought a button for years, how about you?
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Bright Buses

You wait half an hour then two come along at once.......................

Monday, 23 July 2012

Still Green

Well the scaffolding is down but no sign of a face lift! Never mind, any excuse to show you more of this lovely building, often overlooked as it sits on the same street as York Minster.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Giant Lantern

The Mount pub has a giant lantern above the entrance door. I suspect it was originally lit by gas, but sadly it is no longer lit at all. The pub sign has also changed over the years, currently it features a member of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. I seem to think it had a mounted highway man on it some years back, but I could be mistaken.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Even scarecrows need umbrellas...

..... this 'summer'. All that rain is good for the allotment though!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Dandy Lion

A brief respite from the rainy weather and  I couldn't resist another shot of one of the pair of magnificent lions outside Greys Court.
Taking part in Skywatch Friday

Thursday, 19 July 2012

It's a Mystery

The ruins of St Mary's Abbey in the Museum Gardens seen here and here previously, have all but disappeared behind scaffolding, seating, railings and all the paraphernalia of a temporary outdoor event venue. This stage is set for the 2012 York Mystery Plays, a four yearly cycle of 48 plays covering Creation through to the Last Judgement.
York Corpus Christi Plays to give them their official title, were originally performed on carts and wagons around the city by the local Craft Guilds (Coopers, Bakers, Masons etc). Mystery can be taken to mean a religious truth or in Middle English it means a trade or craft. First recorded as performed in York in the middle of the 14th century, each Guild would be responsible for a particular play, stopping at 12 'play stations' around the city to do their turn. Some were obvious choices, the Shipwrights would stage 'Building of the Ark' for example. I would love to have seen the Hosiers perform Departure of the Israelites from Egypt; Ten Plagues; Crossing of the Red Sea!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A is for All Saints Church

This is the Lady Chapel East Window from All Saints Church North Street. It is the earliest window in the Church dating from around 1330. It used to be above the high altar and told the story in pictures, for many who could not read, of the life of Jesus, with the coronation of Mary as the Queen of Heaven thrown in for good measure. Hard to believe it is nearly 700 years old.
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Taphophile Treasure Trove!

These three grave stones were propped up outside the porch of All Saints Church in Kirby Underdale, just waiting for a visiting Taphophile! One hundred years separates the stones, the oldest (1766) is on the left and the inscription reads:

lies the body of 
William Dobinson
Late of Hunckleby who
Departed this Life the 17th Day of
March 1766 aged 76 years
He was an Indulgent Husband 
and a Kinde father

 The middle stone is for a woman, although in keeping with the times her husband's name is writ larger, even though he does not appear to be buried here!

Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ 
Here sleeps Isabella wife of
Rev. Thos H. Barton
who died April 11th 1866
Aged 37 years
Jesus. Master have mercy on us
Luke 17.13
The stone on the right is in bad repair and difficult to read but appears to say
Memory of
John Gra-es
late of Hanging Grimstone
who died 22nd April 1816
Aged 84 years
There remaineth therefore A rest
to the people of God
The stone on the left says something about the departed. The fashion changes from the 18th century to the 19th where a religious text is deemed more suitable than personal attributes.
I like the look of the middle stone the best but the wording on the oldest appeals the most. As someone fortunate enough to have had a kind father I could relate to the sentiment behind this memorial nearly 250 years later. 

Taking part in Taphophile Tragics

Monday, 16 July 2012

Watch This Place

St Leonard's Place has an elegant crescent of buildings that for many years now has been the site of the council offices in York. Prior to 1835 it was known as Mint Yard, no not after the locally produced confectionery, but because the Royal Mint was occasionally sited here in the 16th and 17th centuries. The council offices are moving to a shiny new purpose built building and this building is rumoured to be set to become a hotel.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Two Towers

The tower on the right is Fishergate Postern Tower and was built around 1504, the tower on the left is called The Postern Gate and was built in 2002. One was designed to complement the other and I do think they look rather well together.
Fishergate Postern was originally an open topped tower with crenellations but a tiled roof was eventually added. The hole in the city walls next to the tower is the remains of a small Postern gate - the Posternam iuxta Skarletpit - meaning the Postern next to the Scarlet Pit.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Blade Runners

Still at Helmsley Castle these sculptures stand outside the main castle entrance. They show the three main weapons used by fighting forces that would have defended the castle before the advent of firearms. Somehow they remind me more of Blade Runner than Braveheart.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Rain Rain go away!

Helmsley is a market town around 20 miles from York. This is the remains of the East Tower of Helmsley Castle built around 1258. During the English civil war the castle was besieged by Thomas Fairfax and stayed loyal to the King for 3 months before surrendering. After it's capture Parliament ordered the castle to be slighted (deliberately made unusable as a fortification) to prevent further use by Royalists, and the East Tower was partially destroyed. It was never rebuilt and was allowed to fall into ruin as a romantic backdrop for nearby Duncombe Park.
Taking part in Skywatch Friday

Thursday, 12 July 2012

York Dispensary

There is so much lovely detail in the small portion of the building shown here. The City of York shield with the five lions, the dates 1788-1899, and the mix of glass and brick lights above the door. It was formerly the entrance to the York Dispensary, a fore-runner of the NHS. A couple of weeks ago the building was covered in scaffolding, presumably for cleaning, so I look forward to seeing what emerges once it is removed.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

You've Been Framed

This is an advert for a business that claims to be able to frame anything. Judging by this sign on the outside wall of their shop I believe them!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Modern Marker

Amongst all the old grave markers in York cemetery are some modern memorials. Often they are quite different to conventional stones. This inscription always strikes me as a lovely way to be remembered. I know nothing about Edgar Joseph Newton, but from the words listed above I know I would have liked to meet him. I also enjoyed the challenge of deciphering the Roman numerals (1947-2003) and now want to know why he knew the cemetery as Bellfield.
Taking part in Taphophile Tragics

Monday, 9 July 2012

York 800

York Past

York Present

I usually choose to post no more than one picture per day however I have broken my self-imposed rule today. York was granted a Royal Charter by King John in 1212 which permitted the city to take charge of its own financial affairs and to trade freely. York’s citizens then created a council led by a Mayor to manage the city’s affairs, laying the foundations of local democracy. Today, Monday 9 July, is 800 years to the day since the Royal Charter was signed.
The top picture is a stained glass window from the Merchant Adventurers Hall, it is late 19th century glass but I think shows a  rather earlier view of Kings Staith. The lower picture is almost the same view today (but with the river in flood). The Minster central tower is visible in both pictures, and the Kings Arms pub looks fairly similar too. Ouse bridge has altered shape considerably, and sailing boats no longer unload goods at the quayside. The octagonal lantern tower of All Saints Church that can be seen in the top picture still exists, but is obscured by taller modern buildings.
York still has a Lord Mayor today, but now the world comes to York rather than Merchant Adventurers travelling from York to all parts of the world - tourism has replaced trade as the main economic activity of the city.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Green Transport

This metal sculpture can be found along the York Orbital cycle path. At first glance I thought the cyclist was holding a rain cloud above his head, very appropriate I thought as I have been soaked several times this week cycling to work. However on reflection I think he may be trying to make a point about the relative emissions  of trains, cars etc vs bikes!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Come in and Explore

It is a sad fact that many Public Libraries in the UK are being closed by local authorities who are trying to balance their shrinking budgets (Boo, Shame etc). York Central Library has recently (2010) been refurbished as a learning hub and renamed the Explore Centre (Hurrah). Out are many of the old fixed shelves, and in are new modular displays that can be easily re-configured. They still contain book you will be relieved to hear, but much else besides. Above is the main room decorated for Jubilee Day with a 1950s feel to it.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Stormy Weather

A rather typical modern York skyline at present with gathering storm clouds and hardly enough blue to make a sailor a pair of trousers, as the saying goes. Here's hoping for a sunny weekend.
Taking part in Skywatch Friday

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Troops In or Out?

St Samsons Square is often the site of public events and last Saturday was Armed Forces Day. On one side of the road was the 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment on a recruitment drive. On the other side was York Against The War a local group who were collecting signatures on a petition to bring British troops home from Afghanistan. I wonder who attracted the most visitors?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Y is for York

This is one of the classic views of York, standing on the city walls looking down Museum Street over the River Ouse and towards York Minster. It is a handsome view any time of year, but especially colourful just now with all the flowers in full bloom.
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The First

Landscaping work was started in York cemetery in Jan 1837. I have often wondered what the cemetery looked like before it was filled with graves. How did they decide where to start digging! Which was the first burial in York cemetery? What did the remainder of the site look like? Well having come across the grave above left I now know who was The First. The inscription reads
to the memory of 
Charlotte second daughter of 
Thomas Fishburn Hall and Betsey his wife 
of Heworth. 
Who died Jany 17th 1837. Aged 25 years
A lovely flower
removed, alas how soon
from the tender watchful care
that had reared and cherished it
to be THE FIRST transplanted
into this garden of death
yet not to continue here for ever
but at the appointed season to be taken
onto the paradise of God
there to revive and flourish
in perfect and unfading beauty 

Originally the cemetery was divided in two, with half for Church of England burials and the other half for Dissenters. As the Dissenters  were in the minority three of their four acres were let out as grazing at first as they were not expected to be needed for some time. Charlotte was a Unitarian who died on Jan 17th 1837, and on Jan 21st became the first burial in the cemetery. She was buried in the Dissenters section.
The details on the burial arrangements are taken from the book

 'This Garden of Death' The History of York Cemetery 1837-2007 by Hugh Murray. 

For anyone interested in finding out more about the founding of Public Cemeteries in general and the rise, fall, and rise again of York Cemetery in particular, it is warmly recommended (follow the link through via the York Cemetery website to Publications)
Taking Part in Taphophile Tragics

Monday, 2 July 2012

Narrow Streets

St Michael Spurriergate was in existence as a church by 1088, today it is a cafe (worth a visit) and Fairtrade outlet. The back door shown here is on a very narrow cobbled lane, and the metal plate set into the wall is there to help prevent damage to the church by passing delivery vehicles going to the pub and club at the end of the lane.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Barley Sugar Twist

This house was built by my maternal grandfather. By that I don't mean he was a wealthy man who paid for it to be built, but that he was the foreman bricklayer who actually built it. Most of the house was constructed by his 'gang' but he insisted on laying the bricks for the chimneys himself. The technical term is Barley Sugar Twist brickwork and nearly 90 years later they look as good as new. I suspect he would be turning in his grave if he could see those ugly chimney caps though!
This is my contribution to the July CDP themeday Chimneys
 Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
Or here if the portal is still down
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