Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blue bridge blues

This is not the only blue bridge in York, as we have seen here. This more angular construction is a hand-cranked lifting bridge which allows traffic to pass from the Ouse to the Foss and vice-versa . Flooding prevented a close-up, but go to the Jolly Green P to see something like a normal water level.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Furniture, not fries

Another remarkable piece of architecture on Fossgate, now a home furniture store which has been trading since 1947. Their home page gives an angled view of the building, showing its position in the street; unfortunately they have not included anything on the history of the building but see Freda L's comment below and this for another closed York cinema.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spurriergate 3

Thanks to Pierre-Antoine Bordonné for this picture taken during his visit to York a few weeks ago. This is The Spurriergate Centre, a café with a difference: coffee and cakes upstairs, self-service lunches downstairs, with fair trade goods and a counselling service also available. The Ten Commandments have been left intact, which is not surprising, as the centre is still  run by York Anglicans. For views of the exterior, try here and here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Purple Haze

… is on Facebook! Visit this vintage clothing boutique on Walmgate for everything from 80's prom dresses to ageless vintage shoes, bags and jewellery. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rowntree Park 5

Hermes in autumn light. I should perhaps have cropped the plinth.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Friars Terrace, York

Just off the heart of the city and reflected on the flood-waters of the River Ouse, these lovely South Esplanade period dwellings catch the late afternoon sun. This is Friars Terrace in York, three minutes on foot from Clifford's Tower, Ouse and Skeldergate Bridges, and the Castle Museum. Half a million or so, depending on the property, in case you were wondering. An inside view is available here, at least at the time of writing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

La Place Verte

The Belgian coffee house and shop on Skeldergate Bridge, located in the old motor and toll house, here overlook it older neighbour, Clifford's Tower. At the time of writing, this café is for sale! The website gallery is worth a visit both for the produce and the surroundings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Angel stoned in York cemetery

A second picture from the recently discovered York cemetery and nature park. I find this sculpture both poignant and elegant. See this recent post for more on this 24 acre green space just out of the city walls.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Owned and managed by Michael and Lucy Hjort, this versatile Walmgate establishment, set in a 17th century building is a must for good value dishes you can actually taste and for friendly, efficient service.  The website is well worth a visit, and there is  another family-run restaurant of the same name in  Scarcroft Road. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rowntree Park 4

This is the view from the café terrace, a great place for a relaxing drink, providing you are well wrapped-up. The park is on the right bank of the River Ouse, to the south of the town centre, five minutes walk from Skeldergate Bridge. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flood light

The King's Arms and other premises have their feet in the water as the River Ouse bursts its banks once again. November through January are York's wettest months, so expect more of this. Riverside businesses are used to it, and the water here is low compared to 2000, as Simon Caldwell's photographs will show you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The eagle has landed

Soon to reopen as an Italian restaurant, this decorative brick building is on Fossgate, next to this timber framed establishement we visited just a few days ago. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

No bananas, but …

lots of other stuff at Dave Dee's Banana Warehouse, for which see this earlier post. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy days?

Well, right here the flooding has only inconvenienced walkers for whom the riverside path opposite has been inaccessible for a few days. The River Ouse in York frequently bursts its banks, so folk are used to it, and this is a relatively light occurrence. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hogwarts Express

To coincide with the arrival of the penultimate Harry Potter film, here is the famous train photographed in the National Railway Museum in York. No sign of Harry or Hermione, however, but there was a steady stream of youngsters entering and leaving the driver's cab to have their pictures taken. Hogsmeade station itself is located at Goathland, which Heartbeat fans will know as Aidensfield, near Whitby.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Going Dutch …

in Ogleforth, York. With its warm brick design, leaded windows and sympathetically refurbished interior, the Dutch House makes a superb upmarket self-catering holiday let.  Probably York's oldest brick building, dating from 1648, it graces  this quiet street leading to Grays Court, the Treasurer's House and the north side of the Minster.

The expression going Dutch means sharing the cost equally, often between a couple going out for a meal. The Dutch, like the Scots and folk from the Auvergne in France, used to have a reputation for being careful with money. Many of us would need to go Dutch to be able to stay here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You're late for tea!

Yet another timber-framed jettied (jutting out) house, this time on Fossgate, the street which heads south-east away from York city cente before running into Walmgate. Something super is going on here, but I can't remember what! A close-up of the red brick building next door will follow shortly. 

Slightly off the main tourist track, Fossgate and Walmgate are worth a visit for their boutiques, cafés and restaurants and for the view along the River Foss. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

York Minster gets a head …

during last week's impressive son et lumière otherwise known as the Illuminating York festival which attracted large crowds both here at the great south door and in Dean's Park on the other side of the cathedral.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

York poplars unfelled

Another autumnal shot from Walmgate, York, this time of St Denys' church which we visited in more wintry conditon here.  There was a Saxon church on this site, and possibly an even earlier Roman temple. It might not look much from the outside, but inside St Denys' is illuminated by York's earliest medieval stained glass. A view of the interior can be found on this page

The title refers to two poems, The Poplar Field and Binsey Poplars by William Cowper and Gerard Manley Hopkins respectively. As poplars only have a life of about 150 years and often have to be cut down anyway, Hopkins' verse is rather misleading; its environmental concern, however, is surprisingly modern.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Spread your wings …

Still on Walmgate, York, here is an opportunity for you: the Spread Eagle, renovated about 10 years ago, is to let! It boasts reasonably-priced pub food, live music and other regular entertainment. I don't know whether or not it is the recession, retirement or relocation that has led to the vacancy, so look before you leap.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tower of strength

The Rowntree Wharf tower seen over some newer buildings off Walmgate. The warehouses and barges have long since disappeared to give way to flats and offices, some of which have views over the River Foss to the Minster. Once the archeological dig is completed, the views are likely to be impeded by more luxury town flats on the new, £150m mixed-use development

If a virtual stroll around the Rowntree Wharf area attracts you, try York Walks in the sidebar, but Don't forget the Fruit Gums, Mum!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remember, remember …

the fifth of November,
gunpowder, treason and plot; 
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

The Guy Fawkes Inn on High Petergate is worth either a real or a virtual visit, not only as the place where the plotter was born in 1570, but also for the outstanding decor and atmosphere. There will be bonfires and fireworks all over the UK this evening, but many will have only the vaguest idea of their significance

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Autumn fire in York cemetery

Following a recommendation from York jazzman, composer and photographer, Tim New, I finally made it to York cemetery this week and enjoyed an hour's stroll through what is effectively a 24-acre nature park. To capture the atmosphere of the place, you really must listen to Tim's Angels and Saints and watch the accompanying slideshow here

The cemetery was opened in 1837 and went into voluntary liquidation in 1966, a process which took 13 years, during which time the grounds became overgrown and the buildings decayed. The collapse of the chapel roof stimulated a group of concerned York folk to take steps towards its restoration, an initiative which eventually led to the formation of The Friends of York Cemetery and then The York Cemetery Trust. We are in debt to their dedication, as a visit to the site will demonstrate, and even more so, a visit to this beautiful green space. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Parallel worlds

This is an ancient and modern shot looking south towards Walmgate Bar, a good stop for drinks and nibbles, as there is a cool two-storey café in the tower, efficiently run by Calvary Chapel. The coffee is good and the prices very reasonable. During our first visit this weekend a couple of guys were having a Spanish conversation lesson, another small group were discussing the question of forgiveness, others were apparently writing essays.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lady not quite in red …

Getting a decent night shot of York Minster lit up was not easy, so this is the best of the bunch, showing the White Rose of York below the rose window. It is part of a short, but impressive son et lumière forming part of the Illuminating York festival which finished Saturday gone.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Many happy returns …

to Gray's Court, where we have been quite a few times. This shot is to say bon anniversaire to the lady (not in red this time) to the left of the foliage.