Before going into more medieval architecture, it’s worth having a little break and noting some of the more modern, but still architecturally delightful, buildings in York. One of the first buildings we saw was The York Art Museum. Created for second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition of 1879 within the grounds of the medieval St Mary’s Abbey known as Bearparks Garden and designed by York architect Edward Taylor. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go in, but is definitely on the list for a return visit.
Another striking building belongs to Barclays Bank! The bank was built in 1901 to a design by Edmund Kirby (though subsequently altered) and is now Grade II Listed. The decorative brick work is amazing, click on it to see it bigger, it’s worth it. 🙂
Betty’s Tea rooms looked amazing, and I like the little history about it-
In 1936 the founder of Bettys, Frederick Beaumont travelled on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary.
He was so enthralled by the splendour of the ship that he commissioned the Queen Mary’s designers and craftsmen to turn a dilapidated furniture store into his most sophisticated branch yet – an elegant café in the land-locked location of St Helen’s Square. Today, as you sit in Bettys, surrounded by huge curved windows, elegant wood panelling and ornate mirrors, you can almost imagine yourself aboard a luxury liner.
The art deco elegance of the Queen Mary is particularly evident in our first floor Belmont Room which was inspired by one of the cruise liner’s state rooms. A few years after Betty’s opened its doors in York war broke out, and Betty’s – in particular the basement ‘Betty’s Bar’ – became a favourite haunt of thousands of airmen stationed around York.
‘Betty’s Mirror’, on which many of them engraved their signatures with a diamond pen, remains on display today as a fitting tribute to their bravery.
We didn’t go in as there was a long queue to get in. That’s all the people in the bottom of the picture!
We had a walk down to the river and say the central bridge, which is called The Ouse Bridge (over the River Ouse surprisingly 😉 )
There has been a crossing of sorts here since the founding of the city by the Romans. By the medieval period, the bridge was very crowded with buildings. A flood in 1564 caused the central span to collapse; along with the bridge, 12 buildings were also destroyed. The replacement bridge was built 2 years later, with 5 spans, including one large central span, which was one of the longest in Europe at the time.
The current bridge was built in 1821, and was a lot flatter in profile than it’s predecessor.
St. Wilfrid’s is a Roman Catholic church located in the centre of York, in the shadows of York Minster. A Church dedicated to St.Wilfrid has stood in York since medieval times. Catholics call it the “Mother Church of the city of York.” It is in Gothic Revival style. The Arch over the main door has the most detailed Victorian carving in the city. The present Church was completed in 1864 and it was considered to be one of the most perfectly finished Catholic Churches in England, rich in sculptures, paintings and stained glass. A potted history of St.Wilfrid courtesy of wilfrid.com 🙂
Wilfrid (634-709) is one of the greatest and also one of the most controversial English Saints. He directly influenced the move away from Celtic to the more orderly Roman church practices and is best known for championing and winning the case for the Roman, as opposed to the Celtic method of calculating the date of Easter at the famous Synod of Whitby in 664.
He became Bishop of York with a See covering the whole of Northumbria, built magnificent stone churches at Ripon and Hexham. He acquired vast landholdings and established monasteries in Northumbria, Mercia, Sussex and the Isle of Wight and converted Sussex, the last vestige of paganism, to Christianity.
He was the confidant of kings and queens but made many powerful enemies and was twice banished from Northumbria. He made three journeys on foot and horseback through Europe to Rome and was not afraid to seek papal jurisdiction over both crown and church where he felt badly treated. His life was threatened many times being shipwrecked and nearly killed by natives off the coast of Sussex, imprisoned in Northumbria by the king and twice nearly murdered whilst travelling abroad.
A bit of a lad then!
Not all the shops and cafe’s etc are medieval, we had our lunch in the square..
and our dinner in the evening at
can’t really recommend either, but as my hubby says, ‘it filled a hole’. 🙂
Back to medieval times next time.