York, Yorkshire, England

York Minster

Circular Walk 2
Piccadily - Pavement - Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate - Colliergate - St. Andrewgate - Bartle Garth - Bedern - Goodramgate - Deangate - Minster Yard - Treasurers House - Chapter House Street - Ogleforth - Goodramgate - Monk Bar - Bootham Bar - High Petergate - Stonegate - Little Stonegate - Back Swinegate - Swinegate - Patrick Pool - Newgate - Shambles - Pavement - Piccadily

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Time Required :- 70 minutes walking time but you will need to add on at least that much again to stop and gawk at at sights, maybe go in to buildings for a look and take photographs, and fit in comfort breaks.

Merchant Adventurers HallSplash Palace
Starting from the Park and Ride bus stop in Piccadily next to the Merchant Adventurers Hall head North West along Piccadiliy towards Parliament Street.  Just at the entrance to Parliament Street  are the  Public Toilets affectionately called the "Splash Palace" by the locals.  Make use of the facilities before moving on as you will be covering some distance  and it may be a while before you find another one.

St CruxSt. Crux churchTurn right along The Pavement past the back entrance and goods entrance to Marks & Spencers. After passing St. Crux church turn left into  Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, Yorks shortest street which quickly becomes Colliergate.  York's most hideous building is on your right as you turn into Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate.  The concrete eyesore built in the 60s is known as Stonebow.  If you pass St Crux in the morning you may find they are doing a jumble sale and offering tea/coffee and cakes/biscuits, good value for money in aid of local causes usually.

Methodist ChapelBarnitt;s catAlso to your right as you enter Colliergate you can see the Grecian pillars of the Methodist Chapel in St. Saviourgate, somehow much more pleasing on the eye than Stonebow.  Colliergate is a fairly plain sort of street with a couple of estate agents, a charity shop, Post Office, health food shop , outdoor pursuits shop , Cornish Pasty Shop,.  The oldest looking building is Blackwell and Denton selling  and repairing household appliances. Also of interest on the opposite side of the road is a hardware shop called Barnitt's.  If you lift your eyes up from the ground level you will see a cat  sculpture climbing up the wall towards an ornate wall clock.  Close by in King's square, watch out for the cat on the roof of the estate agent. Local architect Tom Adams has them as a signature to buildings he has worked on. For more on the cats visit "Cats in York" website.

Last Drop InnSt. Andrew's ChurchBarnitt's hardware store has several entrances along Colliergate where they have bought up other buildings and merged them into one.  In the middle of these several entrances you can find the York Brewery pub called "The Last Drop Inn".  Barnitt's also bought up the old Territorial Army drill hall and has another entrance into the gardening section round the corner in to the right in St. Andrewgate.  Walk on down St. Andrewgate about a 100 yards (metres if you are metricated) to find St. Andrew's Church.

Bedern to GoodramgateNational Trust ShopShortly after the church turn to the left into Bartle Garth and then Bedern where you will find one York's many "Snickleways" into Goodramgate. Snickleways is a term that was coined by Mark Jones a former Rowntree Director for his book describing the many little passageways around the city.  As you come out onto Goodramgate and turn left you will see the interesting timber framed building used by the National Trust as a shop.  The nearest National Trust property is the Treasurers House just around the corner in Chapter House Street

St. William's CollegeMinster StoneyardAround the corner from the National Trust shop is another York's timber framed buildings, the St. Williams's College built in 1641 as a college for local priests.  We will pass on along Deangate to Minster Yard and the Stoneyard.  Here the stonework for the Minster is prepared and carved.  The stoneyard stands next to the Minster Songschool.

Minster Song SchoolYork MinsterThe building now used by the Minster Song School used to house York College for Girls until the school was disbanded.  Around the corner from the Song School naturally enough is York Minster one of the must do list for a lot of visitors.

Minster north endMinster LibraryContinue to the northern end of the Minster and turn right crossing the paved area to go through the gate into the Dean's Park beside the Minster and follow the path along the east side of the Minster and Chapter House to the other side of the park and exit through the gate by the Treasurers House.  Alternatively take the path along the edge of the park that takes you to the Minster Library. This will take you out into the road that runs past the Treasurers House.

Treasurers HouseTreasurers House entranceAfter passing the Treasurers House and going through the gates turn left into the cobble stoned Chapter House Street. A few yards along the road is the ornate entrance to the Treasurers House.  This is a property run by the National trust, complete with a ghost ( you are nobody in York if you are without a ghost!). At the end of Chapter House Street the road bends to the right and becomes Ogleforth.

Dutch HouseMonk BarOgleforth is a mix of well kept and derelict buildings, probably the Dutch House built in the 17th century is the most interesting building in the street. although there is another Listed Grade II building in the street, Cromwell House.  Turn left out of Ogleforth and you will see Monk Bar in front of you.  Take the stairs up inside the bar to the walls.  Monkl Bar is used as a small Richard III museum. He was probably not as bad as Shakespeare paints him!

Bile BeansYork Minster from wallsJust a few yards along the walls you will be able to see the Bile Beans advert painted on the end of a house wall.  It is in fairly good condition down to the fact that it was repainted some years ago by the owners of the house.  Outside of the walls is a leafy tree lined road known as Lord Mayors Walk. Proceed along the walls taking in views of the Minster with various framings. The view is of the east side of the minster with the Chapter House roof  standing prominent and the Treasurers House in Front of it.

Robin hood TowerRobin Hood Tower restorationTowards the northern end of Lord Mayors Walk the walls turn through 90 degrees to the left heading approximately west.  There is a circular tower here known as Robin Hood Tower currently undergoing restoration and structural strengthening. Work is expected to be complete by the end of October.  The tower is actually a Victorian rebuild of what they thought a mediaevil tower should look like nad replaces an earlier tower that stood on the spot.  Various have been ascribed to the tower through the ages starting with Bawing tower, Frost Tower and finally Robin Hood Tower in 1622.  I have not found any references as to why it was called Robin Hood Tower yet. but it is a name that has stuck.

To Bootham BarBootham BarFrom Robin Hoods Tower the wall passes along the back of Gillygate shaded by leafy trees.  During the 1960s Gillygate was almost the scene of a wanton civic vandalism.  It was planned to knock down most of Gillygate and take down a large number of trees in Bootham Park Hospital to create a new inner ring road. A number of properties had been bought up in Gillygate but several property owners resisted the attempts to coerce them to sell. It almost went as far as compulsory purchase orders but the council pulled back at the last minute and are now the owners of a lot of properties in Gillygate, amongst them several are now listed buildings.  Bootham Bar marks the end of this section of walls.  From the bottom of the steps turn to the right to go under the Bar into High Petergate.  For those needing a comfort break there are public toilets here.

Hole in the wallSt. Michael Le BelfryFor those that maybe feel a bit dry and dusty at this point drop into the "The Hole In The Wall" public house for some refreshment if it is open.  There are other pubs along High Petergate that might also be of interest as alternatives there is the York Brewery "Three Legged Mare" named after a hanging device not that horse that you put your money on, or almost next to the Minster is "The York Arms" popular with the acting fraternity.  High Petergate crosses Duncombe Place and the church of St. Michael Le Belfry nestles under the shadow of  York Minster.

Guy Fawkes birthplaceStonegateAcross the road from St. Michael le Belfrey is the birthplace of Guy Fawkes in what is now called Guy Fawkes Hotel.  He is probably one of the most famous sons of York.  There are some  who say he is the only man ever to enter Parliament with honest intentions.  He was involved in the gunpowder plot to blow up the King and Parliament during the persecution of Catholics.  Guy Fawkes baptismal record is part of the parish records of the church next door, St. Miachael le Belfrey.  At the next junction turn right into Stonegate. The name Stonegate derives from stone being brought for building the Minster from the river by the Guildhall up through Stonegate.  There are many interesting buildings in Stonegate and in the photograph you can see the Sign that stretches across the street for Ye Olde Starre Inne.  It is actually set back from the street and you enter through a passageway, see fourth photo along in the set below.  This is a street to lift up your eyes above ground level for all sorts of interesting building adornments including the Stonegate Devil!

Stonegate view 1Stonegate 2Stonegate DevilOlde Starre InneYork Medical Society

Mulberry HallLittle Stonegate cornerOK fellas, Stonegate is a shopping street and your wallet will end up haemorraging badly if your wife or girlfriend is with you.  In particular try not to let get anywhere near Mulberry Hall, they seem to get the urge to spend, spend spend in there!  Steer them through into Little Stonegate when you see the figurehead.

RabbitsOscarsSorry fellas, your wallets are still not out of the danger zone.  Mulberry Hall has another entrance in Little Stonegate and an eye catching display window.  Hurry on down to Oscars for a drink to calm your trembling nerves!  At the end of the stereet is an entrance into WP Brown department store but turn left into Back Swinegate for a revitalised and renovated area of York that used to be rather derelict.

Back SwinegateNether Hornpot LaneAs you walk along Back Swinegate you will find a couple of interesting "snickleways" the first is "Nether Hornpot Lane" leading to St. Sampson's Square and the second is Finkle Street also leading to St. Sampsons Square.  At the end of the street turn right into Swinegate also part of the renovated area.

Buzz BarPatrick PoolThere are some intersting places to eat along this street including the Buzz Bar serving Japanese food and beer and having Japanese prints by Hiroshige and Housai on the wall.  At the Junction with Church street cross the road into Patrick Pool.

Newgate MarketShamblesOn reaching the market turn left and walk along the short cobbled section of Newgate turning right into the Shambles. The name derives from the Anglo Saxon "fleshamells" meaning the place where the butchery trade was carried out. In mediaevil times the place would be literally swimming with blood and guts.  The window sills of some of shops are still broad and this is where joints of meat were displayed for sale.  Although ther are no butchers in the Shambles nowadays it is all tourist nik naks and restaurants there is one remaining butcher in Little Shambles that runs off at right angles into the market.

Margaret Clithero shrineShamblesAbout half way down the Shambles is the shrine of St. Margaret Clitherow, a convert to Catholicism after Henry VIII had dissolved the monastries she held services in here house and hid priests. She was tried  but would not plead. Not entering a plea was considered a crime in itself and she was sentenced to death by being laid on a sharp stone, a door placed on her which was then weighted own with heavy rocks  and stones.  The process took about fifteen minutes  to cause her death.  She was canonized in 1970.  The shrine is said to be in the house where she lived in the Shambles.

The photgraph on the right shows a scene that many tourists do not see, it is during the lull in the evening after day trippers have gone home and the evening ghost walkers have not yet emerged and the Shamble is empty.

Continue to the end of the Shambles and turn right onto Pavement and then left onto Piccadily to return to the starting point by the Merchant Adventurers Hall.

Merchant Adventurers' Hall

Circular Walk 1
Circular Walk 3
Circular Walk 4
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