HERE'S a great view across the rooftops of York. And yes, it really is as old as it looks.

The photo, which shows two Victorian gentlemen enjoying the view from the top of Monk Bar, was taken in the 1860s.

The Minster then looked pretty much the way it does today - right down to the scaffolding which can just be spotted to the right of the photo, half hidden behind the Chapter House.

But you spot any differences from today's York in the cluster of buildings and rooftops huddled beneath the cathedral?

York Press:

Two men in Victorian dress enjoy the view from the top of Monk Bar across the rooftops of York t the Minster in the 1860s

This image, along with the others below, come from Explore York library's Imagine York website.

The other photos show:

Fishergate Bar and Postern from the city walls, 1910s

York Press:

Another view across the rooftops, though this one is a little more recent, dating only from the 1910s. Again, we invite readers to play 'spot the difference' with modern-day York - starting with that building at the far left of the photo, where the Postern Gate pub now stands...

Micklegate, 1850s

York Press:

The massive arched gateway in the centre of the left hand row of buildings in this photo from the 1850s belonged to the Priory of the Holy Trinity. The ground for the Priory was sold for building work in the 1850s and G.T Andrews suggested a scheme of houses around an oval garden. This was to be called Priory Gardens but the city planners chose to create Priory Street instead, which now exists where the arch once was.

The view towards Priory Street from the city walls, early 1900s

York Press:

The church on the left of the photograph we think must be St Columba's, which was completed in 1879 to help cater for York's growing population of Scottish railway workers and which is now the United Reformed Church. The church's strong Scottish connection was reflected in its name: St Columba was the Celtic saint, based on Iona, who converted much of Scotland and northern England to Christianity in the 6th century.

Rear of Marygate from Museum Gardens, 1930s

York Press:

This photo shows the rear of Nos 7-23 Marygate, a row of terraced houses which had been built on to the wall of St Mary's Abbey. The photo was taken from the Yorkshire Museum Gardens in about 1933. The houses were demolished between 1937 and 1940. The photo was taken by the York Health Department, presumably as part of its programme of recording buildings which may need to be demolished on health grounds.

Skaters on the River Ouse, early 1900s

York Press:

We had a photograph of people skating on the River Ouse in Yesterday Once More last week. That one was taken during the icy winter of 1895. This is a little later - it was taken some time in the 1900s from the riverbank near Scarborough railway bridge, looking towards Lendal Bridge.

  • All the photos on these pages, and thousands more, are held on Explore York’s Imagine York archive. You can browse it yourself by visiting