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Views of York - Willing and gable
This 1906 watercolour offers a rare view of the old Crane House on the Ouse at Skeldergate ferry. Next door is a line of warehouses with distinctive gables in English Vernacular style which were demolished in 1970.
The Crane House, or Cranegarth, had been in this location since medieval times, when it had been rebuilt at great cost to the corporation of York in 1417, writes Peter Brown in his catalogue to the Views of York exhibition at Fairfax House, where this painting is on loan from York Art Gallery.
“The city council ordered that ‘wares of foreigners such as spices, wines, ‘wadda’, Madeira, alum, coming on vessels such as were to be sold by weight, were to be stored in the Cranegarth, there to remain until sold … but only to citizens’”.
A Watergate is mentioned from the early 1900s and one is seen in Boddy’s sketch – although it probably wasn’t used, writes Mr Brown, given the rise in water level caused by the building of Naburn Lock in 1757.
• The Views of York exhibition runs at Fairfax House until August 31.