York’s heritage can still be saved

King’s Square in York, which has been resurfaced with new paving flags

King’s Square in York, which has been resurfaced with new paving flags

First published in Letters

THE Reinvigorate York project has an unhappy precedent.

Like York, Carlisle was a Roman garrison town guarding the north. Its hill-top citadel, protected by high walls, enclosed narrow cobbled charming streets.

Buildings on street corners had pepper-pot turrets with pointy roofs. Only the west walls remain intact of the curtain walls, from whose high parapets are fine views and the enormous Tithe Barn.

Most famous were The Lunes, six parallel/medieval cobbled streets similar to Shambles. These exited on to Carlisle’s town square between a row of Georgian houses and shop fronts. Cobbles and pavings, granite sets encircled an ancient stepped stone cross.

The cross directed the eye to the medieval town hall. The nearby cobbled Green Market before the timbered guildhall was popular for stall holders.

None of this was modern or smart enough for the city’s councillors. The historic lanes were replaced by a red-brick shopping mall.

Thwarted by a preservation order from destroying the town hall, the zealots stripped the town square of its cobbles, sets and pavings to create a bare windswept area devoid of character.

To walk in York is to tread directly on history and in contact with the footsteps of those past.

All city councillors should have to take a course in urban architectural history. It is too late now for poor Carlisle. York can still be saved.

Patricia Palaeologina, Windsor Garth, Acomb, York.

Comments (7)

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1:17pm Mon 3 Mar 14

AnotherPointofView says...

The trouble is that those councillors in control are very hard of hearing. Whatever you say they don't listen.

Roll 2015, they'll have no choice but to listen then.
The trouble is that those councillors in control are very hard of hearing. Whatever you say they don't listen. Roll 2015, they'll have no choice but to listen then. AnotherPointofView
  • Score: -13

5:42pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Lunatic says...

I still maintain that replacing some damaged 1970s paving with the current surface of King's Square does absolutely no harm to our heritage. It just makes the area around The Shambles seem that little bit less tatty.
I still maintain that replacing some damaged 1970s paving with the current surface of King's Square does absolutely no harm to our heritage. It just makes the area around The Shambles seem that little bit less tatty. Lunatic
  • Score: 8

7:15pm Mon 3 Mar 14

oi oi savaloy says...

i was having lunch in the duke of york the other week and for a short while i thought i was in a lovely country pub somewhere up on the moors, THEN i looked out of the window and thought i was in milton keynes or one of these other soulless new town's! kings square is an horrendous mess now!
i was having lunch in the duke of york the other week and for a short while i thought i was in a lovely country pub somewhere up on the moors, THEN i looked out of the window and thought i was in milton keynes or one of these other soulless new town's! kings square is an horrendous mess now! oi oi savaloy
  • Score: -11

10:39pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Red Star says...

The chaos returned to Kings Square today for a further 4 weeks. Watch the remaining York stone vanish before your very eyes, to be replaced with concrete. I do wonder about the so called improved experience for tourists and where is all that promised extra seating?
The chaos returned to Kings Square today for a further 4 weeks. Watch the remaining York stone vanish before your very eyes, to be replaced with concrete. I do wonder about the so called improved experience for tourists and where is all that promised extra seating? Red Star
  • Score: -11

7:46am Tue 4 Mar 14

Pinza-C55 says...

Red Star wrote:
The chaos returned to Kings Square today for a further 4 weeks. Watch the remaining York stone vanish before your very eyes, to be replaced with concrete. I do wonder about the so called improved experience for tourists and where is all that promised extra seating?
Also note the diggers outside the art gallery.
[quote][p][bold]Red Star[/bold] wrote: The chaos returned to Kings Square today for a further 4 weeks. Watch the remaining York stone vanish before your very eyes, to be replaced with concrete. I do wonder about the so called improved experience for tourists and where is all that promised extra seating?[/p][/quote]Also note the diggers outside the art gallery. Pinza-C55
  • Score: -6

7:48am Tue 4 Mar 14

Pinza-C55 says...

oi oi savaloy wrote:
i was having lunch in the duke of york the other week and for a short while i thought i was in a lovely country pub somewhere up on the moors, THEN i looked out of the window and thought i was in milton keynes or one of these other soulless new town's! kings square is an horrendous mess now!
I don't know how you managed to think you were in a "country pub"? It looks as though it was fitted out by B&Q.
[quote][p][bold]oi oi savaloy[/bold] wrote: i was having lunch in the duke of york the other week and for a short while i thought i was in a lovely country pub somewhere up on the moors, THEN i looked out of the window and thought i was in milton keynes or one of these other soulless new town's! kings square is an horrendous mess now![/p][/quote]I don't know how you managed to think you were in a "country pub"? It looks as though it was fitted out by B&Q. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 4

5:14pm Tue 4 Mar 14

oi oi savaloy says...

Pinza-C55 wrote:
oi oi savaloy wrote:
i was having lunch in the duke of york the other week and for a short while i thought i was in a lovely country pub somewhere up on the moors, THEN i looked out of the window and thought i was in milton keynes or one of these other soulless new town's! kings square is an horrendous mess now!
I don't know how you managed to think you were in a "country pub"? It looks as though it was fitted out by B&Q.
each to his own pinza, i like the leeds brewery pubs, the food and beer are to my liking! if you don't like it thats your bag!
[quote][p][bold]Pinza-C55[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]oi oi savaloy[/bold] wrote: i was having lunch in the duke of york the other week and for a short while i thought i was in a lovely country pub somewhere up on the moors, THEN i looked out of the window and thought i was in milton keynes or one of these other soulless new town's! kings square is an horrendous mess now![/p][/quote]I don't know how you managed to think you were in a "country pub"? It looks as though it was fitted out by B&Q.[/p][/quote]each to his own pinza, i like the leeds brewery pubs, the food and beer are to my liking! if you don't like it thats your bag! oi oi savaloy
  • Score: -5

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