THE focus is on Pavement and Clifton in this latest selection of photos from Explore York’s Imagine York website.

First up, Pavement, and two photographs taken in the early 1900s before a way was cut through for Piccadilly. The photos show:

Pavement in around 1905 (top) 

The photograph shows the buildings which were cleared to cut through the entrance for Piccadilly in 1908. The wooden supports on the middle building suggest that it had, at this point, become unsafe.

Isaac Poad and Sons had head offices in Walmgate from 1881 - the building in which The Press is based today is still known as ‘Poads’. Isaac Poad, the founder of the firm, died in 1901, but the firm was continued by members of the family until the 1970s.

Pavement, early 1900s 

York Press:

It is five past three on a summer day some time between 1902 and 1907. The large building on the left hand corner is William Dove’s ironmongery and iron foundry. In the background is Bell’s Stores, which was a grocers shop at No 4 Fossgate. On the right the sign for the Golden Fleece Inn (the hanging sheep) can be seen. Sir Thomas Herbert’s House (with the steeply pitched double gable) is occupied by J. Wilson’s drapery shop. Next door is T Coning, grocer, the Creamery Restaurant and then Stephenson’s auctioneers. Melias’ grocers at no. 32 was demolished to make way for Piccadilly.

And so on to Clifton, and four photographs of various scenes. Probably our favourite is the one dating from the 1890s, which shows the Old Manor House at Clifton, in the days when it was occupied by coal merchant J Cussins.

York Press:

The Old Manor House, Clifton, in the 1890s. Photo: Imagine York

The photographer who took the picture annotated it as showing ‘Nell Gwinn’s House’ (spelling Nell Gwynn wrong in the process). We’d love to know why. Any thoughts, anyone?

The other Clifton photos show:

St James' Terrace, Clifton, c 1894

York Press:

The horse trough pictured here was the gift of Miss Maria Husband in 1833. She donated 14 guineas towards the cost herself, and raised the rest of the 130 guineas needed through contributions from other local people.

A row of cottages in Clifton which were demolished in 1912

York Press:

The picture dates from October of 1912, so just before the buildings were pulled down. Astonishingly, according to the caption accompanying the photograph, some of the bricks were of Roman make – indicating that the building had been made and re-made many times. The cottages were owned by Mr Holtby, a joiner and cabinet maker. He said that previously they had been occupied by a Mr James Moss. They had been a farm house and much of the land nearby had been farmland.

Clifton Ings, 1912

York Press:

The photograph shows the tree-lined walk at Clifton heading towards Clifton Ings, always a popular place for a Sunday stroll. The bend in the river at this point was used as mooring for the non-powered barges which were on their way upstream to Boroughbridge. They would wait here for the tugs which would tow them. This was also the site of the Clifton ferry - and is now the site of Clifton Bridge.

  • Thousands of old photos are held on Explore York’s wonderful Imagine York archive. You can browse it yourself for free just by visiting

York Press: