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US couple’s Victorian map souvenir
AN American husband and wife who fell in love with York while studying in the city have a unique souvenir of their time here.
Robin Bier and her husband, Graham, are soon to return to the USA but will take with them a huge print of a rare Victorian map, the original of which is kept locked away in council archives.
The map, which dates from 1852, shows York at a time when the area around Clifford’s Tower was used as the county’s main prison and the railway station was still within the Bar Walls.
Mrs Bier, 30, said: “We came over to do a PHD in early music at the University of York . We are both musicians and environmentalists and do a lot of walking and hiking and my husband, Graham, loves maps.
“I got the idea that for a sixth wedding anniversary present I could purchase a print of this map because it’s a beautiful piece of art as well as a map.
“We have a huge collection of Ordnance Survey maps from all over England because of the walking we do and we thought it would be lovely to have the 1852 one.”
Mrs Bier approached Geoff Beacon, who owns an online, high resolution image of the map and he worked with the couple on the print out.
The copy of the map making its way back to America shows a very different York from today with only one road bridge spanning the River Ouse, and a King’s Square which still features Christ Church.
However, many of the famous city centre pubs are still with us today, including the Golden Slipper in Goodramgate and the Three Cranes in St Sampson’s Square.
Mrs Bier said the couple had not yet decided where they would be moving to on their return to the United States, but said the map was a “nice souvenir” of their time in the city.
To see the high resolution version of the map, go to york1852.org