THE architect behind some of York and North Yorkshire's finest schools and civic buildings is being celebrated by a new exhibition.

The Borthwick Institute, at the University of York, is marking the work of local architect Walter Brierley, who practised in the city for 40 years around the turn of the 20th century.

Between 1885 and 1926, he was responsible for more than 300 buildings, including schools, churches, houses and civic buildings, in York, North Yorkshire and across the North of England.

The exhibition features items from Mr Brierley's archive which is preserved in the institute itself.

Mr Brierley's legacy includes the Headmaster's House, at the university's King's Manor, County Hall, in Northallerton and four schools, one of which, Scarcroft Primary School, is regarded as his masterpiece. Goddards, in Tadcaster Road, built for the Terry family in the 1920s, was his last building.

Brierley also designed many of the buildings in the North York Moors village of Goathland - which now serves a backdrop to TV show Heartbeat.

Architect Keith Groom said: "Much of Goathland is built by Brierley. A lot of the houses around the green, the hotel and the church were his - they are obviously now well-known to the public because it's all part of the latest soap opera. If you watch Heartbeat, most of the opening titles are Brierley."

The institute's exhibition is also a celebration of 60 years of York Civic Trust, which aims to enhance the city's built environment.

Chris Webb, keeper of archives at the Borthwick, said: "It is fitting that the trust, which founded the Borthwick in 1953, was one of three organisations - with the National Art Collection Fund and the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grants Fund - which raised the large sums required to purchase the archive and preserve it."

Graham Millar, chairman of York Civic Trust, said: "It is particularly pleasing that the exhibition should take place at the University of York in whose foundation the Civic Trust played such a crucial part.

"We are also proud that the Borthwick Institute has become such an important resource locally, nationally and internationally."

The exhibition is open during university library opening times until April 6.