ONE hundred years ago today, on May 18, 1915, the Yorkshire Herald, the forerunner of The Press, was celebrating its 20,000th edition since being launched by Messrs. Wilson, Spence and Mawman from an office in High Ousegate in 1790.

The editor in 1915, David Leith Pressley, decided to mark this historic occasion by producing a special celebratory edition.

He commissioned his friend, the York artist and architect Edwin Ridsdale Tate, to produce some impressive sketches to illustrate this special edition and one of these has come to be an iconic image here in York even a century later.

The wonderful Panorama of York As In The 15th Century was reproduced in this special issue across a whole page of the old broadsheet newspaper.

It shows how York may have looked in the Middle Ages, the 1400s, when York was at its height of success as an inland port, a centre of religion and the northern capital of England, second only to London.

It was the time when York was very busy and very wealthy with the wool weaving industry, the import of wines and silks from abroad and with many religious houses, St. Mary’s Abbey, Holy Trinity Priory and many other religious communities and churches, most of which have now disappeared. This is all shown clearly, in great detail, in the panorama.

Ridsdale Tate was also asked to prepare sketches of the leading schools of the city which included Elmfield College on Malton Road which has disappeared over the past 100 years.

He also did a bird’s eye view of the centre of the city showing the line from Pavement up through High Ousegate, over Ouse Bridge, up Micklegate and Micklegate Bar which was extremely detailed and accurate. Tate was very talented in recording many aspects of York’s scenes which are no longer to be seen.

The panorama is still on display in the Yellow Room at the Mansion House and can be seen on any open day or by prior appointment for group visits.

I will be publishing a book, Quaint & Historic York Remembered, celebrating the fascinating life and prolific works of Edwin Ridsdale Tate by the end of this year. Readers who are interested to receive advance information can obtain a flyer by phoning me on 01904 760467 or by email at

Peter Stanhope, Cyprus Grove, Haxby, York.