UNTIL the arrival of the York carriageworks in the late nineteenth century, Holgate was little more than a quiet hamlet midway between York itself and Acomb. Its population in 1843 was recorded as just 143 people.

Then the carriageworks arrived, and everything changed.

The carriageworks closed in the 1990s, although a small rail maintenance depot remains, alongside a business park.

But if the proposed York Central development on the huge area of land where the carriageworks once stood takes off, Holgate could soon be on the brink of change once again.

All of which serves by way of an introduction to a selection of great photos of historic Holgate (the name may well derive from a combination of the Anglo-Saxon word hol, or hollow, and the Viking word gate, or street, in which case it would mean 'hollow street') which we found on the Imagine York website run by Explore York Libraries and Archives.

Most of the photos date from the early 1900s, both just before and just after electric trams arrived in York. A couple, from 1911, show Holgate Windmill. And there is a fascinating photograph, from the very early 1900s, showing John W Bentley standing outside his grocery shop at the corner of The Mount and Holgate Road.

The most recent of the photographs we have included here show the back-to-back terraces of Stafford Place, Eagle Street and Rosary Terrace in about 1960, not long before they were demolished.

The photographs show:

1. An electric tram, car no 10, travelling up Holgate Road in about 1910. The road had to be widened during the works to lay the tram line. The continuous hedge which had been on one side was replaced by a brick retaining wall, which can be seen on the right of the picture. The gradient of the hill was also reduced

2. A tram at the terminus on Acomb Road in about 1910. At this time Acomb was in the West Riding and trams could not pass the border. In this photograph it is clear that the tram has no destination board - this is because it ran from Holgate Bridge to Acomb and passengers had to walk over Holgate Railway Bridge until it was strengthened

3. Holgate at the junction of Acomb Road and Poppleton Road before the tramlines were laid in 1910. The Fox Inn is on the left and Lindley Murray's house can just be seen through the trees on the right. Murray was an important grammarian whose book English Grammar, published in 1795, became the most widely used grammatical textbook throughout the 19th century

4. Holgate Mill as photographed by JG Brown in about 1911

5. Holgate Mill as photographed in 1911 by JG Brown. The miller who lived at the mill from 1902 to 1924 was Herbert Warters - it is probably him you can see in the photograph. During his time the mill was still producing brown and white flour

6. John W. Bentley at the entrance to his grocer shop at the corner of The Mount and Holgate Road in the early 1900s. Bentley eventually moved his family to the clearer air of Upper Poppleton where he established a second, larger, grocer shop on the Green. He later sold both shops to the Co-operative movement and moved with his family to Haxby where he opened a new shop

7. Stafford Place, Eagle Street and Rosary Terrace in about 1960 before they were demolished. The main street visible in the picture is Lowther Terrace off Holgate Road. Eagle Street is the street with the off-licence on its corner (with the magnet sign) while Rosary Terrace overlooks the railway lines.

Stephen Lewis

All the photos on these pages, and thousands more, are held on Explore York’s Imagine York archive. You can browse it yourself at imagineyork.co.uk