In 1880 a man we know only as Mr Waterworth painted a wonderful watercolour of Clifford's Tower seen from what is now Tower Gardens.

There's a lot going on in his painting. In Waterworth's day, Clifford's Tower was mainly hidden by the imposing walls of the Victorian prison, which had been built in the 1830s. We can only imagine what was going on behind those walls. But in the middle ground of Waterworth's painting a man can be seen riding along Tower Street, while in the foreground four men are beating a carpet.

The book The Streets of York, in which this painting features, makes an interesting point about those carpet beaters. The fact that they are shown beating beating their carpet in the shadow of the prison walls is, the book notes, a 'reminder that many dwellings in the city did not even have back yards so that tasks such as this had to be carried out on public open space.'

The prison walls were still there when an unknown photographer captured the same view on his camera for a postcard in 1920, and were pretty much unchanged apart from being partly obscured by bushes. A decade or so after the photograph was taken, however, the site's use as a detention centre came to an end. The prison itself closed, and by 1935 - almost exactly a century after they had been built - the prison walls and many of the Victorian buildings associated with the prison were demolished. Chris Shepherd's modern photograph shows the same view today.

From Tower Street to Walmgate, and an 1830 watercolour by an unknown amateur artist in the collection of the York Merchant Adventurers which shows Walmgate Bar from what is now Barbican Road.

The bar was fairly dilapidated at the time the artist painted this view: look carefully, and you will see that the turrets above the out-thrust barbican are partly overgrown, and in a poor state of repair compared to today. The barbican itself had been pressed into use as housing: a row of cottages leans up against both sides, and a woman can be seen standing in the doorway of one dwelling. Someone has hung their washing out to dry on top of the gatehouse.

By the 1870s, when an unknown photographer captured the same view on camera, the barbican had been repaired, the houses which used to lean up against it had been removed, and the farm gate which once closed off access to what is now Foss Islands Road had gone.

The bar itself looks pretty much the same in Chris Shepherd's modern photo as it did in 1870, but the road surface is different, and there are many more trees.

This will be our last dip into the Streets of York book, because the exhibition of the same name, which is based upon it, comes to an end on Thursday. You can still catch the exhibition on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, or at a special 'open to the public' evening on Wednesday, if you haven't done so already.

Stephen Lewis

The Streets of York: Four Centuries of Change by Darrell Buttery, Ron Cooke, Stephen Lewis and Chris Shepherd is published in hardback by York Publishing Services, priced £30.

The exhibition at the Maclagan Hall in St Williams College runs until Thursday, with public admission each afternoon from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and a special evening opening from 6.30pm on Wednesday. Entry is £12 on the door.

The book is available from Fairfax House, the Minster bookshop, York Against Cancer shops, The Press offices in Walmgate or - at the special discount price of £20 - from the exhibition itself.

All proceeds from both book and exhibition go to three local charities: York Against Cancer, York Civic Trust and the York Minster Fund.

Stephen Lewis, one of the authors of the book, also writes the Yesterday Once More column for The Press.