RECOGNISE this view?

It’s the gasometer in the foreground that is the giveaway.

The photograph was

taken by the York Health Department some time in

the 1930s, presumably

ahead of a planned

programme of slum

clearance, and it shows the view across Layerthorpe.

The city wall at Jewbury

can be seen at the top right of the photograph.

Below that, beside the

River Foss, is Foss Bank, where Sainsbury’s now stands.

Peaseholme Green runs off into the distance in the top centre of the photograph, and below that you can

make out people standing

on Layerthorpe Bridge,

although the bridge looks very different from the remodelled version we are familiar with today.

Most of the closely-

packed buildings huddled in the centre of the photo - a mix of terraced streets,

pubs and shops - are long gone.

They were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s, and today their place has been taken by small industrial and commercial properties - a garage, a carpet shop, and more.

According to a City of York Council “character study” of

Layerthorpe, The York Gas Light Company

originally set up on the west side of the River Foss, close to Heworth Green, in the 1820s.

From the mid-1900s

onwards the gasworks site went through several

periods of expansion and

re-organisation until it

eventually closed in the 1970s.

Part of the gasworks site

is now being used for


This photograph is one of thousands held on Explore York Library and Archives’ wonderful Imagine York website.

You can view the original for yourself, and browse through thousands of other historic images of York, by visiting the website

Stephen Lewis