IT’S a case of going... going... gone on these pages today, courtesy of some remarkable photographs from Explore York’s wonderful Imagine York archive.

On the left are three photographs showing the famous Church of St Crux, which once stood in Pavement at the bottom of Shambles. The church had been redesigned in the 15th century with a beautiful Italianate tower - the only one of its kind in York. But an architect’s report in 1881 deemed that the church was unsound, and that it should be demolished. And so it was... causing uproar in Victorian York that such a beautiful building should be lost. The only reminder of it today is the church hall which stands in Pavement at the bottom of Shambles.

On the right are two photographs showing the old Harker’s Hotel in St Helen’s Square: one taken shortly before the hotel was pulled down, and one while it was actually being demolished. The hotel was named after Christopher Harker, who became the landlord in 1850, and kept his name after his death in 1870. The hotel was demolished in the late 1920s when the south side of St Helen’s Square was reconstructed: Betty’s tearooms now stands roughly where it once stood. Harkers bar, which is on the other side of the square today, is named after the old hotel. The lower of our two photographs of Harker’s, which shows it being demolished, includes a sign saying ‘Timber for sale’.

That seems to have been an

invitation to buy building materials left over from the demolition; clearly the developers were determined not to waste any chance to make a bit of extra money.

Our final two photographs show:

- The demolition of 6 Bootham, in the 1920s, to reveal part of the wall of the St Mary’s Abbey precinct. The photograph shows the White Horse Inn to the left with, on the right, the confectioner Edward Wakefield and Miss Helena Thompson’s bootmaker business

- Goodramgate in the 1890s. Some of the buildings that can be seen on the left of the photograph had been deliberately left empty so that they could be demolished to make way for Deangate in 1903. No 89, at the time occupied by Fred Wood’s Family Grocer shop, still stands at the eastern end of College Street and is owned by the National Trust. The archway (still in existence but now with its timbers exposed) is all that remains of a covered way which King Richard II (1377-1399) allowed the Vicars-Choral of York Minster to build, so that they could cross from their homes in Bedern to the Minster Yard without being molested or having in any way to come into contact with the ordinary people of York.

Stephen Lewis