The wonderful industrial-era block of flats on the River Foss now known as Rowntree Wharf began life as a grain warehouse or the Leetham and Sons flour mill across the river at Hungate.

Founded by Henry Leetham in 1860, the Hungate mill was originally one of the largest flour mills in Europe.

According to archaeologist Dr Jayne Rimmer, who wrote a piece about uncovering York's industrial past for the BBC's York and North Yorkshire website a few years ago, the warehouse, perched on a tongue of land between the River Foss proper and the siding known as Wormald's Cut, was once attached to the mill across the river in Hungate by a four-level bridge.

In 1930 the mill closed, however, and in 1935 the warehouse was taken over by Rowntree, and used by the chocolate factory as its 'navigation warehouse'. Hence our photograph number 1 today, which shows the 'new' Rowntree warehouse in 1935.

And a beautiful building it was, too. Designed by Walter Penty, it was a five-storey main warehouse with a nine-storey water tower which towered over the slums of Hungate.

in the days when it was attached to Leetham's Mill it was supplied with grain by barge. Once it had been taken over by Rowntree, the grain was replaced by cocoa beans, which continued to be brought to the wharf until the 1960s, according to the Rowntree Society.

As road transport replaced river transport, however, the warehouse gradually fell out of use, and in 1989 the building was converted into flats and offices by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It remains, however, perhaps York's most beautiful surviving industrial-age building.

Having stumbled on the photograph during a search of The Press' online photographic archive, we decided to look for a few more archive photos of Rowntree's. We've chosen a few that we thought might surprise you. Here they are...

1. The 'new' Rowntree warehouse on the River Foss in 1935

2. Workmen replacing brickwork in the sign for the huge Elect Cocoa sign at the Rowntree Mackintosh factory (Rowntree had merged with John Mackintosh and Co in 1969, to become Rowntree Mackintosh) in 1973

3. Rowntree Mackintosh bricklayer Mr Ron Ellis, pictured in 1982 knocking out the bricks which formed the Rowntree's Cocoa sign

4. The skeleton of a new Rowntree Mackintosh building taking shape off Haxby Road in October, 1983. Somehow, the new building doesn't have quite the elegance of Rowntree Wharf...

5. The new Rowntree Mackintosh warehouse on Haxby Road beginning to take shape later in 1983

6. It is 1984, and miners weren't the only ones on strike. This picture s captioned simply 'Strikers in the Rowntree dispute arrive for the meeting at York University'

7. Another strike picture from 1984, this time showing pickets outside the Rowntree factory.

Stephen Lewis