It has been part of a Roman fortress, a medieval hospital, the site of a Royal Mint, a Georgian stable yard, a menagerie and a Second World War air raid shelter.

But now the scrap of lawn sandwiched between York central library and the Museum Gardens may be about to get a new lease of life - as a mini golf course.

Not just any mini golf course, however.

This course will be designed to walk you through York's history - with each of the course's 12 holes dedicated to a different time period, or a different area of the city.

So there will be holes themed around Roman York, Anglian York, Viking York, Norman York and Georgian York.

York Press:

One will be based around the medieval St Leonard's Hospital, which once stood on this site. And there's even a hole which would pay tribute to York's chocolate heritage.

The 12-hole course is the brainchild of York friends and entrepreneurs David Finch and Helen Birkett. They have designed the course in collaboration with Explore York Libraries and Archives. And a planning application to operate the course for up to seven years has now been lodged with city planners.

"We're not serial mini-golf entrepreneurs!" stressed Mr Finch. "We're just local people that have come up with an idea."

Most people associate mini golf with the seaside, he said.

But this course will respect the heritage of York. "This isn't going to be big, brash and gaudy," he said. "In fact, we hope that it will be something that inspires people to want to discover more about the city."

Planning consent (and scheduled monument consent) permitting, the hope is that the course could be opened any time between Easter and the summer.

If it does get the go-ahead, players would start their journey in Roman York and progress through the various ages with each hole.

Each hole would have an information board, with further signposting to inspire players to discover other places of interest in the city.

York Press:

How the information board for Hole 1 might look...

“Library Lawn has an amazing story to tell," said Mr Finch's fellow entrepreneur and schoolfriend from their days at Joseph Rowntree School, Helen Birkett. "Unfortunately, it is also massively under appreciated. York has a reputation for authentic heritage, which is why it is so important that we inspire people to discover it by connecting players with the real thing.”

Under the plans, Explore York would be given a fixed rent. There will be an as-yet undisclosed fee to play, but Mr Finch, who is a volunteer mentor for fostered children, says disadvantaged children and their carers will play for free.

Sarah Garbacz, Explore York's deputy chief executive, said it was hoped that the 'family friendly, accessible attraction' would be a way of getting more people interested in the history and heritage of York.

York Press:

Artist's impression of the planned mini golf course looking towards St Leonard's Hospital

"We see this project as the first stage in our development of Library Lawn," Sarah said. "In the longer term this important area will be used to showcase our nationally important archives as well as an exciting programme of cultural activities.”

To find out more about the plans, visit and search for reference 21/02758/FUL