YORK'S historic Davygate could be about to get a new addition.

Upmarket jeweller Mappin & Webb hopes to move into part of the former Debenhams store in the street - as well as taking overt the former Virgin Money corner outlet.

It is news that has been broadly welcomed by Press readers. 'Nice name and business to have in the centre of York' said one reader, who goes by the name 'Byetheway' on The Press website.

In the street's long history, there have of course been many changes - both in the businesses based there, and in the buildings themselves.

We've dug out some great photos from the digital archive kept by Explore York Library and Archives. They show, amongst other things, the demolition of the old British Gas showroom in 1998, and the redevelopment of the Davygate Arcade.

York Press:

The site of the former British Gas showroom in 1998. Picture: Explore York Libraries and Archives

We even found a photo of Davy Hall, after which the street is apparently named. Demolished in the 1890s, according to Explore York, the hall was apparently once the ancestral home of the Lardiner family of the Forest of Galtres, who traced their descent all the way back to one David le Lardiner in 1175.

York Press:

Davy Hall in the 1890s. Picture: Explore York Libraries and Archives

Other photos today include a great shot of a group of men standing on the corner of Davygate and St Sampson’s Square in the 1890s - long before Browns moved to the site.

There's a photograph of a rather grim, gloomy and forbidding-looking Davygate in Victorian times, looking down the street towards the market in Parliament Street in the 1890s.

And, perhaps our favourite of all, there's a wonderful picture of a group of women - all dressed in severe black - sitting at the top of Davygate in about 1900.

York Press:

Women sitting at the top of Davygate, c 1900. Picture: Explore York Libraries and Archives.

We'd love to know more about what they were doing there, dressed in such a fashion. Sadly, the caption doesn't say...

You can see many more great photos like these on Explore York's digital picture archive at images.exploreyork.org.uk/