Clements Hall
Nunnery Lane book cover

Clements Hall Local History Group

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe, South Bank and Bishophill areas of York

Clements Hall Local History Group

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe, South Bank and Bishophill areas of York

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New Bishophill book out next week

We’re launching our new book next week, Bishophill and Skeldergate: exploring old shops, pubs and industries in York. It's the latest in our award-winning series, this time focusing on the old shops and pubs in Bishophill and Skeldergate. The book also includes industrial firms, still well-known to local people.

Front and back cover 

The riverside setting has given Bishophill a particular character, consequently there were a large number of public houses on Skeldergate and in other parts of Bishophill. Historic pubs included a hostelry intriguingly called The Putrid Arms at one point, another housed wild animals which paraded through the city centre and also acted as a temporary stud for horse breeders. More recently one of our most popular pubs, the Golden Ball, became the first ever city centre co-operative pub in the country.

Our book includes a surprising number of intriguing details about Bishophill during the 19th and 20th centuries. Some Bishophill buildings involved famous figures, such as an important arts supporter, with links to Charlie Chaplin. Skeldergate was the setting for a Wilkie Collins novel, as he visited regularly, and another popular Victorian novelist was born locally. There’s also a fascinating tale about a personal encounter with Napoleon.

Some local people have vivid memories of working at Cooke’s world-famous optical firm in Bishophill, which surprisingly made use of spiders’ webs in its industrial processes. The area also housed a famous record label warehouse in Fetter Lane for Indie music records in the 1980s, Red Rhino Records, promoting music icons such as Jarvis Cocker.

We're launching our book at the Golden Ball in Cromwell Road, on Wednesday 22 May, at 6pm, all welcome. Bishophill and Skeldergate: exploring old shops, pubs and industries in York has 136 pages, and includes 124 photographs and maps. It will be available to buy during the evening, and from the following day at the Golden Ball, also Frankie and Johnny's Cookshop and Pextons Hardware on Bishy Road, price £10.