Clements Hall
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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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Bishophill and transport

The River Ouse was of course a key transport route, with regular steam packet passenger services to Hull from 1816, then Selby and Leeds. The first steamboat on the Ouse was the Waterloo, arriving at New Walk. River steamers sailed from the Crane wharves on the Bishophill side of the river, from 1836: the Arrow, the Ebor and the Old Ebor. These travelled to Selby Goole and Hull, connecting with railway lines and also southbound steamers at Hull Custom House Quay. For example passengers could travel to Leeds via the railway line from Selby. By the 1870s this service had stopped, with competition from the railway lines on key routes.

Passenger traffic disappeared by 1876.

Roads were key to transport, supported by turnpike trusts from the 18c, and the road to Tadcaster retains its original alignment. The city was obliged to repair it as far as Hob Moor. These roads carried long distance coaching traffic, and there were local coaching inns such as The Elephant and Castle in Skeldergate and The Pack Horse in Micklegate. Information from Bradley’s The Old Coaching Days in Yorkshire (1889)

“The Elephant and Castle Inn was kept early in the century by Mr. George Flower, who was succeeded by Mr. Taylor, and the following coaches were worked from this inn: the Yorkshire Hussar (York and Ripon), the Harrogate Union, the Recovery (Leeds and Scarbro’), the Wensleydale Umpire, and the Hull Union, before it was transferred to the White Swan. Also the Royal Wharfdale (York and Liverpool) was put upon the road August 5th, 1822, and ran daily, from the Elephant and Castle at 6am through Wetherby, Harewood, Otley, Ilkley, Addingham, Skipton, Gisburn, Clitheroe, Whalley, Blackburn, and Ormskirk, to the Crown Inn, Red Cross Street, Liverpool; returned 6am.; arrived at each place the same evening at 9pm. Performed by George Flower & Co.

The Pack Horse Inn, Micklegate, was kept by Mr. Hornsey, but the coaches were horsed by Mr. Joseph Riccall, who kept the Half Moon in Blake Street. The original Light Post coach from York to Ripon, and the Highflyer, which left the Black Swan, Middleham, at five in the morning, and arrived at the Pack Horse at noon every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, returning the following days at two in the afternoon, were worked from here.”

Another form of traffic on the old roads was carriers’ carts, which also left the Elephant and Castle in Skeldergate and the Pack Horse in Micklegate.

Susan Major is exploring the use of sedan chairs in this area in the 18th and early 19th century. Sir Darcy Dawes, who had a house on Micklegate Hill, kept a detailed account of his household affairs from 1724-32, including money paid for chair hire. Murray features a directory of public hire 'chairmen', of whom eight were in North St, seven in Skeldergate and five in Micklegate (See Hugh Murray ‘Sedan Chairs in York’ York Historian Vol 17 (2001)).

The railway is another important theme. The first station was a temporary building on Queen Street, outside the city walls. It was opened in 1839 by George Hudson's York and North Midland Railway and was the terminus of the original trunk route for trains to London, via Derby and Birmingham. Subsequently the Old Railway Station was designed by G T Andrews and built 1839-41 for the York and North Midland Railway on Tanner Row. a hole for the lines punched through the City Walls. It took over the site which had been the Dominican Friary and nursery gardens, and Lady Hewley’s Hospital and the old House of Correction were demolished.

In 1840 it took 14 hours to get to London by train. YNM chairman George Hudson was a key figure in this development. It led to other changes, such as the construction of Hudson St, later called Railway St, and a new hotel here, the Station Hotel which opened in 1853.

This station was replaced by the new station outside the Walls in 1877, and is now the City of York Council Offices.

The North Eastern Railway HQ in Tanner Row opened in 1906.

The Fulford tram service ran along Rougier Street, towards the station between 1881/2, with electric trams by 1910, running till 1935, when they were superseded by motor buses

See also