The City Enhancement Programme worked in partnership with NHS York Teaching Hospital to repair and restore the gates to the former playing fields to the Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School, now adjacent to the hospital. Following a letter from David Crawford, a local resident, to Patrick Crawley (Chief Executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) highlighting the poor condition of the gates, York Civic Trust were approached to provide the management and conservation expertise to restore the railings.
The gates and railings were the work of the Walker Iron Foundry (1837-1923) whose premises were situated in Walmgate, York. They were manufactured sometime between 1850 and 1860 although the precise date is unknown. The Walker Iron Foundry was famed nationally and provided iron work for the Elizabeth Gate at Kew Gardens, and the railings and gates for the British Museum in London as well as many prominent York buildings.
York Civic Trust undertook surveys into the structural repairs required and worked to restore the railings as they would have previously appeared and repainted them in their original York green colour scheme. The Trust also erected a blue plaque commemorating the site and an installation board explaining the history, location and importance of the gates, school and Archbishop Holgate for passing walkers.
The repair and restoration works were carried out between summer 2016 and spring 2017 by contractors Barker and Patterson of Hull and I M Thornton and the restored gates were unveiled at an opening ceremony attended by David Fraser (Chief Executive of York Civic Trust), Patrick Crowley (Chief Executive of NHS Teaching Hosptial York) along with pupils of the school, on 2 May 2017.