Archbishop Holgate Grammar School Gates

The City Enhancement Programme worked in partnership with NHS York Teaching Hospital to repair and restore the gates to the former playing fields of Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School (since re-located).  A letter from local resident David Crawford to Patrick Crawley (Chief Executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) highlighted the poor condition of the gates, which now are next to the hospital. York Civic Trust were approached to provide the management and conservation expertise to restore the gates.

The school gates before repair

The gates and railings were the work of the Walker Iron Foundry (1837-1923) whose premises were in Walmgate, York.  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 for many prominent York buildings. The school gates were manufactured between 1850 and 1860, although the precise date is unknown.

Work being carried out on the school gates

York Civic Trust undertook surveys into the structural repairs required then worked to restore the railings to their original appearance, including repainting them in their original York green colour. The Trust also erected a blue plaque commemorating the site and an interpretation board for passers by, explaining the history, location and importance of the gates, the school and Archbishop Holgate.

The repair and restoration were carried out from summer 2016 by contractors Barker and Patterson of Hull and I M Thornton. The restored gates were unveiled on 2 May 2017 at a ceremony attended by David Fraser (Chief Executive of York Civic Trust), Patrick Crowley (Chief Executive of NHS Teaching Hosptial York) and former pupils of the school.

Patrick Crowley, CEO of York Hospital, unveiling the repaired school gates, May 2017. The hospital buildings are visible behind.