York Civic Trust events

PLEASE NOTE: All YCT Spring / Summer events will go live for sale at 10am on Wednesday 26th February 2020.



March 2020


Sheldon Lecture: George Pace CVO

George Pace was the country’s most prolific church architect in the post war period. He designed new churches, restored cathedrals and re-ordered hundreds of parish churches including locally St. Martin le Grand.

He had an exceptional knowledge of mediaeval architecture, but was a modernist designing in concrete and steel using Yorkshire craftsmen to make a church an act of worship in itself. He worked in the tradition of the great Victorian architects designing everything down to the light fittings and door handles.

The lecture will be given by Peter Pace and will be followed by drinks in the undercroft.

Venue: Merchant Adventurers’ Hall

Ticket cost: £5
Purchase Ticket: https://sheldon-lecture-george-pace.eventbrite.co.uk



Mansion House Lunch

Now that the Mansion House is open to the public for part of each week it is possible to hire the premises for private functions on other days. The Trust is hosting a lunch for members in the splendid dining room. After the two-course meal Rachel Semlyen will speak on some of the more colourful Lord Mayors who have lived here. Rachel co-authored the book ‘Lords of the City – The Lord Mayors of York and their Mansion House’.

For those who would like to stay a little longer, Darrell Buttery will take a group to see some of the challenges facing the Trust when we financed and guided the major restoration of the Mansion House in 2000.

Venue: York Mansion House

Ticket cost: £45
Purchase Ticket: https://mansion_house_lunch.eventbrite.co.uk


April 2020


St. Mary’s Abbey Figure of Christ: A New Treasure in the Yorkshire Museum’s Collection

Expertly crafted from rich materials in 13th century France, the figure would have provided a focal point for wonder and worship in the church of St. Mary’s Abbey.

Acquired by the Yorkshire Museum in September 2019, and now on display for the first time since 1826, museum curator Lucy Creighton will lead a talk on this fascinating artefact.

Venue: Yorkshire Museum
(museum charges will still apply)

Ticket cost: £10
Ticket purchase: https://st_marys_abbey_figure_of_christ.eventbrite.co.uk



Coffee Morning Social

Join us for this traditional start to the Civic Trust’s season of events. Twenty or so early pictures of the city have been added to the collection at Knavesmire Lodge and members who would like to see them can view them in the rooms where they are displayed. The antiques stall will be raising money to go towards the cost of installing the organ from St. Michael-le-Belfrey into St. Lawrence’s Church.

Venue: Knavesmire Lodge, 304 Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1HE.
Bus stop at Chalfonts, nearly opposite.

Ticket cost: £5
Ticket purchase: https://coffee_social.eventbrite.co.uk



York Racecourse: Forever Changing

Deemed to be one of the best Racecourses in the world, York has continued to thrive and develop its facilities. Members will be given a chance to see the new areas and those only accessible by jockeys or trainers.

Meet: York Racecourse main entrance

Ticket cost: £12
Ticket purchase: https://york_racecourse.eventbrite.co.uk


May 2020


31 St. Saviourgate

Members have been offered a marvellous opportunity by York Conservation Trust to look at the interior of 31 St Saviourgate. The present tenants will have moved out in the spring and the Conservation Trust wish to do some restoration work before the next occupants arrive. They have kindly said that during this period we may have access to see the building’s interiors.

Built mainly in 1739 as a house, it has also had an existence as a school and later as offices. Throughout all these periods, the fine 18th century interiors and access patterns have survived and where subdivisions have been made the original cornices and skirting boards enable the original layout to be an easily and
intriguingly understood puzzle.

Venue: 31 St. Saviourgate

Ticket cost: £12
Ticket Purchase: https://31_st_saviourgate.eventbrite.co.uk



The Peoples of York, Lecture 1: Arrivals

This is the first in a landmark series of six talks. The lectures will explore how York was shaped by settlers from Europe and beyond from the earliest times. The stories of individuals and the history of familiar places will come to the fore in six enlightening and engaging talks.

Organised by YCT, and supported by York Museum Trust, these fascinating sessions will be open to everyone. The series will launch with an insight into Roman and Anglian arrivals in York. In the autumn of 2020, the stories of medieval settlers will come to the fore. In 2021, we will hear how the city was shaped by the turbulence of 19th and 20th century migrations across Europe, and bring York’s story up to the present day.

Venue: Tempest Anderson Hall, Yorkshire Museum

Ticket cost: FREE
Ticket purchase: https://peoples_of_york_lecture1.eventbrite.co.uk



A Visit to the Borthwick Institute

A chance to visit the Borthwick Institute for Archives to see some of the treasures there relating to the University and the city.

New Keeper of Archives and Special Collections, Gary Brannan will be our host for the evening along with the Borthwick’s talented team of archives, conservation and digitisation specialists and provide an opportunity to tour behind the scenes, see unique records relating to the University’s links with York and the City’s own history; and hear rare recordings from the Borthwick’s extensive music holdings.

Access: Entry to the Borthwick is via the main entrance to the Library. By bus, the 66 and 66a stop by the Library bridge on University Road: by car, use Car park Central adjacent to the bridge.

Venue: Borthwick Institute University Rd, Heslington, York YO10 5DD

Ticket cost: £12
Ticket purchase: https://borthwick_institute_visit.eventbrite.co.uk



Minster Precinct: History and Heritage

Peter Goodchild will lead a walk around the Minster Precinct, illustrating the major changes that have taken place in the buildings and spaces of the cathedral close, especially during the 19th century. We will use as a guide the detailed map by Edward Baines, published in 1822, which has been described as the last map depicting the streets and housing of medieval York.

Please wear sensible shoes and consider the possibility of rain.

Meet: Monk Bar

Ticket cost: £12
Ticket purchase: https://minster_precinct.eventbrite.co.uk


June 2020


York’s Defences: The City Walls

The city walls have protected York from Roman times against war and turbulence. In the Middle Ages, in the Civil War and during the 1745 uprising, the walls have been York’s first line of defence.

Dr. Jane Crease will lead the walk around the lesser known, western section of the walls from the two Norman mottes of William the Conqueror to Lendal tower. We will look at the history of York castle itself, and the western section of the walls, protected at each end by great chains across the river Ouse.

The walls reflect the developing technology and strategy of warfare; we will trace that development from the arrow slit to the artillery platforms of the Civil War. We will look at how the walls were altered by the settled peace of the 18th and 19th centuries and how their survival was threatened.

Not suitable for those with limited mobility. Please wear sensible shoes and be aware that parts of the tour are over uneven ground.

Meet: The base of the steps at Clifford’s Tower

Ticket cost: £12
Ticket purchase: https://yorks_defences.eventbrite.co.uk



The Retreat

The Retreat psychiatric hospital was opened by York Quakers in 1796. Its mild methods of treating the insane instantly made it famous, and it became a major influence on changing attitudes to the mentally ill.

The Retreat transferred in-patient services to the Schoen Clinic (based on-site) in December 2018 but continues to operate as a specialist mental health care provider offering a range of out-patient and community services.

The Retreat site, which includes the hospital buildings and grounds, Lamel Hill, and the York Quaker burial ground, is of great historical significance, and is not normally open to the public. Dr Kath Webb, who has catalogued the rich and fascinating Retreat archive, will lead a walk around the site, examining its development and how this reflects the contributions the Retreat has made to the development of mental health care over the last 200 years.

Meet at the front of the Retreat, 107 Heslington Road, York YO10 5BN

Ticket cost: £12
Ticket purchase: https://the_retreat.eventbrite.co.uk



Primary Schools Public Speaking Competition

The Primary School Public Speaking Competition aims to raise the awareness of the young people of York in their architectural, cultural and historic heritage. Participants choose from topics relating to York in the past, present or future. It always proves to be an astonishing display of the talent of the children of the city.

Venue: Merchant Adventurers’ Hall

Ticket cost: FREE
Ticket purchase: https://primary_schools_public_speaking_competition.eventbrite.co.uk


July 2020


Thomas Horsley, Gunmaker of York

In the mid-19th Century every town in England had at least one gunmaker. London and Birmingham had hundreds. Most guns were for self-defence, defence of the Empire or supplying a growing arms trade. But the high end market was in sporting guns for the landed gentry where shooting game became a fashionable pastime for the rich, led by the Prince of Wales.

Advances in design came thick and fast, and for 50 years and two generations of ownership, a shop in Coney Street, York was
right at the forefront. A list of buyers of Horsley guns in the 1860’s reads like a Who’s Who of Yorkshire. Horsley’s guns were of the highest quality and initially at least, all the work and innovation was done in York.

Tim Manners will show a selection of his guns and talk on the history and rise and fall of one of York’s most famous businesses.

Venue: Medical Society Rooms, 23 Stonegate, York YO1 8AW

Ticket cost: £10
Ticket purchase: https://thomas_horsley.eventbrite.co.uk



Millthorpe School

In 1920 two new grammar schools, Nunthorpe and Mill Mount, were opened in York, both situated in fine houses designed by the famous partnership of J.B. and W. Atkinson. This mid-Victorian house, Nunthorpe Court, became Nunthorpe Grammar School for Boys. The original house was retained and over the years extended to accommodate the growing number of pupils. After comprehensive education arrived in 1985, the school became Millthorpe School.

Members who would like to see the house and grounds will be met by Darrell Buttery who will guide the party round the principal interiors.

Meet: Outside the main front of the house, reached from Nunthorpe Avenue

Ticket cost: £8
Ticket purchase: https://millthorpe_school.eventbrite.co.uk


August 2020


Annual Lunch and Social

A major social event of the Trust is the annual lunch at Knavesmire Lodge. This follows the familiar pattern of a review of the year and a look to the future, including comments from members, which will last for about 50 minutes. Drinks are then served and members can enjoy socialising in house and garden before lunch.

Venue: Knavesmire Lodge, 304 Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1HE
Bus stop at Chalfonts, nearly opposite

Ticket cost: £22
Ticket purchase: https://annual_lunch.eventbrite.co.uk



Wentworth Woodhouse

After last year’s very successful visit we will this time focus on other parts of the house, again accompanied by Peter Brown. We will have two tours, the Clifford Tour of the private family rooms in the baroque house (Western front) behind the Georgian house, and the Hidden Tour which goes behind the scenes in parts of the house not normally open to visitors. Lunch will be taken in between the two tours.

There is a generous discount for members of the National Trust so the pricing is based on this. NT members must bring their membership cards. Those joining us who are not NT members will be asked for a £10 supplement to be paid on the day.

Coach departs from Memorial Gardens, Leeman Road, YO1 6FZ at 10.30 am prompt. 4:30 pm expected arrival back into York.

Ticket cost: £50 includes coach travel, charge for 2 tours and lunch. £10 surcharge on the day for non NT members
Ticket purchase: https://wentworth_woodhouse.eventbrite.co.uk