Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Follow The Foss - 6 - Huntington Road

Meandering along the Foss as it wriggles along behind Huntington Road the character of the river banks becomes a little less urban and takes on a hint of the rural feeling greener with more overhanging trees. This starts with the little park area just past the bridge at Heworth Green.

From this point the river ducks behind the buildings on Huntington Road and moves through a series of gentle curves.



Having walked through a tranquil tree lined area at the back of the buildings you emerge back onto the busy Huntington Road not far from the former City Hospital now used as accomodation for students from St. John's. There is a roadside path and a fence alongside the river which is firmly held in place with concrete sides.

In the distance is a railway bridge which is now part of a cycleway and footpath. In a former incarnation this was the Derwent Valley Light Railway. In the following pictures you will see the "sculptures" atop the bridge emerging. There are many of these such "sculptures" along the cycleway. Most have been vandalised or grafittied

Again the walk takes a slightly more rural feel as the path runs behind the houses of Huntington Road. Willows seem to be more prominent along this stretch. On the right hand bank there is the King George's Park and childrens play area behind Dodsworth Avenue. Although having a slightly more rural feel you can tell that you are still in the city as there are abandoned beds and shopping trolleys in evidence.


In addition to the beds and shopping trolleys are also a liberal sprinkling of drink cans and bottles.

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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Follow the Foss - 5 - Along Fossbank to Heworth Green

Gone are the interesting parts like the building reclamation yard, Ossie's scrap yard, the gas and coking works with the bridge carrying a large gas pipe over the river and road. You have to look hard for some of the remains and what has replaced it is standard pastry cutter design industrial, commercial and high density housing buildings(slums of the future? only time will tell!).

Where the cars in the foreground are parked is where the reclamation yard used to stand. Ornate and interesting chimney spots were stacked around the yard. Rainfall has been a bit low this year and weed growth has become prominent in this section of the river as water levels have fallen.

Hidden  in the trees you can just make out the blue and whitesignboard of the automotive spares building of Partco. In the background is the high density housing and office buildings that have been built on the gas works site.

This picture is notable for the lack of the gas storage tank which normally dominates thesky line, presumably deflated as there is less gas demand during the summer months, or has that reached an end point and being decommisioned?

All that remains of the viaduct that carried a substantial gas main over the river and road are these two green foundation footings.  Rubbish in the water this year seems to be a particular problem. Maybe it is something to do with the low levels of water flowing in the river so it doesn't get washed out into the Ouse and become someone elses problem, or is it just a symptom of untidy city dwellers and a council strapped for cash?

Approaching Heworth green there is a small concrete bridge in front of the main Heworth Green road bridge another of the few remaining bits of the old gas works site.

Fossbank joins Heworth Green, Huntington Road and Monkgate at the Monk Roundabout. Cross to Huntington Road via Heworth Green.

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Monday, 28 September 2009

Follow The Foss - 4 - Foss view to Foss Islands Bridge

This section of the Foss is where there is no section of city wall. The River Foss formed a large swampy area around here which was eventually cut into a drainage channel and the swampy area that is now Hungate was drained. Hungate is undergoing redevelopment and has been thoroughly dug over by the archaeologists who have turned up finds from Roman times through Viking up to the early 19th century. The first stage of the redevlopment is nearing completion and the buildings along Foss View are starting to be occupied.

Although the City Council have a rubbish collecting boat you can just see it in the distance beyond the covered section of walkway I have never seen it being used. The current state of rubbish in the river makes me wonder if it has been used at all this year.

Just out of the covered walkway gives a closer glimpse of the moored rubbish collection boat and the chimney from the former power station that used to generate electricity for the city now standing next to Morrisons. The power station building that housed the generators stood where Halfords and Staples now stands.

The cooling tower for the power station used to stand on the far side of the river behind the trees you can see in the above picture. Access to the cooling tower was via the little bridge painted blue.

Continuing upstream on the left behind the trees you can just about see the edge of the DEFRA site (or whatever they are calling themselves these days, they used to be MAFF) which stands on the former site of engineering firm Adam's Hydraulics. Straight ahead you can see one of the bridge structures of the Foss Islands junction. This junction used to be a learner's nightmare with two hump backed bridges and multiple junctions to negotiate.


Behind the bridge you can see the point where the city walls break at Layerthorpe Postern and the marshlands of Foss Islands provided the defence line for the city. On foot you now need to follow a complicated route to get yourself onto Fossbank, see map below. Turn left onto the bridge in the above picture cross towards Layerthorpe Postern but at the island in between turn right to take you past the lighting arrangement in the following picture and then left where you will be against the flow of motor traffic onto Fossbank.

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Sunday, 27 September 2009

Follow The Foss -3 - Piccadily to Rowntree Wharf

Staying beside the Foss is impossible for the next stretch and requires a slightly complicated but interesting detour via the Merchant Adventurer's Hall (if closed go via Merchantgate and turn left into Fossgate over Foss Bridge and past the Blue Bicycle) Straker's Passage and the back of the telephone exchange.

Once into Piccadily cross the road to view the Foss behind the former FR Stubbs ironmongers shop

Turn to your left and go down the stairs into the garden of the Merchant Adventurer's Hall following the path to the left away from the river.

Exit the grounds into Fossgate where on a slight diagonal to the left you will find Straker's Passage on the other side of the road. Enter the passageway.

At the end of the passageway turn right along the back of the telephone exchange.

At the end of the building turn left and then take the next turn to the right to take you back to the river. On your right you will pass a pleasant riverside seating area. On reaching the riverside turn to your left to face upstream and towards the Rowntree Wharf building which is gained via the stairs and bridge over the river.

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Saturday, 26 September 2009

Follow The Foss - 2 - Castle Museum Corner to Piccadily

Continue from the corner of the Castle Museum along Tower Street along the side of the Law Courts

Corner of Castle Museum

Tower Street by the Law Courts towards Friargate

Turn right when you can see Clifford's Tower and head towards the Castle Car Park
As you walk across the car park the line of trees mark the line of the river. Head to the left as you reach the trees.

Behind the Coppergate Centre

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Friday, 25 September 2009

Follow The Foss - 1 - Blue Bridge to Castle Mills Bridge

Over the coming days I plan to meander along York's second river the River Foss.Journeying on foot I plan to take a photograph at approximately every 100 paces to show the changing scenery and character of the river. In some places where no path is available it will be necessary to make a small diversion around obstacles and rejoin the river as the earliest opportunity.  Starting from the confluence of the Foss and the larger Ouse the route will proceed upstream through the city centre and out of the city towards Huntington. In general the photographs will be looking upstream along the river in the direction of travel except when following a diversion around an obstacle or when an interesting downstream opportunity presents itself..

Blue Bridge a hand cranked lifting bridge.

Foss barrier flood prevention scheme

Approaching Foss Basin and Castle Mills lock with Castle Museum in background

Foss basin with Castle Museum in background, the locks can be seen to the right of the picture.

 Castle Mills lock

Castle Mills bridge is the first diversion away from the river, turning left at the top of the steps beside the lock follow the footpath to the end of the railings and then cross the road at the earliest opportunity, traffic permitting. Continue away from the river aournd the Law Courts and Castle Museum building.

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To be continued

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Rowntree Wharf from Hungate

This phase awaiting development in the Hungate redevelopment area has been nicely landscaped with flowers and large photographs on the hoardings. The viewpoint is from the corner of Black Horse Lane and Palmer Lane behind the Ambulance Station and Black Swan Inn. Amongst the photographs on the hoardings are some balack and white shots of Leetham's Flour Mill which occupied part of the Hungate area and was one of the largest flour mills in the country. The Hungate area has yielded some interesting Archaeology dating back to Roman times. Hungate was once an area of high housing density a situation that looks to be repeated with the current developments on the site!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Aldwark looking towards St Anthony's Hall

This is the reciprocal view to my posting of 6 September with the view along Aldwark from St Anthony's Hall. Here you are viewing from Aldwark down to the corner of St. Anthony's Hall. For those of you familiar with the area notice the cunning framing of the picture to cur Hilary House out of the picture. Hilary House is one of those 1960s abominations used by HMRC and Social Security. The red bins on the right of the picture mark the rear entrance into the yard at the back of the building. In the middle background you can just make out the black and white timber framing of the Black Swan Inn in Peaseholme Green.