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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View south on Davygate
View south on Davygate

Davygate is a major shopping street in the city centre of York, in England.


During the Roman period, the site of Davygate lay just inside the city walls, and was covered by barracks. In the 12th-century, the land on which the street now lies was given to John, the King's Larderer. By 1226, it was owned by his son, David, who was living in a house on the land, which became known as Davy Hall. A street gradually developed, which became known as "Davygate", after the hall. The hall itself became the prison of the Forest of Galtres.[1][2][3]

By the mid-16th century, the hall was regarded as a liberty, outside the jurisdiction of the city, and it had been divided into tenements, where poor artisans could live, and make and sell goods without paying taxes or adhering to quality standards. It was demolished in 1744, and the site was used partly for a new graveyard for St Helen's, Stonegate, and partly to construct New Street. St Helen's former graveyard, at the north-west end of Davygate, was paved over to create St Helen's Square.[1][2][3]

The south-eastern end of the street was widened in 1891. It became a major shopping street, and almost all the buildings on its length have since been demolished and replaced.[3]

Layout and architecture

The street runs south-east from St Helen's Square to St Sampson's Square. Before 1745, it started slightly further north-west, at a junction with Coney Street and Stonegate. On the south-west side, it has a junction with New Street.

The south-west side of the street mostly consists of neo-Georgian buildings, the latest dating from the 1950s.[4] Until 2019, part of the range was occupied by a branch of Debenhams.[5] 20 Davygate is a listed building, its earliest sections dating from the 18th-century, but repeatedly rebuilt.[3][6] On the north-east side, 15 Davygate has a half-timbered facade, originally designed for Liberty's. It was rebuilt as the Tudor Cafe in 1927, with a notable art nouveau interior, but this was destroyed in the 1950s, when it was converted into a bank.[2][4] Part of the street has been occupied since 1900 by Brown's department store.[2] 3-5 Davygate is described by the City of York Council as "one of the best contemporary designs" in the city centre,[7]


  1. ^ a b A History of the County of York: the City of York. London: Victoria County History. 1961. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Davygate". York Civic Trust. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central. London: HMSO. 1981. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b Pevsner, Niklaus (1995). Yorkshire: York and the East Riding. Yale University Press. pp. 233–235. ISBN 0300095937.
  5. ^ Horner, Ed (17 October 2019). "Another blow for city centre as Debenhams in Davygate to close". The Press. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  6. ^ Historic England. "20, DAVYGATE (1257918)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Character Area Eleven: Central Shopping Area". City of York Council. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
This page was last edited on 27 August 2020, at 20:28
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