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Parliament Street (York)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The street, from the south
The street, from the south

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


Until the 19th-century, what is now Parliament Street was covered with buildings, facing onto Pavement, Jubbergate, and St Sampson's Square. The markets in Pavement and St Sampson's Square had become increasingly crowded, and after considering the possibilities of enlarging them, or establishing a new market on various potential sites, the city corporation decided to construct a broad street linking the two, which would become a new marketplace.[1][2]

In 1833, the city obtained an Act of Parliament permitting the setting up of a new market, and held a competition for the best design. The surveyors Pickersgill and Oates took the £30 top prize. In February 1834, the city began demolishing the buildings on the site, and from 1835 to 1840 laid out the new road, which was named "Parliament Street", constructing large buildings on each site of the street. These are mostly of four stories, and were built with shops on the ground floor, and living quarters above. All the buildings have since been converted to have offices above, and some blocks have been entirely rebuilt.[1][2]

The Parliament Street Market opened in 1836, running every day, but with Saturday as the principal market day. It was the city's main market until 1955, when it completed a move to what is now the Shambles Market.[1][3] In 1989, a competition was held to redesign the street, and this led to it being largely pedestrianised, with a single carriageway on one side.[4] A variety of High Street shops now line the street, including a large branch of Marks and Spencers, and it is also used to host a variety of festivals and temporary markets.[5][6]

Layout and architecture

The northern end of the street is at St Sampson's Square, and it runs south to the junction of Pavement, Piccadilly, High Ousegate and Coppergate. In the middle, the surviving part of Jubbergate leads east to the Shambles Market, while Market Street leads off to the west.[2]

The York City and County Bank was one of the grandest original buildings on the street, but was demolished in 1971. Most of the buildings on the street are listed: the Barclays Bank, built in 1901, 8 and 9 Parliament Street, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18, and 19 to 21 Parliament Street on the west side, and 22, 23 and 24, 29 and 30, 31 and 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36, 37, 38, 39, 44, and 45 and 46 Parliament Street on the east side.[2]

A fountain was located in the middle of the street, but it was removed in 2018 after it was deemed to be beyond repair.[7]


  1. ^ a b c 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 An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central. London: HMSO. 1981. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Parliament Street". York History. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Character Area Eleven: Central Shopping Area". City of York Council. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  5. ^ Laycock, Mike (23 May 2020). "M & S store in York's Parliament Street looks set to reopen next month". The Press. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  6. ^ "'Angry as hell' York traders call for end to outside markets which 'bleed the city dry'". York Mix. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  7. ^ Prest, Victoria (12 May 2018). "York's landmark Parliament Street fountain is about to vanish". The Press. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
This page was last edited on 5 November 2020, at 14:48
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