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Labour of love repairs historic gates 

Historic iron gates installed over 150 years ago on the site of York Hospital have been lovingly restored to their former glory in partnership with York Civic Trust. 

The hospital was built on the site of a number of sports fields and a children’s play park. One of the fields was for the exclusive use of the boys of Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School and the iron gates were put in place on the boundary to Bridge Lane. 

Dr David Fraser from York Civic Trust explained: “Before York Hospital was built, the area it now occupies consisted of a number of sports fields and a children’s play park. One of the fields was for the exclusive use of the boys of Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School.  


“Following a letter from an ex-pupil, David Crawford, York Civic Trust was asked if they could provide the expertise to conserve and restore the gates. The historic gates were fabricated by Hawleys on behalf of the Walker Iron Foundry of York in the 1850s. Walkers iron foundry of Walmgate were a very prestigious firm.  They supplied the gates and railings for the British Museum and earned the patronage of Queen Victoria, being appointed ‘iron founders and purveyors of smith’s work’ to the Queen.”

The work was carried out between July 2016 and January 2017 by contractors Barker and Patterson and I M Thornton.

James Hayward, Capital Projects Manager, said: “The iron gates are of unique historic value but had ended up in a very bad state of repair. 

“Thanks to research by the York Civic Trust we have been able to have them restored right down to the last detail. 

It’s been a fascinating project and very much a labour of love and we are very grateful to York Civic Trust for all their input and support.”

22 May 2017

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