Inside York

The Quarter York

Swinegate York

Welcome to our guide to The Quarter, York. Here you can find information, history and a guide to the best places and things to see and do.

About The Quarter

The Quarter is a name given in the 1990’s to a collection of streets situated between Stonegate and Petergate. The streets are Swinegate, Back Swinegate, Little Stonegate and Grape Lane During the late 19th and early 20th centuries these streets were filled with poor quality housing, workshops and garages and by the 1970’s it was quite a run down area. Regeneration then took place and today it is home to several restaurants, Bars and unique shops.

In the medieval period Swinegate was the location of a pig market and if you look carefully you will see lots of references to pigs, particularly in Swinegate Court.

Two interesting former chapels still stand in The Quarter. The Elim Pentecostal Chapel in Swinegate is now a trendy wine bar and restaurant and the former Ebenezer chapel in Little Stonegate is now home to Borders book shop.

Grape lane has an interesting past. It was the Victorians who called it Grape Lane, which probably makes you think of wine. However, if you change the “a” to an “o” you have its previous name and you may realize that the street housed quite a few unsavoury characters.

Through the passageway called Coffee Yard you will find Barley Hall a fine example of a medieval townhouse.

An especially good time to visit The Quarter is during the first weekend of December for the annual Festival of Angels. The streets are decorated with ice statues, artificial snow falls from a number of high windows and there are food and drink stalls and music and entertainers to add to the atmosphere. On the Sunday there is a parade of angels starting in a nearby square and dancing through The Quarter. If you want to hear the stories behind these facts, why not book one of York’s guided walking tours.

(Above text written by Keith Greenwood, tour guide with Exploring York.)

 


 

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