oxfam book and music shop micklegate york

Creation, Destruction, Good, Evil, Light and Dark: 34-84 Micklegate Part 2

The second part of the 34-84 Micklegate drawing has revealed quite a surprise to me but you will have to read on to find out more! This post continues in sequence from the last one with a striking example of a red brick Georgian townhouse, thought to be designed by the architect John Carr and built between 1753-7, grade one listed. You can discover more of his work on the York Civic Trust website.

red brick georgian mansion in york artwork by ronnie cruwys
Garforth House, 54 Micklegate, York


The building was once St Margaret’s independent grammar school for girls from 1905 until 1968. There was once a door on the right hand side which was later converted to a window – you can see this more clearly on the photo below.

door converted to window on garforth house york
Spot where there was once a door
drawing of 50 Micklegate by Ronnie Cruwys
50 Micklegate, Heloise Hair and Beauty Salon

Heloise Hair and Beauty Salon at no 50 Micklegate is early 19th century with late 19th C shopfront and is listed grade 2.  British Listed Buildings describes it as ‘Pink mottled brick in Flemish bond; eaves cornice on paired brackets to double span roof of slate, with brick stack at right end’.

The next building, home to Oxfam books and music is where it gets more interesting….

oxfam book and music shop micklegate york
Oxfam, 46 Micklegate, and No 42, Coffee Bureau

I’ve been reading about the history of the buildings as I go along and have just discovered that there was once a significant archaeological find dug up here. Not in recent years, but back when this grade 2 listed house was being built in 1747, a Mithraic Altar stone was unearthed. I had no idea what that meant and discovered that Mithras and Arimanius were two gods (first worshipped in Persia) who represented opposites – good and evil, creation and destruction, light and dark.  The temple once located here was probably built during the time of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, between AD208-11. The gods are intimately associated with each other but York is the only place in Europe where you can see original carvings of both gods together. The altar stone is now in the Yorkshire Museum but you can see a picture of it on the History of York website.

Here’s the clip from the British-History website:

Nos. 42, 44, 46, 48, standing opposite St. Martin’s Church, include a back wing of c. 1710 but the main part of the building (Plate 53) was erected as two messuages (a dwelling house with outbuildings and land assigned to its use) in 1747, when a Mithraic altar stone was discovered whilst digging a cellar (Stukeley, iii, 358; Wellbeloved’s Eboracum, 79–85; Gentleman’s Magazine, May 1751). The site had been acquired from Thomas Mell, merchant, by Thruscross Topham (d. 1757), who married Ann Sanderson on 16 May 1747 (YCA, E.94, ff. 1, 2v.); R. H. Skaife, The Register of Marriages in York Minster (1874), 115), and the rebuilding was probably in connection with the marriage settlement.

drawing by artist ronnie cruwys of David Wilson Hairdressing York
40 Micklegate, David Wilson Hairdressing

Moving along to no 40, this narrow building was built c1840, in pink mottled brick in Flemish bond at the front, listed grade 2, hopefully still home to David Wilson when the Covid 19 restrictions lift.

Buff brick building york
No 38 Varvils Court and 36, Micklegate Takeaway

This light cream brick building in Flemish bond was built late C19th, with later C20th alteration. It’s another grade 2 listed building.

drawing of 34 Micklegate york by ronnie cruwys
34 Micklegate, Sunshine

This is one of the more recent buildings on Micklegate – home to Sunshine and the Beauty Within.

28 Micklegate York

The two last buildings on this side of Micklegate were once the Adelphi Hotel, built mid 19th century.  No 28 faces Micklegate, and was once known as ‘The Micklegate’, with its hipped roof abutting the side of the building which mostly fronts George Hudson Street Street. It is was home to Popworld, below when I drew it in 2018.

Popworld night club york
Popworld, last building on this side of Micklegate

I have a limited edition print of this street in stock in my Etsy shop and I am including it under the #artistsupportpledge set up by Matthew Burrows. Postage is free worldwide until the end of July 2020.

Thanks for reading especially this far!

Ronnie 🙂




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