Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Walmgate Stray and The Retreat, York

This is Walmgate Stray, an area of common land you can find not so far outside York's city wall. I entered if via a gate on Heslington Road and The Retreat (which we came across when discussing the Tuke family) lies behind the wall on the left.

In the distance you can see the edge of the university campus. When I was there it was much smaller - one of the attractions of York was that it was quite a small university with a pleasing mix of state school successes and private school failures.

The wall of the Retreat keeps you company all the way down the hill. Follow it round to the left and you will see this plaque. I expect there are some Tukes in there too.


David said...

Looks far less muddy and far more navigable than I remember it ever being from my time at York. Still a more historically interesting route into town than traipsing down Hull oad

Simon said...

That's actually quite an interesting sign from a Quaker perspective. Quaker's do not typically go out of their way to mark important grave sites. Partly this is because of a commitment to equality and party I suspect out of a fear of veneration of the dead. For instance, the grave of George Fox, who although he did not 'found' the movement as such was at least the most promanent of early friends, make no reference at all to his life or great fame at the time of his death ( Similarley, whilst there are many monuments to William Penn in the USA his grave in a small village in Birkshire merely mentions his dates (

I therefore suspect the fact that Joseph Rowntree is signaled out for attention here suggests that this is a municipal sign, rather than one put up by the Retreat or any other Quaker organization.