Stretching from Butcher Corner in the direction of the Talbot Hotel, and originally a Roman road, Yorkersgate has (or has had) the most prestigious buildings in Malton including the Corn Exchange, York House, The Subscription Rooms (and Mechanics Institute), and a number of other prominent buildings recently occupied by banks. The street is characterised by a general 'Victorian' look, though behind these facades are structures reportedly originating back to the 1600s and probably before. Regrettably, the brickwork has generally become stained by traffic pollution.
Yorkersgate runs approximately parallel with the river Derwent and a few properties had direct river access but Water Lane and other routes gave general access to the once bustling wharves and river front.
Victorian Memories of Yorkersgate
What follows has been taken from Thomas Baker's 'Memories of Malton and Some of its Inhabitants in the 'Sixties and Onwards'. The date of writing is assumed to be the 1920s - 'sixties' refers to the 1860s!
Around the corner in Yorkersgate, the shop now occupied by Mr. Freer had for its tenant Mr. Jonathan Rieveley, a flour and provision merchant, who eventually became the licensee of the Old Globe Hotel in the Market Place. The jeweller's shop next door to Mr. Freer was then occupied by Mr. W. Newby, and afterwards by Mr. Spiegelhalter. Then came three or four small combined houses and shops - one occupied by Mr. Cressey as fruiterer, and the others tenanted by the Misses Shepherd, as confectioners. These were demolished and the now commodious buildings occupied by Mr. Fowles, outfitter, and Mr. Oldfield's cafe were erected, and consequently great improvements effected. The shop recently occupied by Messrs. Goldie and Co. was a temperance hotel tenanted by Mr. Geo. Dinsdale, who also acted as a postmaster and letter carrier, and there was a letter box in the wall round the corner at the bottom of Chapel Lane, where letters were posted. Eventually the postal business was removed to the Butcher Corner, and Mr. James Sellars became the first official postmaster, and had for his clerk Mr. Tom Lister, who also acted as letter carrier and delivered the whole of the Malton letters single handed. Of course there were several rural postmen, amongst whom I remember Mr. Billy Moore, Mr. Megginson, Mr. Sterricker, Mr. Dresser, Mr. John Maw and Mr. C. Hall, all of whom had long service with the post office. The temperance hotel was eventually converted into a shop, and the first tenants were Messrs. Hart and Hill, gents' outfitters, who also had a hatters' shop on the opposite side of Yorkersgate, next to the 'Messenger' office. Mr. Goldie succeeded Messrs. Hart and Hill on these premises.
Up Chapel Lane, Mr. John Snarry, veterinary surgeon had a shoeing forge. This later on was taken over by Mr. James Yorke a Crimean War veteran and hero. Close by were two cottages, one occupied by Mrs. Bankes and the other by Mrs. Calvert, who had a public mangle, with a good connection. A little higher up were stables belonging to Mr. Henry Smithson, proprietor of the 'Malton Messenger,' who liked a bit of horse dealing as well as printing.
Mr. William Wrangham had the wine and spirit vaults, now 'The Board'; and Mr. Blanche, dentist, occupied the house adjoining; he later removed to the house next to the Assembly Rooms, and Mr. Wrangham himself, who then lived at Athol House, Norton, came to live next to his spirit stores.
Where Mr. Blair's grocery shop is now, was then a saddler's shop occupied by Mr. John Nelson, who later removed to the high side of the market; and he was followed by Mr. Richardson, a grocer. Afterwards, Mr. Thomas Calvert took the shop and designated it as the 'Deventio Clothing Establishment.' Mr. Calvert previously occupied the shop now tenanted by Mr. Sedman, in Saville Street. At the opposite side of Saville Street, the premises now occupied by Mr. Schofield's spirit stores and cafe, was a drapery establishment carried on by Mr. Langstaff; and then came Mr. Martin Dodsworth, joiner and builder; Mrs. Kirby, basket maker; Mr. John Killen, bootmaker; and Mr. George Ineson, tinsmith. As boys, when leaving Mr. Josua Dunwell's school, we used to say when passing these shops - 'Ineson Killen Kirby [with] Dodsworth's Langstaff.' There have not been many structural alterations in this part of Yorkersgate. The Corn Exchange, now the Exchange Cinema, has certainly been altered internally. Up Chancery Lane, originally called Pudding Lane, Mr. Arthur Jackson, solicitor had his offices, and also the County Court business was transacted there. Mr. W. Botterill, late clerk to the Norton Urban District Council, was clerk to Mr. Jackson. Eventually Mr. Jackson took into partnership Mr. Richardson, who also acted as Borough Bailiff. Later, Mr. S. Ridge joined the partnership, and the firm was then styled 'Jackson, Richardson and Ridge,' and in course of time ceased to exist, Mr. Ridge at the time of his death being in partnership with Mr. A.E.B. Soulby. Mr. George Hardy, formerly a schoolmaster, was the actuary at the Savings Bank, and he was succeeded by Mr. W. Botterill, and then Mr. G.W. Suggitt, who at the present time holds that position. Mr. Henry Etty Soulby lived next door to the Bank at Sussex House, where Mr. Williamson, dentist, now has his surgery. It was here that a supposed case of trance occurred. Mr. Frederick Williams was in residence at that time, and his wife died, but her husband and the doctors were under the suspicion that she was in a trance, and as a consequence the body remained unburied for a fortnight. The strange case created a lot of excitement at the time, which would be about 1877.
Mr. Robert Bankes had his tailor's workshop on the right-hand side of the lane leading up to the now extinct Old Globe Hotel. He resided at the Assembly Rooms, and at his death the family continued to live there until quite recently, Miss Clara Bankes being the caretaker and librarian of the Institute for many years. The Assembly Rooms are still there, but plans have now been adopted and work put in hand for considerable alterations and improvements to be carried out whereby accommodation for theatrical performances and large social function will be enabled to take place. Mr. Bankes was a most precise gentleman both in language, dress and deportment. He generally took exercise in the evenings by marching to and fro between Market Street and Saville Street. He was very erect and soldier-like in his bearing, and strode along with decided step, giving one the impression that he 'was marching to the strains of a military band playing the Dead March.'
Next to the Assembly Rooms lived Mr. W. Danby, a ? and undertaker, whose workshop was just behind these Rooms. Mr. Joshua Dunwell occupied the adjoining premises, and he had a large boarding school for boys. When I attended this school there would be between 20 and ?0 boarders, as well as a goodly number of day scholars - both boys and girls. When the boarders marched down to the Wesleyan Chapel on Sundays, two abreast, they made a brave and effective show. Before Mr. Dunwell started there, it was an old-established coaching house, and I believe it was called the White Horse Hotel. There was a large room in the playground where the boarders used to dine, and the approach for day pupils for school purposes was through a road behind the Assembly Rooms. The Rev. Dinsdale Young was a day scholar at that time, and I have no doubt he will remember the very primitive and severe methods Mr. Dunwell adopted in demanding discipline from his pupils - methods that would not be tolerated at the present day. If he saw two boys ?king, he would throw his cane at them, - and he had unerring aim - and they then had to take the cane to him at his desk, and he would put one on the back of the other, and march them round the school applying his cane to the seat of the rider and then transpose the boys and adopt the same ? on the other rider. Another way of inflicting punishment on a boy who was discovered breaking the rules of the school was to place his foot on to a form and then hoist the delinquent on to his stomach across his knee, and apply his cane to his seat, thus causing the youngster to kick out his legs. This he termed as 'a swimming lesson.' Eventually he left Malton, and commenced a school at Westow hall. Miss Buxton succeeded him, transferring her ladies' school from lower down Yorkersgate. Dr. W.T. Colby, after Miss Buxton vacated the premises, became tenant, and the surgery is still there, but occupied by Drs. Walker and Parkin.
The York Union Bank was next door, the manager being Mr. Thompson, father of Dr. Herbert Thompson, the well know musical critic of Leeds. The bank was eventually transferred to premises now occupied by Messrs. Barclays and Messrs. Pearsons and Ward, solicitors, are now the tenants. The three private houses at the opposite side of Market Street are te same as in the days of yore, and a little higher up the street were some steps which led to the Talbot Hotel yard. A small cottage stood at the bottom of the steps and it was almost obscured by a large lilac tree, and here lived a person of the name of Joey Munn. The cottage was eventually demolished and the road widened and straightened. St. Michael's school was erected somewhere about 1865 or 1866; and the clump of trees farther up was not then enclosed. The cannon which now stands there, near to the recently-erected War Memorial, was removed from the Market Place, to its present site, and the trees and cannon surrounded by palisades. This was undoubtedly a great improvement, and added picturesqueness to the approach of the town from York way. At the opposite side of the road Messrs. Slater, florists and seedsmen, occupied a shop; and the space between this shop and the Talbot Hotel was a waste piece of ground from which you had an uninterrupted view of the River Derwent and the railway, and beyond to Whitewall. The shop was later pulled down, and the present wall built, which also added to the neatness of that part of the town. The Talbot was tenanted by Mr. Edward Rose; following him were Mr. Peart, Mr. Fitchett, Mrs. Knight, and now Mr. Grant. There was a 'bus attached to the hotel until some few years ago which constantly plied between the hotel and the railway station for the convenience of its customers. Many commercial travellers stayed at the hotel in those days, and if the 'bus was hurriedly required for some customer and happened to be at the station waiting for the arrival of a train, it was the custom for the boots to go on the terrace which overlooks the station and blow a horn, denoting to the driver of the 'bus that it was urgently needed to convey the customer and his luggage to the station to catch the next train. Formerly there was a canopy extending from the hotel door to the edge of the footpath, supported by two pillars, thus enabling all who entered or departed by cab or carriage to do so in stormy weather without getting wet. On the canopy were plants of flowers, shrubs, etc., which always had a pleasing and smart appearance. Adjoining the Talbot was a school for young ladies, conducted by the Misses. Spence and then the Misses Hall. When St, Michael's School was completed, the school was removed there.
Mr. William Simpson, solicitor, and Clerk to the Magistrates, had his offices where Mr. Arthur Hall is now, and he lived at York House, where Mrs. W. Cooper now resides. The next house was in the occupation of Mr. John Snarry, veterinary surgeon, who had his stables in the garden behind the house. He also did a large business in horse dealing, especially hunters. Mr. Samuel Waud had a draper's shop where Messrs. Williams' Garage is now; and down the yard where Messrs. Kirk and Medd now have their Sale Rooms, was a gymnasium fitted up with every kind of gymnastic apparatus, where young men spent most of their evenings during winter. Amongst the members of the club it may be of interest to name a few of the leading spirits: Fred Waud, Geo. Read, Geo. Moon, Jim Shepherd, Ted Soulby, Tom and Coultas Dodsworth, Jonathan Wardill, Mosey Williamson, William Tinsley, myself, and many others, who were apprentices in the town, and left on completing their apprenticeship. The shop now occupied by Mr. Hoyle, hair dresser, was tenanted by Messrs. W. and C. Hall, saddlers. The china shop next door had for its tenant Mr. John Jackson, who eventually retired from business and went to reside at Brook Bank, Norton, and lived to the ripe old age of 100 - the only centenarian that I remember in this district. Messrs. Wilson and Wilson took over the business (Mr. Wilson, joiner, and Mr. Wilson, painter, both of Norton, being the partners.) The partnership was dissolved and carried on by Mr. Wilson, painter, as sole proprietor. The succeeding tenant was Mr. John Willows, who traded as Willows, Wilson, and Co. Mr. Ayres was the successor. The premises adjoining were occupied by Messrs. Walker and Langbourne, solicitors; and then came Messrs. Bower, Hall, and Co., bankers. Eventually the whole of these premises were demolished, and the East Riding bank erected the present commodious banking establishment on the site. In course of time, Messrs. Beckett and Co. became proprietors, and the bank is now merged into the Westminster Bank - one of the great five. The first manager I remember was Mr. Reed, followed by Mr. Charles Priestley. Messrs. Walker and Langbourne owing to the razing of these premises, remove dinto rooms over the shop occupied by Mr. Joseph Coning, and now tenanted by Messrs. Collinson, who followed Mr. J.W. Clarke, grocer, &c. The adjoining property was occupied by Mr. Henry Pickering as a drapery establishment. Mr. Pickering was well known and highly respected, and was of a philanthropic disposition. On retirement he built the house up Castle Howard Road which stands nearly opposite to the Reservoir. This was the first house erected on Castle Howard Road, and is built of stone. He belonged to the Quaker Society. Messrs. Marshall and Pullon succeeded to Mr. Pickering's business, and they added a tailoring department to that o dressmaking and general drapery. Mr. W. Leatham commenced business on his own behalf at the shop now occupied by Messrs. Dent and Sons, in Wheelgate; eventually he became a boot and shoe factor, and later traded as Leatham and Co. When Messrs. Marshall and Pullon discontinued business, the post Office took over the premises, and removed from Butcher Corner. This afforded the postal authorities more accommodation in their increasing work. Mr. Ashwell was then the postmaster and of ocurse had the responsibility of this removal. After a period of some 20 years, it again became necessary to acquire larger and more commodious premises, and the present Post Office in Wheelgate was erected, and this time Mr. Tyford was the 'lucky' postmaster who had the responsibility of this important removal and arranging the postal and telegraphic business in the new premises.
Next to Messrs. Marshall and Pullon's was the Barclays Bank, and these premises have recently been re-built, and together with Mr. Verron's hairdressing saloon give a better appearance to this part of Yorkersgate.
The George Hotel was in the hands of Mr. John Davison, followed by his son William, and on the death of the latter the hotel was carried on for some years by his widow and daughters and later by Mr. John Berry, who married one of the daughters. The lane leading down to the river was then uncovered, but during Mr. William Davison's tenancy more room was required for his commercial business, and the archway was thrown over, thus adding more bedrooms. It was the custom in those days to take horses down to the river to give them water and wash their legs, and for safety a wooden fence was erected in the river in order that horses might not get out of their depth.
Mr. William Smiddy, plumber, occupied the shop now in the tenancy of Mr. Blanchard. Mr. Halliday following Mr. Smiddy also as a plumber. Mr. Buxton, ironfounder, lived next door, and the room now occupied as a corn factor's office was an implement showroom. Mr. Buxton's foundry was situate near to where Messrs. King had their flour mills, adjoining the Gasworks. On Mr. Buxton's death, his son John carried on the business for some time, and then it became extinct. Miss Buxton established a school for young ladies in the room which was used as a showroom, and in course of time removed her school to the premises vacated by Mr. ?Dunwell. Messrs. Soulby, Ridge, and Elston now have their offices in the upper part of the house. Mr. Longbotham, chemist was the neighbouring tenant, and the business has recently changed hands. Mr. Birdsall, tailor, occupied the shop next to Longbotham's, and here again structural alterations to premises were made, and in place of two or three shops adjoining, larger premises were erected, and Mr. ?Staniland, jeweller, removed his business from Market Street to the new premises where Altham's Tea Stores and Mr. ? Sheffield's tobacconist shop now stand. Mr. T. Leefe, ironmonger, was then proprietor of the well-known business standing adjacent, and at his demise, his son Oswald continued until his sad and lamented death. It is now carried on by his widow and managed by her son Peter. Adjoining these premises was an archway leading down to a wharf belonging to Messrs. Cleathing and Bell, coal, seed, and corn merchants. The archway was eventually built up, and is now part of Messrs. Longster's private house and shop. Prior to Messrs. Longster's becoming tenants, Messrs. Slater and Sons occupied the florists shop, they having removed their business from the top of Yorkersgate, which stood opposite to the cannon.
The 'Messenger' Office and premises stand where they did in 1860, and the business is still in the hands of the Smithson family. Mr. Henry Smithson was the founder of the 'Malton Messenger' in 1854, and it continues to enjoy the large circulation, for a country town, of about 7,000 copies weekly. The writer served a seven years' apprenticeship here, and was bound as an apprentice on the 1st February, 1870. When I became an apprentice there, Mr. Edward Read was the manager, and he was followed by Mr. Eardley, Mr. R.J. Smithson, and now Mr. C.W. Mason controls the establishment, he having been connected with the firm for about 45 years. At the beginning of my apprenticeship, the 'Messenger' was printed on an old-fashioned machine called the Tumbler, and had a very large cylinder. The motive power was supplied by four men who turned a huge wheel with a belt attached to the machine, and jolly hard work it was for the men, especially in summer time.
The site on which Mr. Scott's shoe shop now stands was formerly a saddle room belonging to the new Globe Hotel, and the entrance to it was through an archway leading to the yard and stables of the hotel. Mr. Robert Walkington was the landlord, and a merry old soul was he, his peculiarly shrill laughter and humorous expressions making him a very popular Boniface. The draw for the Malton Coursing Meeting used to take place here, in the long dining room upstairs. The draw was preceded by a dinner, and a large company always assembled, for the meeting was a very popular two-day fixture, bringing together some of the best dogs in the country. The draw usually extended to past midnight, and it often fell to my lot to assist in the printing of the card, and consequently I had to make several pilgrimages to the hotel in order to obtain the 'copy' as the draw proceeded. The cards were required by eight o'clock in the morning, and all were to print by hand-press, as modern printing machinery had had not then come into existence, consequently it was usually between four and five o'clock in the morning before the printers finished printing the required number of cards. There was a small butcher's shop adjoining the hotel, tenanted by Mr. Ineson. The shop was later added to Messrs. Snow and Sons premises.
Properties for Sale
Most valuable, extensive, and desirable FREEHOLD PREMISES adjoining the navigable River Derwent, redeemed from the Land-Tax, and late the Property of Mr. ROBERT OWSTON, Merchant, deceased.
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION,
By Mr. JOHN BOULTON,
IN ONE LOT,
On WEDNESDAY, the Twenty-fourth Day of August, 1831, at Three o'Clock in the Afternoon, at the House of Mr. KIMBERLEY, the Talbot Hotel, in new Malton, in the North-Riding of the County of York;
ALL that capital MESSUAGE or DWELLING HOUSE, situate on the South side of Yorkersgate, in the excellent Market-Town of New Malton aforesaid, with the Front Shop and Counting-House, spacious Cellars, Coal Yard, Wharf, Granaries and Corn-Chambers, Malt and drying Kilns, Bacon and Ham Warehouses, Salting and Drying Houses, Stabling, Brewhouse, and other Buildings and Conveniences thereto attached, the whole extending from the Town Street to the navigable River Derwent, a distance of about 100 yards; and upon which Premises a most extensive Business is now, and has been for several years past, carried on in Coals, Corn, malt, Hops, Seeds, Butter, Bacon, and Hams.
The Buildings are well timbered, and are in good repair and condition; and possession of all the above Premises, which are now in the occupation of Messrs. THOMAS OWSTON and Company, may be had, as soon as conveniently may be, after the Day of Sale.
Also a DWELLING HOUSE and SHOP adjoining the above-mentioned Messuage or Dwelling House (making therewith a Frontage to the Town Street of upwards of 61 feet,) well adapted for the residence of a Person engaged in the business carried on upon the above Premises, and now in the occupation of Mr. JAMES HALL, Saddler, who will deliver up the possession thereof at Old lady Day, 1832. The PURCHASER will have the option of taking at a valuation the SIX VESSELS now used by Messrs Owston and Company, in conveying Merchandise to and from the West-Riding and other parts, together with their Stores, with which they are well found and provided. Further particulars may be known on Application to Mr. HENRY SMITHSON, of New Malton, Solicitor.
Yorkshire Gazette, 20 August 1831
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION
BY MR. JOHN BOULTON
ALL those Valuable FREEHOLD DWELLING HOUSES, SHOPS, and PREMISES, situate in Yorkersgate, New Malton, aforesaid, respectively occupied by Mr. John Leefe, Tinner and Brazier, and Miss Spencer, Milliner, &c. The Premises occupied by Mr. Leefe consist of front and back Shops, with large Cellars, Two Sitting Rooms, Four Bed Rooms, with Attics, and Two Kitchens. likewise, Two excellent Corn Chambers at the rear of the Premises, together with convenient Outbuildings. The Premises occupied by Miss Spencer contain Front Shop, with Kitchen and Cellar underneath, Two Sitting Rooms, Two Bed Rooms, and Attics, with suitable Out-Offices. The above Premises are most advantageously situated for Business, being in the best part of the town of Malton, and are free from Tithes and Land Tax. Part of the Purchase Money may remain on Security of the Property if required ...
Malton 20th Dec., 1842.
Yorkshire Gazette, 31 December 1842
VALUABLE FREEHOLD BUSINESS PREMISES AT MALTON
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, by Messrs. BOULTON and SON, at the TALBOT HOTEL, in NEW MALTON, on FRIDAY, the 23rd FEBRUARY, 1866, at TWO for THREE o'Clock precisely, in the Afternoon, subject to such Conditions of Sale as qill be then produced, a Valuable FREEHOLD BUSINESS PROPERTY, consisting of a Dwelling-House, Shop, Office, extensive Warehouses, Out-offices, Cellars, Yard and Garden, situate on the South side of Yorkersgate, in New Malton, and extending from thence to the River Derwent, adjoining premises of the Earl Fitzwilliam on the East, and the East Riding Bank on the West, and now in the occuparion of Messrs. Sewell, Grocers, &c. The Property is eligibly situate in the best part of Malton, and highly desirable for business purposes. The Tenants will show the Premises, and further Particulars may be obtained, and a Plan of the Premises seen, on application to Mr. J. C. WISE, Land Agent, Malton; or to Messrs. FOSTER and TONGE, Solicitors, Driffield