From the council leader’s loo to hidden underground passageways – 36 amazing pix of York Guildhall

8 Feb 2019 @ 7.23 pm
| Environment, History, Politics

This is the Guildhall that few have ever seen.

As we reported earlier this week, there are £16m plans to restore the Guildhall complex – and these photos show why it urgently needs some TLC.

Cracks in the outer walls are large enough to get your hand into – and expanding quickly.

The roof leaks, the window frames are crumbling and some of the stonework is in disrepair.

The cracks are widening quickly
You can see the visible cracking on this picture

Away from the 800-year-old hall that the public get to see are the underground passageways, including Common Hall Lane which runs to the Guildhall from the Ouse.

The basement is tiled so it can withstand regular floods.

Elsewhere in the complex the offices are run down, and a patch of wildly overgrown wasteland is crying out to be transformed.

And there are some rather past-their-best toilets, including one reserved for the council leader with a porcelain bowl from Doulton & Co.

Something clearly needs to be done about this crumbling part of our heritage.

The council meeting to decide whether to go ahead with the multi-million pound renovation takes place on Thursday 14 February from 5.30pm.

Guildhall gallery

The stunning hall itself
The remarkable stained glass
The roof of the complex
Amazing details on the hall roof
The basement – designed to take floodwater

The flood barrier keys

Showing the flood levels in the basement

It’s all a bit past its best down here
Although the council leader did have somewhere splendid to sit
Running from the River Ouse underneath the Guildhall is Common Hall Lane
It’s a little spooky down here
A ghost has been spotted in the passage
History under our feet
Amazing decoration
A tile showing the old Ouse Bridge
Still beautiful: the uneven mosaic floor
Scene of so much history: the main council chamber
A view few get to see
Secret staircase
At the moment this is wasteground
Looking towards the House of Trembling Madness
A store room in the complex
New technology!
Door to the chamber of decisions
A reminder this was a workaday council office
Peeling wallpaper and rotten sills
Another river view
Ambitious plans are afoot
Looking across to Aviva
So much history
Rain from the Guildhall roof pools on the floor
York’s coat of arms
A doorway to nowhere