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Newgate

Newgate is neither new, nor a gate. It is a fascinating cobbled street in the heart of York that was first recorded (as 'Le Newgate') in a document dated 1336.

The 'new' element may refer to the street being newly paved or widened, while the 'gate' element is a corruption of 'gata', which is an Old Norse word for a street or path.

Newgate runs approximately 20 metres outside (and broadly parallel with) the alignment of the south-eastern wall of the Roman fortress, so the street's origins may date back to Roman times, or at least to Anglo Saxon times when the fortress wall was still a visible feature in the landscape. There is certainly clear evidence of activity in the area during the 11th century (see "The Newgate Cross" below).

The sign on the wall in Image A2 reads:

The upper storey of this building was the meeting place of York Methodists from 1553 to 1759. John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield preached here on several occasions during that time. The actual room which the Methodists occupied was destroyed by fire and replaced by the present room about the year 1880.

The Newgate Cross

Part of the shaft (upright portion) of a stone cross was discovered beneath the floor of No. 6 Newgate in 1963. The sides of the carved stone shaft are decorated with an unusual mix of both Anglo-Saxon / Christian and Scandinavian / pagan motifs. These include a human head with a halo (believed to be a depiction of Christ), the profile of a bird, a pair of 'beasts' biting one another's tails and a pair of serpents biting themselves. The bird, beasts and serpents are traditional pagan symbols. The stone is believed to date from the 11th century and it now forms part of the archaeology collection at the Yorkshire Museum.

The retail market

Between 1955 and 1964, the city's retail market was gradually moved from Parliament Street to a specially cleared site beside Newgate (behind the buildings that front onto the southwest side of the Shambles). As the new market area had frontages on Newgate, it became known as 'Newgate Market'. Following a major refurbishment in 2014, York City Council rebranded the market as the 'Shambles Market', although the sign above Jubbergate at its junction with Parliament Street still refers to 'Newgate Market' (see Image B1).

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Newgate
York

 
Coordinates
Latitude: 53.959555000000
Longitude: -1.080799000000

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The market is normally open seven days a week. In order that essential maintenance work can be carried out, it is occassionally moved to nearby Parliament Street.