Friday, 10 July 2015

On the York Cat Trail: part 2

I'm so glad you enjoyed part 1 of the Cat Trail. Nice and refreshed after lunch, we're ready to head off for part 2. By the magic of blogging, we have teleported to the other side of town and are standing in College Street by the Minster.

Before we see any more cats, we're going to head down this little side street to visit Treasurer's House which belongs to the National Trust.

The house dates mainly from the 1500s, with changes through the years, though a wall remains from the original building of the 12th century.

Frank Green, a wealthy industrialist, owned the house between 1897 and 1930 and it was he who handed it to the National Trust. It was the first property to be given to them complete with all its contents.

Lots of dark, masculine decorating. Frank never married and he seemed very fond of dark greens and teals.

Outside there's a pretty garden.

With lovely views of the Minster.

However, let's not dilly-dally too long as there are more sights to see and cats to be found.

Next up was no 7, Bob, sitting above a vegetarian cafe. Hmm, methinks that might not be the best place for him to hunt for scraps!

Down St Andrewgate, past the lovely doorway of the former Drill Hall (now a shop).

Situated between 1/2 (yes, there really is an address of 1/2!) and 1, are cats 5...

...and 6.

Then another two in quick succession on Colliergate: no. 3...

and no. 2. This was the only one to be a carving rather than a sculpture.

There are some great street names in York but this must be the best! The plaque above the street sign says that it translates as 'What a street!' but other sources say it means 'neither one thing, nor the other'. It's the shortest street in York - only a couple of metres - and used to be the location of the pillory.

Another great word we came across was snickelway, which is a short passage or alley. It sounds an old word but was actually invented in 1983 as an amalgamation of other terms. In any case, some of them have great names like Mad Alice Lane, Hornpot Lane Nether, and Mucky Peg Lane! If only town planners today were so inventive :)

Anyway, back to the trail. Cat no. 1 looks as if he's emerging from the wall like an apparition. Fitting really as he's on the wall of the Golden Fleece which claims to be the most haunted pub in England!

Next door is the 17th century Sir Thomas Herbert's House (photos and history here) with this lovely carved timber detail. You're constantly in danger of bumping into people in York as your eyes are drawn upwards to all the details on the buildings.

Opposite the ghostly cat is probably York's most famous street, the Shambles. It's usually crammed with tourists but I took this later in the evening. Many of the buildings date from the 14th and 15th centuries and would have housed butchers. They are deliberately close together to minimise the amount of sunlight as the meat would have been hung outside. The channel down the middle of the street is the drainage system!

Here you can find cat 21, Fortuitous, and... no. 8, who is on the wall of York Glass who sell York Lucky Cats: Chickpea couldn't resist and bought this pale pink one (because of the colour, not because it's the cat for October as her birthday is in May).

At the top of Shambles is King's Square where cat no.4 is stalking a pigeon.

A lovely glimpse of the Minster as we walk up Low Petergate on our way to the next cat. There's actually a cat on this street too but I seem to have completely forgotten to photograph it, despite ticking it off on our map - if you do want to see a picture, you can find it here.

Walking along Stonegate, there are more interesting details to catch your eye, like this mermaid which looks like she originally came off a ship.

And this lovely stained glass and carved detail. The book hanging in the doorway says 'Holy Bible 1682' and shows that it was once a bookshop.

And that brings us to our penultimate cat, no 19, Gordon. For the last one, we need to retrace our steps along Stonegate...

...and circle around the back of the Minster. I've shown you glimpses so far but here are a few more shots. It's difficult to get a clear view as it's surrounded by other buildings. However, there's no hiding how impressive and beautiful it is, particularly when bathed in the early evening sun.

We took the bus into town in the evenings which dropped us off right by the Minster and, one evening, the bells were ringing - I think they were practising. I thought of Kay and how much she would have loved to hear them so made a little video.

And last but not least, here she is, our final cat. no.18, sat by a Victorian lamp on Gillygate.

I hope you've enjoyed the rest of the trail. I'd highly recommend it even if you're not a cat fan as it's a lovely way to see the city. Next, I have a day out at the seaside to share with you. x


  1. I didn't know about the cat trail. I'd definitely do it next time I'm in York. (No idea when that will be - it more than 10 years since my last visit!) It looks a fun way to see more of the city and it's free!

  2. How wonderful to see all of these cats! What a great idea to have this trail, there are so many different cats aren't there! I enjoyed seeing them in part one of your post too. I think that snickleway sounds like something from Harry Potter doesn't it, although created much earlier than HP of course. Lovely to go along with you! xx

  3. The only cat I've seen whilst visiting York is number 4 - I remember seeing it and taking a photo - but hadn't realised it was part of a trail. You have taken some wonderful photos and this is a really good way of seeing the city and all the wonderful, buildings there:)

  4. I really enjoyed my tour of york with you! Previously, I've been to the Minster, walked the walls and seen the Shambles but that's all! There's plenty more to be discovered!

    1. I've really enjoyed this trail. Your cat photos are super. In fact, all of them. The cat trail is a good way to see such an interesting and picturesque area of York and go into some of the historical buildings along the way.

    2. Sorry wrong comment box! L x

  5. Thank you so much! As a certified Crazy Cat Lady, I shall have to put this tour on the list of What We Will Be Doing On Our Trip to England. :)

  6. Had my head in a moth book for the past few weeks and might have missed a few peoples posts!
    It's such a good Idea, I like it when places make the effort and do this sort of thing, like spotting all the painted Sheep in Skipton. York is such a wonderful place, I do like the photo of the cat stalking the pigeon. Now that would drive my dog mad...
    Amanda xx

  7. I would have been THRILLED to have heard those bells from York Minster! Thank you for making a video! And I can't tell you how tickled I am that you thought of me, you are absolutely correct, I love them! xx
    I love this post! I have never been to York but Richard has and he really liked it (even though it was 30 years ago!)