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Bizarre York

Scots beware. In York it is still (apparently) legal to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow, but only if you spot him within the city walls after dark.

Grape Lane, these days an attractive and cosmopolitan corner of York well populated by cafes and restaurants, was Grope Lane in medieval times, a somewhat less salubrious neighbourhood frequented by ladies of the night.

The West Front of the Minster is a windy spot, and is known by locals as Kill Canon Corner.

Guy Fawkes of gunpowder plot fame was born in Stonegate. Minster Library records confirm that Mr and Mrs Fawkes lived in the street.

Jane Hodson has one of the many memorials in the Minster dedicated to her memory. She died in 1636, presumably of exhaustion, aged 38. The wife of a chancellor to the Minster, she had given birth to 24 children.

Gog and Magog, the two men at arms below the Minster Clock, strike quarter hours, but are turned off during services.

Printer's Red Devil courtesy York Tourism A little red devil sits outside no 33 Stonegate, not because the inhabitants were diabolical, but because the building was once a printers. (ĎPrintersí devils were errand boys who had to carry hot metal type).

A Roman graveyard has been discovered under the garden of the Royal York Hotel.

A lightening bolt struck the Minster in 1984 and started a serious fire three days after the consecration of the controversial David Jenkins as Bishop of Durham. But the worst fire of modern times was in 1829 when religious fanatic Mad Martin set fire to the quire.

Roman Soldier courtesy York Tourism A young plumber working in the cellars of the Treasurerís House in 1953 was terrified to see a troop of ghostly Roman legionnaires appear through the wall. Itís now known that the Treasurerís House was built over a Roman road. And the young man described their uniforms in precise detail, which was later verified by experts.

Information courtesy York Tourism Bureau.

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