Yards repair of York Minster’s ‘last of its kind’ cast iron lamp post will cost £30,000 after it was hit by a wagon

The cost of repair is significantly higher than replacement, but council officials believe the price is worth paying to preserve the ‘unique heritage asset’, which is thought to be around 120 years old.

The ornate cast iron lamppost, which is well photographed as the cathedral forms a backdrop, was hit by a train car in March.

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Street lighting officers would normally replace a damaged pole with a tubular steel column, which is less likely to collapse.

The historic lamppost on the ground after being hit by a cart

It would cost £10,000 but senior councilors are being asked to repair the lamppost, which is between High Petergate and Minster Gates, calling in a specialist at a cost of £33,000.

The council said it would seek reimbursement through the driver’s insurance company, but the full cost may not be recoverable and any shortfall would have to be made up by the authority.

According to the council’s report: ‘This is the last column adorned with historic molding of this nature in York city centre, possibly even in the wider York region, certainly at this height and with the type of scrolling parentheses incorporated into the composition of the column.”

Council Conservation Manager Edward Freeman said: ‘The Minster Gates lamppost is an irreplaceable historic asset as the only surviving example of early electric street furniture.

The lamppost before it was damaged

“It contributes to the character and appearance of a site of the highest heritage sensitivity.”

The column will also be moved a few meters and protected by bollards to prevent it from being damaged again.

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York City Council’s Executive Committee has been asked to approve the proposal at a meeting on Thursday, June 16.

In April council chiefs said the damage was so severe that ‘repair may not be possible’ and would only be ‘considered if we can guarantee the post will be completely safe in the future’.

Independent Councilor Mark Warters then urged council via email: ‘I don’t think there can be any justification for a cheap, substandard steel column being erected at this town center location. .

“If, as a city, there are still aspirations to achieve World Heritage status, this must be pursued properly.”

York is bidding for the UNESCO World Heritage Site this year, having been rejected in 2011 after a previous bid.

The moulding, which is of late Victorian/Edwardian Art Nouveau influenced design, has a maker’s plate which has not been deciphered due to buildup of paint.

York was home to the distinguished Walker Iron Foundry, founded in 1837.

John Walker was appointed Queen’s Iron Founder in 1847, and much of their high quality work survives in the town, including the gas lamps and balustrades of the facades of the cathedral and St. Leonard’s Square .

John Shaw, president of the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society, has researched the history of street lighting in the city.

He identified examples of distinctive iron Art Nouveau lampposts in the city center in images from the early decades of the 20th century, installed after the York Electric Lighting Station opened in the Foss Islands in February 1900.

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