Micklegate

Micklegate was originally called Myglagata (1161) or Mykelgate (1180) meaning “the Great Street”.

Stocks still exist in the graveyard of Holy Trinity Church, one of the three churches situated by the street, the other being St. Martin-cum-Gregory. Opposite the latter church a Roman stone was discovered in 1747 on which the figure of Mithras sacrificing a bull was engraved, which suggests that there may have been a temple here dedicated to Mithras. The church of St. Martin-cum-Gregory was established following the Dissolution in the sixteenth century, when the church of St. Gregory’s which was also just off Micklegate, was demolished. A few remains from this church remain in cellars along the street. The third church that still exists on Micklegate is the church of St. John.

In the reign of King Henry VI, in the mid fifteenth century, the butter market took place in front of the St. Martin-cum-Gregory church, usually on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. The annual fair of St. Luke’s, which took plate on St. Luke’s Day, was established by a charter issued by King Henry VII in 1501, and was also held on Micklegate.

When in 1818 the Ouse Bridge was reconstructed Micklegate was widened, including at the expense of the churchyard of St. John’s Church. For a long time the street had been home to wealthy merchants, and the street was paved to meet their requirements. However as time went on and the wealthy families moved out, many of the properties were turned into shops, although some impressive properties still remain along Micklegate. After the introduction of trams in 1878, Micklegate was one of the streets where tracks were laid out.

Micklegate Bar is also situated at the end of the street. St. Mary’s Convent was also situated on Micklegate, but was demolished by a Baedeker Raid bomb on 29th April 1942.