Foss Bank

14 March 2008

View – Foss Bank, York, new development

These buildings have appeared along the side of the Foss, at Foss Bank, since last year. I was rather rude about this development after reading the silly promotional blurb, but have to say that they look alright. Okay, they look quite handsome. And the riverside bit here, alongside them, looks rather stylish.

Later in my walk I ended up rather angry about the state of the Foss, particularly further along, but early in my wander I was pleased to see this rather impressive Foss Bank frontage, to Roman Villas, or whatever they’ve called them.

New buildings, Foss Bank/Heworth Green

I’m no expert of course, but standing on the opposite bank of the river and looking across, I thought this particular bit of view was pleasing. I think it’s because there are none of those horrible confused twiddly bits we seem to have put on buildings in some kind of sad pastiche of previous centuries. These buildings look confidently of their time.

Maybe from this perspective the most attractive element is the colour of the brick – the way it reflects the spring colour of the willow trees. This may be accident, or careful architectural design . . .

The riverside here looks like this bit at least is cared for, and there are benches. Again, modern, solid, without daft twiddly bits. It looks all quite plain and functional, but in a good way. Perhaps as a homage to the gasworks that was here before?


Any old iron
Beautiful old bit of iron


Where the road winds round by the Foss, behind Sainsbury’s and Homebase, a couple of old iron structures remain, clinging to the bank. These are, it seems, remnants of the days when the old town gasworks occupied this area around the Foss, and a branch of the railway line came into the part of the gasworks site, over the river. Isn’t that green on the rusty iron beautiful? – or is it just me. Anyway, moving on . . .


Rabbit spotted by river Foss, near Netto

Just past the new apartments, where the river bends, there’s an obvious division, an iron fence, where the tidiness stops, and next there’s a wilder area, rather a contrast. I noticed magpies under the trees, and then a brown furry creature lolloping about on the riverbank. It was rather a surprise to see a rabbit here, near Netto and Sainsburys and the building works and the car showrooms. I had a rather inadequate camera with me, and this photo won’t win any wildlife photography awards. The rabbit, on the opposite bank from where I was standing, is very indistinct, and so indicating its presence with a big arrow seemed the best approach.

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