Stonebow House: still unloved?

Concrete office block, lit by sunlight

An article on the BBC website today names Stonebow House first in a list of unpopular concrete buildings, as suggested by readers. ‘Possibly the most hated building in the UK’ one reader suggests. I think perhaps most of the UK is unaware of our little bit of brutalist architecture, but certainly locally it seems to be disliked by many people, as buildings of this type usually are, it seems.

It’s as good a time as any not only to draw the attention of readers to earlier pages on this controversial building, but to include an update.

The office block above the shops isn’t as empty as it was. In fact it seems to have been well-used this year. As an article in described some months back: Creative Hub in the Heart of the City.

And on Twitter, a quick search revealed that it is being appreciated. Though views of it may not be popular, views from it are rather impressive.

Artist Sue Mann has been working on a project on the building:

And how did this come about?

I’ve heard rumours that the Heron Foods store may not be occupying the lower section beyond next year, because of plans for the building (its demolition, perhaps) but have no further information from any official sources.

Here on York Stories we once composed a poem in its honour, and I wrote about its alluring ugliness: Stonebow Stories.

(And, if you’ve heard that it’s a listed building, that’s not true.)

Concrete building lit by sun, dark parapet in foreground, blue sky behind

More information, elsewhere on the web

While researching this page I stumbled upon this interesting piece: The case for listing The Stonebow House. A recommended read, even if you hate the place.

York: Living with History project on the Stonebow building (summer 2014)

Stonebow Studios: A new creative hub for York (Arts York webzine)

Users of the old office space in Stonebow House include the Arts Barge ProjectYork Hackspace and Plastic Fortune.

About Lisa @YorkStories

Lisa @YorkStories is the creator, administrator, and writer of content on She can be contacted on this link or via Twitter, @YorkStories
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  1. Colin Durrans

    Just been in to see York Hack Space who’ve shared the 4th Floor with the Arts Barge – the view are stunning! If you can get in before they’re evicted at the end of the month it’ll be worth while.

    Was very surprised to see there’s a large walk in vault under the old Fibbers too.

  2. I’ve heard everyone’s been evicted. Does anyone know why?

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