Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe.’
~ William Shakespeare
Before you take your leave of the SECOND of the THIRTEEN Brigante Tombs – take a moment to marvel at the walls, shelves and tables decorated with the lush fauna which dominates the interior of this vegan emporium.
During an evening walk along this bustling street known as Monkgate and in a nod to her love of the horticultural – the Lady Brigante will always pause for a lingering peep inside these very windows.
Inspired by the monks of the Minster – Monkgate made its historical debut in the City of York in the year 1075 and is home to the Porta Principalis Sinistra of the Roman walls, now known as Monk Bar which is arguably the most decorative and largest of the entrance gates to the city.
Following the line of the Roman road from Eboracum to Derventio Brigantium in Malton, North Yorkshire – Monkgate throughout its long and illustrious history has been home to the Parish Church of St Maurice, an almshouse for aged widows and leper hospital, a Jewish cemetery, the Grey Coat School for girls, an ice house and malt kiln along with a diocesan training centre and our county hospital.
However, our tale begins on the street known as Ogleforth which offers the curious wanderer a quaint stroll toward York Minster.
Although the Minster with her labyrinth of tiny streets, courtyards and impressive buildings is home to York’s more familiar ghosts and those Minster Cats including the much lamented Gerald – the resident of our mysterious tale has yet to be identified!
Our tale begins one chilly December evening in 2020 as our Lady B was enjoying a solitary festive stroll along this deserted street and as she reached the elegant wrought iron gates of The Old Brewery – she was suddenly aware of someone rushing up behind her!
With her heart furiously pounding, she quickly removed the large bag from her shoulder to strike out at the human behind only to discover that there was no one there and the only shadow reflected in that quiet, dimly-lit street was that of her own.
And even though she had walked this street many times over the years, the Lady B was mystified by this troubling encounter and as her later research and conversations with others proved uneventful – she thought no more about it until one gloriously warm August afternoon.
For as she walked along this very street watching a young father chase after his excited toddler, she could hear the laughter of two ladies enjoying a natter in the sunshine, and as she paused by those familiar wrought iron gates to permit a frantic bicycle courier to ride by – she immediately had a feeling of being enveloped by a dreadful fog AND it was not without a struggle that she continued her walk back towards the sunshine.
As the site of The Old Brewery was March’s Brewery, established by one John March in 1805 and later aquired by WH Thackwray & Co until its closure with the John Smith brewery empire in Tadcaster North Yorkshire in 1940 – could some terrible accident have occurred there?
And knowing of the Lady B’s passion for waking the long-forgotten dead of York – could it be that a restless spirit is determined to finally share their tale of woe?
What say YOU gentle reader?
The Old Brewery. Ogleforth. York. YO1 7JG