‘Don’t tear down historic pub’ – Rare roadside inn must be saved, says York Civic Trust

The Four Alls on the A64 at Stockton on the Forest. Photograph © Google Street View
28 Jan 2020 @ 6.17 pm
| Environment

York conservationists have called on the council to save a pub threatened with demolition.

We revealed in November that Punch Partnerships Ltd had applied to tear down the Four Alls Inn on the A64 near Stockton on the Forest, and build two houses in its place.


But York Civic Trust has urged council planners to reject the proposal – saying that the pub is historically important and should be saved.

Built by renowned York architects Penty & Penty, it is one of the very few surviving ‘roadhouses’ between York and Scarborough.

Historical importance

The photograph of the Four Alls as featured in the Builders Journal in 1900
The Four Alls was built in the early 20th century as transport was shifting from the horse to the motorcar, which adds to the uniqueness of the existing site.

During this time, it was a popular place for travellers to rest and find accommodation, and was the next generation of traveller stops from traditional coaching inns.

Chief executive of the Civic Trust Andrew Morrison said:

  • The building remains one of the very few examples of ‘roadhouses’ between York and Scarborough and has historical importance both for its architectural value being designed by renowned York architects Penty and Penty and its social value as in important stopping point for many thousands of people on the journey to the coast.

    We feel that the building should be adapted and reused rather than demolished – if its current use no longer is viable.

    The trust also questions the suitability for the site for residential use, given its location so close to the A64.

‘Of national significance’

Photograph: Facebook
York historian Edward Waterson, who wrote Lost Houses of York and the North Riding, has also objected to the plans.

“This distinguished little building was designed by the outstanding York architects Penty and Penty and was considered of national significance when it opened, being featured in The Builders Journal in 1900,” he writes, adding:

  • It remains largely intact externally and is the best extant example of the early road houses on the A64 between York and Scarborough.

    It may not be of listable quality but it does not deserve demolition, let alone its replacement with
    two bland houses in a location that is totally unsuitable for residential use.

Penty & Penty were responsible for many iconic York buildings, including:

  • Aldersyde House in Dringhouses
  • the Terry Memorial homes on Skeldergate
  • the former York Coffee House Co. building on Walmgate
  • the former York Institute of Science, Art and Literature on Clifford Street, now the Kuda nightclub
  • Rowntree Wharf
  • the Bay Horse on Marygate
  • and 1-9 The Avenue, Clifton.

Anyone wishing to view or comment on the planning application can read it here.

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