Fonds CIV - York Civic Trust

Identity area

Reference code



York Civic Trust


  • 1950-2006 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

62 items

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Name of creator


Administrative history

York Civic Trust was founded in 1946 by four citizens of York who were worried about the potential loss of York's heritage in the post-war 'spirit of renewal.' They formed the Civic Trust with the intention of preserving York's historic buildings, and assisting with improvement schemes for the city's amenities. A fundamental aim was to work with the City Council in York and offer them ideas and assistance.

The Civic Trust periodically makes financial gifts to the city, and past projects have included restoring and gilding the gas lamps around York Minster, installing commemorative plaques in streets, purchasing pictures for the Art Gallery; repaving for St Helen's Square; purchasing new curtains for the Theatre Royal; and purchasing a new robe for the Lord Mayor, through to to a full restoration of the Mansion House (the home of the Lord Mayor of York).

The Trust is also recognised at a national level, and it's report advocating the establishment of conservation areas was directly incorporated into the Civic Amenities Act 1967.

In the mid-1960s York was chosen as one of four historic towns to study the issues of conservation. This report was later to be known as the Esher Report. The Civic Trust supported the City Council with a donation towards the fees involved in the study. The influence of that report was to bring huge benefits to the city and fully justified having participated in Lord Esher's Study.

Arguably the most important project undertaken by the Civic Trust was its restoration of Fairfax House, to provide a home for the furniture collection of Noel Terry. The house opened in 1984, and although sold by the Civic Trust to the York Conservation Trust in 2008, it continues to be one of York's important visitor attractions.

The Trust runs programmes of events, visits and lectures designed to enhance members' appreciation of the city and the nearby countryside. It also hosts a programme of education for younger residents and students.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

At present this collection only comprises annual reports for the trust, papers relating to the Civic Trust Amenity awards and York and Yorkshire and East Yorkshire Architectural Society awards and submissions for the Civic Trust Awards Scheme.


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Material is available subject to the usual terms and conditions of access to Archives and Local History collections.

Conditions governing reproduction

Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Language of material

  • English

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    Finding aids

    Allied materials area

    Existence and location of originals

    Explore York

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