Dick Turpin's 'gravestone' in York to be given pride of place under plans to build apartments

DickTurpin’s ‘gravestone’ is set to be given pride of place under plans to improve a burial ground and build a block of flats near the site in York city centre.

The former Tramways Working Men’s Club in Mill Street is set to be demolished to make way for 35 apartments.

The burial ground next to the club, which is where the legendary highwayman Dick Turpin is thought to be buried, would be improved to create a ‘pocket park’. New seats will be installed, a path around the park will be upgraded and the entrance will be made fully accessible.

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Dick Turpin was executed at Knavesmire in 1739. Historic England says the gravestone dates to the 20th century and the inscription reads: “John Palmer otherwise Richard Turpin. The notorious highwayman and horse stealer executed at Tyburn April 7th 1739 and buried in St George’s Churchyard”.

Simon Ahaimi from York Dungeon dressed as Dick Turpin in St George's Graveyard in York where the grave of Richard Turpin lies.

Developers Oakgate Group bought the club site in 2018 after more than 75 per cent of the club’s members voted for it to be sold. The new development would be called St George’s Terrace and a consultation has been launched for residents to have their say on the plans.

Richard France, managing director of Oakgate said: “Tramways is a typical 1960s building and detracts from the streetscape and the Grade II Listed St George’s Church. We have carefully considered the site’s location in a conservation area and the character and heritage of the surrounding streetscape when designing the development.

“Our proposals replace an unattractive building to provide high quality new homes, and will also bring major improvements to the vital green space next to it – giving the grave of Dick Turpin the presence and profile it warrants.

“We would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and let us know what they think about our plans.”

The apartment building would be set back from the park. All flats will have outdoor space and workspace. The building will also have solar panels and cycle storage.

Visit stgeorgesterraceyork.co.uk to have your say. A planning application is due to be submitted to City of York Council.