If Walls Could Talk: A History of York Through its Buildings

Ref: C3676087

We will look at what York's buildings tell us about the history and development of this amazing city, from Roman times to the present day. We will look at a range of buildings from grand edifices built for a particular purpose to the apparently insignificant and explore why some buildings have survived while others have vanished. We will explore the issues of balancing a unique historic environment with modern needs and expectations as towns have evolved through time. What has replaced the lost buildings, and why? How have some buildings changed over time and what can that tell us about the lives of the people who lived and worked here?

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the history of York through examining the changing history, architecture and use of the buildings we walk past every day.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify three church/ faith buildings, five secular buildings and three leisure buildings in York and explain their history, purpose and significance
  • Name three lost buildings and describe what happened to them and why
  • Describe at least two adaptations made to buildings to continue their survival, life and usefulness and link this to changing social history and expectations
  • Outline and discuss the challenges of balancing conservation and modern needs in a historic city

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • Note-taking materials may be useful, though the tutor will provide hand-outs at each session.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

If Walls Could Talk: A History of York Through its Buildings

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing