20th Century

New Earswick

These houses on Station Road were built in 1905. CYC - Imagine York.

1902AD - 1904AD

The garden village of New Earswick, on the outskirts of York, was revolutionary in its day.

It was built as a genuine mixed community.  There was housing for both workers and managers, all in a green setting with gardens for each home, each with its own fruit tree.

New Earswick was founded by the great York philanthropist, Joseph Rowntree.  He said, "I do not want to establish communities bearing the stamp of charity but rather of rightly ordered and self governing communities"

The first 28 houses were built between 1902 and 1904 by the architect Raymond Unwin.  Then the Joseph Rowntree Village Trust was established to continue building and manage the new village.

The village takes its place historically alongside Bournville, Saltaire, Port Sunlight and others.  It was a living demonstration of the way in which good quality housing, in a green and pleasant environment could allow people to lead fulfilled lives and strengthen the bonds of community.

This was in sharp contrast to the slums that had developed in York and other cities during the previous century, the deprivation of which had been revealed in the Rowntrees' pioneering report of 1901.

Villages such as New Earswick were a precursor of the British suburb, bringing the space and openness of country life to those whose livelihoods depended on the industrial city.