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Hundreds of Ceramics Tiles to Adorn Exterior of York Art Gallery

Hundreds of ceramic tiles inspired by the unique paving on York’s streets will be used on the new first floor extension of York Art Gallery.

More than 300 double hexagon shaped tiles are to be fitted to the exterior of what will become part of the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) when the gallery reopens in summer 2015.

The tiles allude to the unique style of paving known as “Stable Paviours” or “Rosemary Setts” used on numerous alleys and back streets in the city.

It is believed the original paving was made from Colliery waste brought to the city as railway ballast.

Mike Woodward, chief operating officer for York Museums trust, said:

“It seemed fitting to use ceramic tiles for the exterior of CoCA, but we were unsure what shape they should be until we spotted the unique paving style used in some of the hidden corners of the city.

“The double hexagon style is in keeping with the fantastic contemporary art that will be on show in the gallery but at the same time draws influence from a part of York’s history.”

The new ceramic tiles, which are much larger than the original Rosemary Setts were made by Shaws of Darwen in Lancashire.


The reopening of York Art Gallery is now only months away, following its £8 million development.

Much of the major building work is now complete, with the gallery soon being handed back to the curators to install the opening exhibitions, which will be announced shortly.

The development will increase exhibition space at the gallery by 60 per cent by opening up the original Victorian roof void, building the first floor extension above what was known as the South Gallery and moving into the space which was previously occupied by York Archives.

On the ground floor a suite of three ground floor galleries will show ambitious and high profile exhibitions.

The newly built first floor gallery and the mezzanine gallery in the Victorian roof space will become CoCA, which will showcase work from the most extensive collection of British studio ceramics in the country.

The development will also include:

• A second entrance at the rear of the gallery into a new Artists’ Garden.
• Better visitor facilities including new cafe, shop, toilets and lift,
• A new learning room on the first floor.
• Much improved storage for the collections.

Your Comments

  1. Debra |

    When is it opening??

    1. Mike Linstead |

      Hi Debra

      York Art Gallery is due to re-open over the summer, an exact date is still to be confirmed. Please keep visiting our website for the latest news on the Art Gallery developments.

      Many thanks,
      Mike Linstead
      E-Communications Co-ordinator

  2. Teresa Wan |

    I am a designer from Hong Kong and wonder if we can meet on 18 or 19 November 2016 at York Art Gallery.
    I would like to learn more about:
    – The successful re-launch of York Art Gallery following its £8m refurbishment
    – Branding and website design of CoCA
    – The first art installation at York Museum Gardens and it’s new website
    Thank you and look forward to your favourable reply.

    1. Rachel Wade |

      Dear Teresa,

      Thank you for your message. Unfortunately I have been unable to contact you on the email address you have provided. Please contact our York Art Gallery team directly at art.team@ymt.org.uk.

      Kind regards,

      Rachel Wade
      York Museums Trust