What’s on  

(Create a space for headline news on latest lectures, events things coming up)




In the news for 2013


  • Look out for a commemorative plaque for Joseph Rowntree on Pavement, the site of the building where he was born.  We are working the York Civic Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, to put up a plaque to mark the place where the Rowntree story in York all began.



  • We have commissioned Chris Titley, a local author, to write an illustrated biography of Joseph Rowntree to be published in October 2013 by Shire publishers       http://www.shirebooks.co.uk/articles/about/



What we did in 2012


  • Rowntree Memories collection

Between 2009 and 2012 we created a memories bank. Some of these memories have been published in the York Press:










We are still collecting written Rowntree memories. If you would like to send us your memory you can do so at info@rowntreesociety.org.uk




  • History of 28 Pavement

Joseph Rowntree was born in a building on this site and his father had his grocery business. With the support of the present owners of this historic building we documented the upstairs interior in film and still photography. A detailed architectural history has been compiled, as well as a chronological history. A unique contemporary account of the shop rules for the apprentices who lived on the top floors was uncovered and transcribed. In connection with this project (that was supported by the Two Ridings Community Foundation and the William A Cadbury Charitable Trust) we created a travelling exhibition that was put on display in locations across the city.

(Add PAVEMENT EXHIBITION photo archive here!)



  • Three short films by a Rowntree collector

With oneandothertv.com and parashoots.com we created three delightful short films that capture some high points in a private Rowntree museum collection locally.









What we did in 2011


  • Mr Rowntree’s Retrospect


Helped by designers LazenbyBrown, we produced a short video film to mark the 100th anniversary of Joseph Rowntree becoming an honorary freeman of the City of York on 11 May 1911. The lecture Joseph gave to the corporation shows the big shifts that had taken place since his childhood and his time, and the film picked out the highlights of his lecture. This film was one of the first ever installations to be publicly shown in the 360 space in the Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York.  The Lord Mayor and Stephen Pittam (a trustee of the Rowntree Society) each gave a short speech; and the Joseph Rowntree School contributed with a ‘period’ tea.










(Add MR ROWNTREES RETROSPECT photo archive here)



  • Penn House opening

At York Residents Weekend in 2011 (and thanks to Bootham School) we opened up Penn (Top) House to the public, attracting around 2,000 visitors to 10 rooms of exhibitions in just two days. Many local schools and organisations were involved See:






(Add PENN HOUSE archive here)




What we did in 2010


BBC2 Film: A Life Without Work

The Rowntree Society supported the BBC during the making of this 2-part film that compared unemployment in York today with the situation 100 years ago, when Seebohm Rowntree wrote his important study of Unemployment, as a follow-up to his seminal study on Poverty. The presenter, Richard Bilton, attended the reception as a guest speaker.





(ADD A LIFE WITHOUT WORK archive here)



2008 Reception to launch the Rowntree Society

In 2008 at the Garden House, Clifton, we welcomed the Lord Mayor to an official launch of the Rowntree Society. The Yorkshire Film Archive showed some Rowntree films and the Rowntree walks were launched.


(ADD LAUNCH archive here)



In the Press

(Add all links in Press document, and find a way of best ordering them?).





Are you a teacher? In school?

See our Resources section for a selection of teaching materials that we have commissioned for this website. If you would like support in developing teaching materials please get in touch, info@rowntreesociety.org.uk.


Want a talk on Rowntree history?

We are happy to give talks to local history groups, and to participate in local history events etc. as far as our resources allow. If you would like further information please get in touch, info@rowntreesociety.org.uk.



Want to do a Rowntree Walk around York?

You can download our Rowtnree walk from the website. The walk is currently being rewritten and will later include more information about Rowntree York. Watch out for further information about the walks.


We are happy to put on guided walks for specialist visitor groups and tourists. These might include a walk around the model village of New Earswick, as well as a range of city centre walks, tailored to your requirements (e.g. Quaker York, Rowntree Clifton). If you would like to arrange for a specialist Rowntree walk, with a guide, please get in touch for further information about our rates for this service.