Picture perfect streetlighting

The challenge

As Europe’s best preserved medieval cobbled street, The Shambles has a long and interesting history dating beyond the 14th century when it was a butcher’s market. Today the popular tourist destination (in 2010 it won Google’s first ever Street View Award, for Britain’s most picturesque street) is home to many independent businesses, with ownership shared between the council and residents.

With its overhanging timber-framed buildings, The Shambles presented a unique challenge which had remained untouched by surrounding lighting upgrades.

With various lantern styles, lamps and with some sections left unlit, the residents called for a solution that improved the lighting performance but remained true to the streets heritage.

Due to its nature, the scheme was not previously designed to meet any lighting criteria and so was not fit-for-purpose by modern standards.

Clients and partners

  • Client

    City of York Council

Key project requirements

  • A sustainable lighting solution; aesthetically in keeping with the medieval architecture.
  • Improve lighting performance along the street.
  • To overcome the architectural constraints of the narrow road and overhanging buildings.

The solution

In keeping with the medieval architecture of the Shambles, our traditional Windsor Street lantern with hoop bracket was specified along with Performance Cob light engine, to minimise glare. A 3000K colour temperature was selected for its warmer white attributes, more in-keeping with the previously SON-lit street.

As one of Europe’s most visited streets, it is predominantly used by pedestrians, with the occasional refuse lorry or works vehicle. Taking both the structure and use of the area into account, we were able to deliver a scheme ideal for its surrounds and ongoing activity, achieving improvements in performance, uniformity and aesthetics.

Another challenge successfully overcome in this project was the size of the bracket. The narrow dimensions of the street and the overhanging building structure, meant our hoop bracket needed adapting to a custom version to prevent protruding into the pathway.

" Our new lights blend seamlessly with the surrounding architecture, helping The Shambles status as one of Britain's most picturesque streets. We've worked constructively with the business and York BID to bring all the benefits of modern lighting technology without compromising the street's incredible heritage "

Cllr Ian Gillies, City of York Council

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