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Knavesmire

From Academic Kids

The Knavesmire is one of a number of large, marshy undeveloped areas within the city of York, England.

Situated in the south-west of the city, some distance outside the historic walls, the Knavesmire's low-lying position makes it liable to severe flooding in times of heavy rain. As a consequence, it remained undeveloped as the city expanded around it.

For many years, the Knavesmire was the site of public hangings in York. The gallows were erected in 1379, a few miles outside the city on the main southern approach road (now known as the A1036 Tadcaster Road). Probably the most famous person to be executed was Dick Turpin, who was hanged in 1739. By the beginning of the 19th century, it was felt that the gallows did not create a good first impression for visitors to the city. The last hanging at the Knavesmire was in 1801, after which the gallows were moved to a more discreet (although still public) location near the castle. A paved area with a small plaque today marks the position in which the scaffold stood.

These days, the Knavesmire is used for recreation and for public events of a happier nature. It is a popular site for dog-walking, and a large part of it is occupied by York Racecourse.

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