In the shadow of the York walls and diagonally opposite the York Railway Station is a grassed area with yew trees, a few tombstones and a plaque marking the cholera burial ground.
Thomas Hughes, a ferry worker, is believed to be the first case of cholera in York having been diagnosed by the apothecary at the York Dispensary (Duncombe Place) on 2nd June 1832. In the following three months there were 450 recorded cases resulting in approximately 185 deaths. Riots nearly broke out on North Street due to fears that the mere sight of a hearse transporting a cholera victim’s body was sufficient to infect people with the disease.
Interestingly North Street is the birthplace of Dr John Snow in March 1813 who discovered that cholera was waterborne in 1854.