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Duncombe Place

Hidden behind trees and with the Minster in the near distance the significance of Duncombe Place is often overlooked by the casual viewer. The red bricked building, which is now Grays Solicitors, was originally the York Dispensary built between 1897-99. In 1895 the Dispensary was referred to as ‘one of the most useful charities in the city’. Importantly it offered dentistry and maternity services in the 1880s and 1890s of which the latter was significant in terms of trying to reduce mortality rates of mothers and infants. Around 10% of the York population attended the Dispensary each year in the early 1900s. Following the establishment of the National Health Service the Dispensary was ultimately closed on 5th October 1948 after 160 years of continuous voluntary activity in York.

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