Embracing English History with Italian Passion

No. 45 Goodramgate

We’re looking forward to a new Italian restaurant opening within our glorious 15th century Tudor townhouse. Formerly La Piazza restaurant, new co-owners Arjan Boci and Decio Franca are launching La Piazza Antica “the old square”, celebrating both the former name and the beautiful old building.

A building of celebration and secrets

With seating for 100 throughout the ground floor, including a charming square inner courtyard, Arjan and Decio, together with Denis the new Manager, look forward to welcoming diners for lunches, suppers and celebrations, with additional space for private parties on the first floor.

Until recently, no. 45 Goodramgate also held a secret that was uncovered during a survey of the roof area. A mummified cat and pewter plate were discovered nestled amongst the ancient roof beams. Cats have long been regarded as talismans to ward off ‘evil spirits’ and the practice of secreting them in building structures is quite common and may have arrived with us via the Romans. We’re not quite so sure about the plate. Thankfully, examinations of other sites conclude that cats were not walled up alive, but would have been already dead before being hidden.

Formerly a bakery with stabling for horses, the building is also testament to the short life of a young man who once lived there. On the first floor, carved into the plaster, you’ll find the name Marmaduke Buckle and the dates 1697 - 1715. Disabled from birth, Marmaduke was accused by locals of witchcraft, a torment that sadly drove him to take his own life. Today, you can see Marmaduke’s handiwork preserved under a Perspex screen.

Fit for the 21st century - old does not equal inefficient

Concluding 16 months of restaurant fit-out, planning and installation by Arjan and Decio, despite the building's age, the Trust is required to ensure the building meets modern standards for high energy efficiency and low environmental impact and running costs. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) not only benchmarks how the building uses and loses energy, it also gives recommendations for improvement.

Rated from best to worst, A to G, despite being built in 1490, no. 45 Goodramgate achieved a ‘B’ EPC rating. This excellent rating is due to the highly efficient LED lighting throughout the building, together with a gas boiler operational efficiency close to 90% - recapturing heat from the waste gas. The boiler has a modern programmer/thermostat allowing the user to set it to the best times for heating to come on, plus, radiators have thermostatic valves allowing different areas to be heated as needed. The building also benefits from having other properties either side, resulting in less heat loss through the walls.

The Trust, Arjan and Decio look forward to no. 45 Goodramgate being brought back to full use for many years to come, serving the residents and many visitors to York.

Decio Franca and Arjan Boci making final preparations for the opening.

Arjan with restaurant Manager Denis

Trust Conservation architect Guy Bowyer and Trust Operations Manager Lizzie Taylor finalising plans with Decio and Arjan.

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