This arch now repositioned in the Garden of Rest was originally over a passageway between two houses in Westgate, near where the Library now is. Local tradition says the houses were probably built by the descendants of the Huguenot refugees from France.
The inscription reads “Love your neighbour as yourself – said the Evangelist” The Stone was laid on the 19th January 1827. The Huguenots would most likely have worshiped in each others homes or in one particular house.
The Huguenots were a French Protestant denomination with origins in the 16th or 17th centuries. Huguenot numbers peaked near an estimated two million by 1562. As Huguenots gained influence and more openly displayed their faith, Catholic hostility grew, 1685 Laws abolished all legal recognition of Protestantism in France, and forced the Huguenots to convert. While nearly three-quarters eventually were killed or submitted, roughly 500,000 Huguenots had fled France by the early 18th century. A large number of Huguenot émigrés relocated to Protestant European nations such as England. They were skilled weavers and would have easily found work in Yorkshire.
Thank you to Michael Hare for providing this information
Click on any of the plaques below to see more detail.