MOUNT, THE—See BLOSSOM STREET p. 62, and
MOUNT EPHRAIM, like Cambridge Street and
Oxford Street, was laid out in 1846 and completed by
1851 as terrace housing mainly occupied by railway
employees (see p. 128).
MOUNT PARADE, laid out in 1823, seems to have
been the earliest example in York of a new type of
development, the suburban road planned for genteel
residences. The little terrace faces S.W., with a series of
small front gardens towards the roadway. Building
proceeded slowly, and only nine houses were occupied
by 1830: five by gentry, one by a coach-guard and one
by a stone and marble mason as his private house. Some
houses were not finished until c. 1840. Cumberland
House, on the S.W. side of the Parade, was built c. 1834
(see p. 128).
MOUNT TERRACE was developed on a building
lease of 1824 as a terrace of five houses with a larger
house at the end towards the Holgate Road, built
by 1827 and occupied by 1828. Like Mount Parade,
which it adjoins, this was a genteel development of the
suburbs (see p. 128).
NORTH STREET. This name, already Nordstreta by
c. 1090, was applied from the 13th century to the whole
of the street running N. from Micklegate near to the
W. bank of the Ouse and then turning W. on a line
parallel to Micklegate. This latter part of the street has
long been known as Tanner Row, from a quarter of
tanneries which lay along it and in the area between it
and the city wall. In the 14th century and later the
tanners formed a large proportion of those parishioners
of All Saints' North Street rated to subsidies or identifiable in other ways. At a later date the street had some
association with the building trades: bricklayers,
joiners, masons, and sand and timber merchants. A few
persons of higher standing had houses there, and Peter
Atkinson senior, the architect, built his own house
(No. 26, now demolished) on a site he acquired in 1776.
The important yard of William Stead (1752–1834),
stone and marble mason, was at Nos. 36, 38, from 1802
(101) Houses, Nos. 6, 10 (Fig. 65), with the yard and
subsidiary buildings, formed in the 18th century a single
property in a number of tenancies. The freehold
belonged to John Playter, a coal merchant, who sold it in
1788 to John Dodsworth, ironmonger, and John Dodsworth, brewer, for £850 (YCA, E.95, f. 67). The
premises later passed to Thomas Cattley, who in 1819
conveyed them to Caleb Fletcher and Christopher Scarr,
wholesale grocers (E.97, f. 93v.). The yard was still used
in part as a coal-yard, but there was also a small garden
containing a garden house, and the main house was said
to have been occupied by John Playter, John Dodsworth
brewer, and Thomas Cattley successively as a private
residence. This refers to No. 10, built in the first half of
the 18th century, along with some of the subsidiary
buildings towards the river, probably warehouses; these
also included a timber-framed building of the late 16th
century with a roof carried on sole-pieces and with
diminishing principals (see Sectional Preface, p. lxxiv).
Though fragments of reused timber found during
demolition might suggest that No. 10 was on the site
of an earlier timber-framed house, it was No. 6 that
appeared to have been the original messuage, built in
the late 16th century. This was originally of three
storeys and attics, jettied to North Street and to the
narrow lane on the S.; its top storey was removed in the
18th century, leaving part of a 17th-century staircase in
the front attic. Along the lane stretched a rear wing, in
part of late 16th-century build, but extended in the late
17th century, when the range was cased in brick. An
important staircase was built in this range and the plaster
ceiling and part of the main stair light are of c. 1700.
In the first half of the 18th century, when No. 10 was
built, the whole front to North Street was redesigned
as a single unit to include No. 6, and faced in brick.
Early in the 19th century new sashes with thin glazing
bars were inserted in most windows, and a shop front
in the ground floor of No. 10. Before 1850 (OS 1852)
the central passageway between Nos. 6 and 10 had been
widened to S. to form the present carriageway to the
The front to North Street is in Flemish bond and has a
brick plinth with weathered offset. The shop front in No. 10
takes the place of two original windows, of which the flat
arches remain. On the first floor are three tall sash windows
with stone sills and flush frames in each half of the front, and
a blind recess placed centrally. The N. window retains its
original heavy glazing bars. The coved lath-and-plaster
cornice to No. 10 is original; to S., over the central bay and
No. 6 is a late 18th-century timber cornice with modillions.
The roofs are covered partly with pantiles, partly with plain
tiles. The back of the main range is of brickwork in random
bond. The S. end of the front range has been underpinned with
brickwork of the early 19th century, but the framed jetty
survives on the first floor. The S. elevation of the back wing,
towards the lane, has a brick casing of the late 17th century
throughout. Above the ground floor is evidence of a former
moulded brick and tile string-course, which survives on the
E. end. There is a brick plinth cut by a wide modern opening
beneath two windows (early 18th-century). The staircase
window consists of two late 17th-century mullioned and
transomed windows placed one above the other with inserted
glazing bars of the late 18th century.
Fig. 65. (101) Nos. 6, 10 North Street. Area of earliest house
There are cellars built of stone and brick beneath the whole
building, with timber ceilings. In No. 6 the ground floor front
room, though converted to a shop, retains an important
decorated plaster ceiling (Plate 186) of the first half of the 17th
century shortened to N. by the formation of the carriageway.
In the back range some of the rooms have stop-chamfered
beams carrying chamfered ceiling joists of the 17th century.
The late 18th-century staircase has turned balusters with square
knops and a swept rail, without newels. Above is a plaster
ceiling with a shaped panel containing a wreath surrounded by
leaves and flowers within an oval (c. 1700). When the staircase
in this position was formed in the 17th century, a main chimney
stack was removed, but the 16th-century breast still remains in
Above the front range the Attics are reached by a late stair
formed within the remains of the original staircase, of which a
moulded rail and two oak newels with attached half-balusters
survive. This staircase evidently led to the upper storey, taken
down when the house was transformed and refronted in the
early 18th century. The roof is of the early 18th century, of
softwood, with large tie-beams (10 in. by 8 in.) and principals
and collars (all 12 in. by 3 in.). Over the back range is a loft
containing two original 17th-century oak trusses.
In No. 10 the front room on the Ground Floor, now a shop,
is lined with bolection-moulded fielded panels, under a heavy
cornice. In the E. wall is a door of three fielded panels, with
original L-hinges. In the S.E. corner is a fireplace with Adamesque surround (Plate 73) and a Carron hob-grate (Plate 73)
decorated with trumpets, entwined ribbons and Prince of
Wales feathers, probably for George IV when Prince Regent
(1810–20). The Staircase has square newels, a heavy handrail
and turned balusters (Fig. 17f), two to each tread; every third
baluster has a twisted shaft. On the First Floor the main front
room has painted pine panelling with bolection mouldings
and raised panels. Demolished 1963; the 17th-century plaster
ceiling from No. 6 re-erected in the King's Manor for the University
(102) House, No. 19 (Plate 187), originally of the early
18th century, consists of a main block towards the street
and a gabled wing behind, possibly but not certainly a
somewhat later addition. Internally the building has been
much altered, especially in recent years, and the original
ground-floor plan completely destroyed by the formation of a carriageway to S. and an inserted shop front.
At first floor one front room has original panelling.
The staircase is of the late 18th century.
On the E. front four sash windows to the upper storey have
stone sills which appear to have been lowered about 1 ft. or
more; the window heads extend to the timber eaves cornice.
The back wing is of red brick (Plate 187). All the openings in
the S. elevation have elliptical arched heads formed of a
single course of headers. The W. gable is mostly in stretcher
bond but with occasional courses of headers; the gable parapet
is of good tumbled brickwork. The N. side, completely
stuccoed, was formerly a party wall with an adjoining building
now demolished, of which parts of a stone chimney survive.
Internally few old features survive. The late 18th-century
staircase has turned balusters with square knops, moulded and
swept handrail, and square newels; from first floor to attic the
design is simplified. In the attic is a short length of reused 17th-century balustrading (Plate 187). A first-floor room has original
panelling with bolection mouldings, surmounted by a plaster
(103) House, No. 26, was presumably designed by
Peter Atkinson senior (1725–1805), as he bought the
site for £150 in 1776 and later occupied the present
building (YCA, E.94, f. 182; E.97, f. 137). In the present
century the ground floor was structurally altered to
make a through carriageway; steel girders support the
upper floors which comprise front and back rooms with
a staircase between them.
The front, in Flemish-bonded red bricks of high quality,
has gauged brick arches to all windows. At ground floor only
the angles remain, the carriage opening occupying most of the
frontage. At first floor are two sash windows with flush
moulded frames and a stone band at sill level, now flush but
probably originally projecting. The second floor has two
almost square sash windows. Above is a wooden cornice with
shallow modillions and dentilling, returned at both ends.
On the first floor is a very good late 18th-century fireplace
surround in Adam style, with carved pine applied decoration,
of honeysuckle motifs, to the frieze. The marble slip remains
in situ, but the surrounding wooden moulding is badly
damaged and the firegrate has been removed. Both rooms
retain their cornice and skirting. The Staircase, in poor condition, has slender turned balusters and a slender mahogany
veneered handrail. Over the stair well was originally a large
glazed rectangular fanlight above a coved ceiling, now blocked.
(104) Church Cottages, No. 31 North Street and
Nos. 1, 2 All Saints' Lane (formerly Church Lane), are
owned by the Church now and probably ever since
their construction in the late 15th century (Plate 185;
Fig. 66). They face the N. side of All Saints', North
Street. Evidence for the period of construction is the S.E.
corner post, with embattled cresting and rose-like
paterae. The timber framing and roof structure with
common rafters, crown-posts and collar-purlins, are
typical of York buildings of that period (Fig. 13c).
Fig. 66. (104) Church Cottages No. 31 North Street and Nos. 1, 2 All Saints' (Church) Lane.
The building comprises a two-storey range of six unequal
bays, and a small wing at the E. end. It formed three dwellings
each occupying two bays, that at S. end having a small hall
in the projecting wing. The upper floor is jettied along the
S. side and across the E. gable end. No original openings remain
intact, as windows and doors have been replaced at various
times. However, it is possible to conjecture a reconstruction of
the first-floor windows to S., where a series of pegs occurs in a
horizontal line on some of the studs and braces, midway
between the wall-plate and bressumer; they serve no structural
purpose now, but originally must have carried a horizontal
timber, or a series of brackets, and suggest shallow oriel
windows of timber construction, with sills pegged to the
main timbers. In the second bay from E., a small 18th-century
oriel window exists, probably replacing a similar one. The
N. elevation is largely rebuilt in brick and the W. gable is
partly covered by a later structure. Internally there are exposed
joists to the ground-floor rooms and a dragon-beam to the
S.E. angle. All three dwellings have fireplaces inserted in the
18th century, and no evidence remains of any earlier form of
heating. The central and W. cottages have simple steep staircases of ladder-like appearance and of uncertain date, replacing
original ones which must have been similar, as the arrangement of the joists to accommodate them remains unaltered.
The upper rooms of the central and W. cottages are open to
(105) Houses, Nos. 46, 48, 50, include buildings of
two main periods. No. 46, possibly late 17th-century, is
two-storeyed and in stuccoed brick, with a pantiled roof.
A central carriageway has been driven through it.
Nos. 48 and 50, to N., are a pair of late 18th-century
cottages. Adjoining the rear of No. 50 is a pair of three-storey houses of c. 1840, in brick with one course of
headers to four of stretchers. All internal fittings have
been removed. Demolished 1965.
(106) House, No. 62, was built probably shortly
before 1760. In 1761, when sold by William and Ann
Peckitt (parents of the glass-painter) to William Fentiman, it was described as 'all those two houses . . . now
divided into several tenements' (YCA, E.94, f. 36v.);
this and the existence of two staircases indicate that it was
designed from the beginning as two dwellings, in one
of which the Peckitts had been living. The house underwent extensive refurbishing, including renewal of the
roof, in the first half of the 19th century, probably 1833.
A deed of 1834 refers to 'all those four dwelling-houses
or tenements ... adjoining to and behind the same ...',
but no reference is made to these in a deed of 1832, nor
any earlier deeds; the scar of these dwellings, with a
chimney breast, is visible to the rear. Later the S. room
on the ground floor was converted into a warehouse,
and the rear buildings were demolished.
The elevations are of brick in an irregular stretcher bond,
and the roof is of plain tiles. Inside, the house is in two separate
tenements, described as (A) and (B), to N. and S. respectively.
(A) On the ground floor, a central doorway leads into a
passage. The staircase, approached through an archway at the
end of the entrance passage, has turned and moulded balusters
with square knops, a closed string, and moulded handrail;
this last is discontinuous at the turns, where it is swept up to a
turned and moulded newel.
On the first floor, the W. room contains a fireplace with a
wooden moulded surround with a dentilled cornice shelf;
the early 19th-century hob-grate is decorated with oval
medallions containing seated figures and with dolphins. On
each side of the fireplace is a cupboard with a door of six
fielded panels. On the second floor, the partition between the
W. and E. rooms is of planks 10 in. wide with a central rail
4½ in. deep, chamfered on both arrises.
(B) The ground floor, though converted, retains the staircase. This has a closed string, moulded and turned balusters
with square knops, a simple handrail and plain square newels.
On the first floor, the W. room contains a fireplace with
painted stone surround which has a cambered head with a
central key-block carved with a scallop-shell. Above the
fireplace is a plain frieze with shaped ends and moulded
cornice shelf. Owing to the collapse of the ceiling of the
second floor, the roof over the whole house is visible; it is
of c. 1830–40 and divided into three bays by two king-post
trusses. The king-posts, enlarged at the foot to carry raking
struts supporting the purlins and at the top for the abutment
of the principals, carry a plank ridge; there is one purlin on
each side, slightly offset in adjacent bays, halved through the
principal and fastened on the other side. Demolished 1957.
(107) House, No. 64 (Fig. 67), was perhaps the 'new
built house for sale' in 1772 (York Courant, 2 June), but
probably part of an earlier structure remains, some of
the brickwork of the W. and N. walls being of the 17th
The street front (Plate 188), in Flemish-bond brickwork,
has a brick plinth and a timber cornice with modillions and
dentils. The entrance has a door-case, a good example of the
period, with slender fluted side pilasters with simple caps and
bases, carrying fluted brackets supporting a pediment; the
door, with semicircular glazed fanlight above, has six sunk
panels with applied raised moulding. The spandrels over the
fanlight and the tympanum contained applied composition
ornament, but this is either decayed or in part broken away.
Two windows retain their shutters. An original lead rainwater
head with part of the down-pipe and three holdfasts decorated
with fleurs-de-lis survive. The hipped roof is covered with
A warehouse, built against the W. side, has been demolished,
exposing housings for joists at first and second floors. The
brickwork is of three types, narrow (4 courses rising 9½ in.)
and mostly in stretcher bond to ground floor, modern to
second floor, and the rest, though in stretcher bond, very
similar to that of the S. elevation to the street. At the back,
the N. elevation is extensively defaced by modern openings,
and the upper walling is in larger brickwork than the remainder.
It retains a number of original openings.
Fig. 67. (107) No. 64 North Street.
Inside, on the ground floor is a central entrance hall with a
stair hall beyond and entertaining rooms to each side: to N.W.
is a large Kitchen and to N.E. a scullery and larders. There are
small cellars. The Staircase has a closed string, turned newels and
balusters and a moulded handrail. Demolished 1957. Late 18th-century fireplace surrounds from the ground floor reset, one at 8
Water End, Clifton, York; one at Skelton Hall, York.
NUNNERY LANE, formerly Baggergate, probably
the road of the 'badgers' or hucksters, was a suburban
lane between the city moat and a series of gardens and
orchards. No extensive housing development took place
until c. 1829. See p. 128.
OXFORD STREET was laid out in 1846 as terrace
housing for railway employees; demolished in 1962.
See p. 128.
PARK STREET, a side street off The Mount, was begun
in 1836 with No. 7, built by Thomas Rayson senior,
one of York's leading building contractors, as his own
residence. Nos. 9 and 11 soon followed, but it was not
until after 1847 that the rest of the street was developed.
Like Mount Parade and South Parade, this was laid out
as a single-sided street, with gardens opposite to each
house on the S.W. side. See p. 128.
QUEEN STREET, formerly a branch of Thief Lane,
had been named by 1830, but those houses which have
survived later street-widening were mostly built in the
1840s, after the coming of the railway. See p. 129.
RAILWAY STREET, at first named Hudson Street,
in honour of George Hudson the railway promoter,
was being laid out in 1846 as part of the approaches to
the (old) Railway Station but no houses were built
until after 1851. (Renamed George Hudson Street 1971).
ROUGIER STREET was laid out in 1841 as part of the
new approaches to the (old) Railway Station and was
mostly built by 1843. It was named after the family of
Rougier, proprietors of a large comb-making factory
and of much of the area. Almost all the houses were
demolished in 1961. See p. 129.
ST. MARTIN'S LANE, a narrow lane, was Littlegate in
the 13th century; in 1282 it contained twenty tofts
owned by sixteen proprietors. Later it provided some
accommodation for light industry and warehousing.
(108) Warehouse, No. 12, was built in the late 17th
century, apparently as a warehouse, on an L-shaped plan,
with a substantial main range and a smaller wing at the
S.W. corner, both having interconnecting vaulted basements with external entry only. That the building was
not originally a dwelling is proved by the absence of
original fireplaces, the very small number of original
windows, and the lack of any evidence of former partitions. The floors, with their substantial joists, appear to
be later replacements. A small wing at the S.E. corner is
an early addition.
The E. elevation, where not concealed by stucco, is of
stretcher-bond brickwork with every sixth course in headers
and with a band at first-floor window-sill level. To the first
floor and the attics are original windows with elliptical arched
heads of one course of headers. The gable end has tumbled
brickwork; to the S. the lowest part of the gable parapet and
the kneeler courses are incorporated in the E. wall of the loftier
S.E. addition. The S. elevation of the S.E. addition is mostly
masked by modern additions; the gable parapet is in tumbled
brickwork, obscured by later stucco. In the W. wall, on the
first floor is an early 18th-century window with sliding sashes
with thick glazing bars. In the S. wall of the main range the
central entrance to the basement is original, the ground-floor
entrances are not. Centrally on the first floor is a late 17th or
early 18th-century window with pegged frame.
ST. PAUL'S SQUARE was not laid out until c. 1855.
No. 46 (see p. 129) is an earlier house adjacent to Holgate
SKELDERGATE, mentioned in the 12th century, was
the main dockside street of York, running parallel to the
W. bank of the Ouse below the Bridge. On its eastern
side were the Queen's Staith and wharves, with the
Crane at the S. end, together with warehouses. On the
inland (W.) side were the houses of prosperous merchants. At the Crane was the quay (The Old Wharf)
at which all foreign merchandise was landed and stored
in bond; and until the late 19th century this was the port
of York at which seagoing vessels docked.
In 1282 the Husgable Roll shows that there were
sixty-eight tofts in Skeldergate, rather more than half
the number in Micklegate, to which it ranked second
among the streets of York to S.W. of the river. That this
large and important thoroughfare should take its name
from the shield-makers, as suggested by the forms of the
place-name, seems almost inconceivable, apart from the
fact that there is no evidence of any kind that shieldmakers, or any related craftsmen, ever worked here. It
appears more probable that the name is a corruption
from ON skelde, a shelf, and refers to the position of the
street on the strand of the Ouse, beneath the low cliff,
terraced in Roman times, above which stood Bishophill;
alternatively, the name may be derived from a person,
Skjoldr, by analogy with Skelderskew in Guisborough
(EPNS, North Riding, 149). See also p. 129.
(109) House, No. 16, early 19th-century, was originally a dwelling, but in the latter part of the century it was
converted to a malt house by removal of the first floor,
roof and partitions, leaving only the outer walls. A
heating chamber was inserted, with the malting floor
at the level of the original first-floor window sills. At
ground level a passageway runs on all four sides,
between the outer walls and the furnace. The building is
of brick with slate roof. The street front, of two storeys
and five bays wide, was originally symmetrical. The
central entrance is a later 19th-century replacement;
the windows have flush moulded frames, segmental
arches and red brick dressings. Above the oversailing
courses which formed the eaves cornice the brickwork
has been heightened by four courses. The malting floor,
of glazed, perforated tiles, approximately 12 in. square
by 2½ in. thick, is supported on angle irons. Demolished
(110) Warehouse, Nos. 18, 19, has been formed from
two houses, both of the early 19th century though of
separate builds. Only the fronts now survive. They are
of three storeys, of brick in Flemish bond and with slate
roofs. No. 18 has a first-floor sash window with flatarched head in rubbed brick; the second-floor window
has a sliding sash. There is a timber cornice with simple
mouldings. No. 19 has two windows with sliding sashes,
stone sills, and stone lintels engraved to imitate voussoirs
and keystone. There are projecting timber eaves supported on coupled brackets. Demolished 1965.
(111) Houses, Nos. 21, 22, were built as a pair in c.
1740. In the late 19th century, the whole of the ground
floor of No. 21 was removed to make a carriageway
through to commercial premises behind. It is doubtful
whether any window in either house retains its original
frame and glazing, and three original window openings
on the first floor of the Skeldergate front of No. 21 have
The front to Skeldergate, of two storeys and six bays in
width, has been greatly altered. The back elevation towards the
river, of three storeys and in good quality Flemish-bonded
brickwork, has a band at first-floor level and a secondary band
at the level of the sills of the first-floor windows. The entrance
has a semicircular head, and the window beside it a segmental
head. To the first floor are three windows with flat arches of
fine rubbed brick, four courses deep, with saw cuts simulating
joints. To the second floor are three smaller sash windows with
flat arches of rubbed brick, three courses deep.
Inside No. 22, the Staircase has a moulded closed string,
turned balusters of uniform height with square knops, and
rectangular newels; on the landings the newel posts are rather
narrow but extend across the handrails of both flights (1¾ in.
by 5¼ in.); at the top of each flight, the upper moulding of the
handrail is swept up to the newel. Exposed in the attics is the
front principal and collar of a collar-beam roof truss supporting
(112) House, No. 48, probably of very early 18th-century origin, was considerably modified by the addition of a storey later in the century; the entrance is also
of the later date. Further alterations belong to the
Regency period, when the staircase was reconstructed.
The street elevation (Plate 189), of four bays, is in stock
brick with good red brick dressings. There is a handsome late
18th-century entrance in the second bay from the E. (Plate 63).
A change of brickwork occurs at sill level on the second floor.
The late 18th-century moulded cornice is of timber. The W.
part of the rear elevation projects some 8 ft. To the W. of an
outbuilding, on the ground floor is a large sash window with a
flat arch in rubbed brick; on the first floor are two sash windows with segmental arches of brick headers and ashlar sills.
There is a lead rainwater head and fall-pipe; opposed fleurs-de-lis decorate the holdfasts.
Inside, the ground-floor rooms to the rear are in derelict
condition. The N.W. room, with a simple 18th-century
plaster cornice, has two windows with simple architraves and,
in the S. wall, a doorway with moulded architrave and a dentil
cornice above a swept frieze. The Staircase has a closed string,
slender balusters (Fig. 18s) and mahogany handrail. Up to
the half-landing above the first floor it is of c. 1820; thence it is
of early 18th-century date with substantial turned balusters
On the first floor, the N.E. room has in the S.E. corner an
angle fireplace with moulded surround and frieze and with a
cast-iron firegrate enriched with urns and foliage typical of the
late 18th century. The N.W. room, redecorated in the
Regency style, has a reeded plaster cornice with floriate
paterae at the angles. The window and a doorway to the landing have reeded architraves with square angles and paterae;
and in the S. wall the white marble fireplace has reeded jambs
with incised circular paterae. Demolished 1964.
Fig. 68. (114) Sawmill No. 52 Skeldergate.
(113) House, No. 51, was built in the late 18th century;
it is of moderate size with an entrance passage running
through the house at one side and the staircase opening
off the passage, between the front and back rooms. It
has been extended for use as offices.
The street front (Plate 189) is built in Flemish bond with a
plain string at first-floor level and a narrower band joining the
sills of the first-floor windows. Over the windows are flat
arches of gauged rubbed brick. The entrance has a simple late
18th-century door-case with flanking pilasters and an open
pedimental hood supported on brackets; over the door is a
semicircular fanlight. At the wall head is a timber eaves
cornice enriched with dentils and modillions. Inside, on
the ground floor the entrance passage is spanned by simple
arches at the entries to the stair hall from both front and back.
The Staircase has slender turned balusters of stained softwood
and a swept handrail; there are no newels. In the first-floor N.
room is a modillion cornice.
(114) Saw-mill, No. 52, was built for John Henry
Cattley; the foundation stone was laid in May 1839
(Yorkshireman, 18 May). The walls are of brick and ashlar
and the roof is covered with slates and asbestos.
The street front (Plate 189; Fig. 68) is symmetrical and of five
bays, those at the ends projecting slightly. The five ground-floor round-headed arches were originally open. Most of the
rear elevation is obscured by later additions. Near the middle
are two semicircular arched openings and to the E. is a doorway with a segmental arch of brick headers. On the first floor
are two casements, a wide central opening and a doorway
further E., all with segmental brick arches. The openings
to the second floor have been blocked with brickwork. The
hipped roof has seven king-post trusses of heavy scantling,
with oblique struts and a ridge-beam; the main joints are reinforced with iron straps.
(115) House, No. 53, incorporates some remains of an
18th-century building which belonged to John and
Dennis Peacock, timber merchants. In its present form
it dates from c. 1840, when it was acquired by J. H.
Cattley, owner of the adjoining saw-mill, No. 52 (114),
with which it is roughly contemporary. The ground
floor has been altered, but the first floor remains as
planned and is unusual in having two small internal
rooms or large cupboards. The wing behind retains
parts of the red brick walls of the earlier building.
The street front is of white brick in Flemish bond. On each
floor are two windows, those on the ground floor being offset
to balance the doorway; this last has a later door-case. The
windows of the top floor are shorter than those below. The
openings have flat arches of rubbed brick, plastered soffits and
jambs, and stone sills. The wooden eaves cornice is supported
on shaped brackets. The roofs are of slate. In the rear elevation,
the two windows lighting the stair have round heads and stone
sills. In the rear wing, the S.E. wall, which is of four storeys,
incorporates older brickwork up to about 12 ft., which is not
bonded in to the brickwork of the later house. The S.W. wall
is also of older red brick in the lower part and has a central
vertical strip of red brick up to about two-thirds of the wall
height, which may be an earlier chimney incorporated in the
Inside, the ground floor has an entrance passage leading
through to the stair hall, which is demarcated by two arches
across the passage. In the side walls are two corresponding
arched recesses enclosing doorways to the front room and to
the adjoining premises. In the stair hall the arched opening to
the passage is matched by an adjoining arched recess, which
may also have been a doorway to the front room. The main
Staircase has turned balusters (Fig. 18t) and an open string
with shaped ends to each tread. The service staircase in the
rear wing has square balusters and newels. The large front
room on the first floor has an elaborate plaster cornice and a
white marble fireplace surround. The windows have splayed
jambs and moulded architraves. In the ceiling is a gas fitting
suspended from a large circular feature of radiating acanthus
leaves. The rooms on the second floor have fireplaces with very
simple surrounds, excepting one in the rear wing which has a
timber surround with sunk panels and a mantel shelf with
(116) House, No. 55, now divided into three flats,
was built in the late 18th century. It has been greatly
reduced in size since 1850 by the removal of a block of
buildings, possibly service quarters, from the back.
Little of architectural merit remains since rebuilding and
alterations following upon war damage in 1942. The
house was in a single occupation until after the middle
of the 19th century, the last private occupier, from c.
1825, being John Kirlew, a merchant. By 1879 it was
'two messuages formerly in one' occupied by the owner
William Parker, an engineer and millwright, and Joseph
Burill (Title deeds, Ings Property Co.; Directories).
The street front, rebuilt or cased, has coarse brickwork to the
ground floor and cement rendering to first floor. The W. half
of the rear elevation is cement rendered, presumably covering
the rough brickwork left when the back range was demolished;
the windows of this elevation are modern. Inside, the only
feature of note is the Staircase, with turned balusters with square
knops, a closed string, turned newels and a swept handrail.
(117) House, No. 56 (Plate 189), is a large town house
built in the second half of the 18th century, probably
to designs by John Carr. The site belonged before 1760
to George Pawson, a York merchant who moved to
London and leased the 'house, garden and cellars' to
tenants until 1769, when he sold the freehold to Ralph
Dodsworth, merchant, Lord Mayor of York in 1792.
Dodsworth was Sheriff in 1777–8, and since it was
customary for the sheriffs to entertain in their own
houses, it seems likely that the present building dates
from about that time. After Dodsworth's death in 1796
the house was let to Thomas Smith the younger, a York
merchant, who bought the freehold in 1807 for £2,615,
including the cellars, two other houses and a riverside
warehouse. In 1825 Smith conveyed No. 56 alone to
William Cooper for £900, and on his death in 1841
it was inherited by his son Henry Cooper, who was the
occupant, with the 'garden, warehouses and wine-vaults
in Skeldergate' where he carried on business (Title
deeds, Ings Property Co.; Rate Books of St. Mary
Bishophill Senior, at St. Clement's; Directories). The
house was greatly disfigured in c. 1925 by driving
through it a carriageway to give access to a yard at the
rear, for which important rooms have been destroyed
and a service wing has been demolished.
The street front is shown in the accompanying drawing
(Fig. 69) with the two destroyed windows reinstated, and in
Plates 189 and 63; it is of brick with ashlar dressings. The
ashlar plinth which projects well forward formerly carried
iron railings. The windows have fine brick splayed arches,
five courses deep, the voussoirs being single large gauged
bricks with saw-cuts simulating joints. The central window on
the first floor has a moulded and eared architrave with a
pulvinated frieze. The flanking windows have moulded
cornices above the brick arches. The pedimented cornice is of
timber. At the apex and on either end of the pediment are
stone-capped plinths, those at the ends carrying urns. The W.
side elevation is in good quality brickwork, with the first-floor
band returned from the front elevation. On the first floor, to
the S., is a Venetian window which originally lit the staircase.
At the back, the S., all the brickwork excepting that of the
W. extremity and the uppermost part and pediment, is irregular as a result of the demolition of a great bow window and the
domestic wing. A lunette window remains in the pediment
but all the other openings are modern.
Inside, the ground-floor plan originally comprised two
reception rooms divided by a central entrance passage leading
to a stair hall at the rear with the staircase leading off at right
angles. The E. room retains most of its original fittings; it has a
moulded skirting and dado, the latter enriched with wave
motif, and simple panels above formed by stucco mouldings,
the panel over the late 19th-century fireplace in the E. wall
having a central urn and swag enrichment at the head; the
plaster cornice is enriched and the ceiling is delicately patterned
with scrolls, roundels, etc. (Plate 61).
The former stair hall has been greatly altered by the blocking
or destruction of the arched openings in all four walls. The
surviving pilaster-responds to the archways have sunk panels
modelled with beribboned husks and simple caps enriched with
acanthus foliage; there is a modillion cornice throughout.
The original main staircase has been destroyed, and a modern
staircase, incorporating some of the original balusters and part
of the handrail has been inserted in the entrance passage. A late
18th-century fireplace surround (Plate 73) has been removed.
Fig. 69. (117) No. 56 Skeldergate.
The first floor has been greatly altered by conversion into
flats and insertion of partition walls. The E. room remains
intact, with original fittings; at the S. end is a recess with enriched soffit and flanking Tuscan pilasters, and quarter pilasters.
A fireplace in the E. wall has marble slips, moulded surround,
flanking pilasters with sunk panels decorated with ribbon bows
and corn husks, and fluted consoles supporting a cornice shelf;
the unusual frieze has six raised elongated octagons with
linking bars and containing carved flowers with swirling
petals. The cast-iron grate is of c. 1835.
(118) The Plumbers' Arms, No. 61 (Plate 46; Fig. 70),
of two storeys and attic, consisted for the most part of a
timber-framed house of c. 1575, which was jettied on the
N.E. front to the street and had two large projecting
brick chimney stacks on the N.W. side. In c. 1600 a
three-storeyed annexe (a on plan), jettied on both upper
floors, was added in the N. corner. At the same time the
space between the original brick stacks was enclosed to
form a closet on each floor (b). The wainscotting
throughout the house may well have been inserted then
or shortly after. In the early 18th century a staircase
was added on the S.E. (c); this structure had become
enveloped in 19th-century brick additions. During the
late 18th century a large, two-storey bay window (d)
was added on the S.W. end of the original house. The
premises did not become a public house until after 1850
(Benson, iii, 166; Directories). The building was
demolished in 1964, when valuable dating evidence came
Fig. 70. (118) Plumbers' Arms, No. 61 Skeldergate.
The original front to Skeldergate was rendered over some
of the timber framing. Fixed to the butt ends of the joists of the
jettied floor was a fascia board carved with Renaissance egg-and-dart ornament. The fascia boards of both jetties of the N.
annexe were copies of the foregoing. All the openings in the
front were of the early 19th century and later, though the
modern casement window projecting on timber brackets on
the second floor of the annexe possibly replaced an earlier
window of similar design. The N.W. side of the building
was mostly covered by adjoining late 19th-century premises.
The S.E. side was masked by a 19th-century brick addition
of two storeys, replacing an older addition. The back (S.W.)
elevation was mostly rebuilt in the late 18th century when the
bay window was added, though the original tie-beam was
retained in the rebuilt gable.
The building technique of the timber framing and the roof
construction of the original house were revealed during
demolition. The close-set studding had infilling of bricks
set on edge and keyed to the framing by mortar, the studs
being grooved to form the key (Fig. 71). The simple commonrafter roof had single side purlins and arched collars at intervals
along it; the rafters fitted into notches cut in the wall plates.
Fig. 71. (118) Plumbers' Arms. Framing at junction of main
building and annexe.
Inside, the ground floor was divided into two rooms from
the first by a timber-framed partition wall, but the latter had
been replaced later in brick. Each room had in the N.W. wall
an original brick fireplace concealed by a modern one. The
front room, with access to the annexe, had moulded ceiling
beams intersecting at the centre. The S.E. partition consisted
of panelling of c. 1600, brought forward from the outer wall to
leave a passageway behind. The rear room had been sub-divided on the S.E. with panelling reused as partitioning. The
early 18th-century staircase in the S.E. addition had squaresection newel posts with attached half balusters, finely-turned
oak balusters (Fig. 17g), a closed string and moulded handrail.
The first floor originally comprised one large room heated
by two fireplaces in the N.W. wall. When the house was
wainscotted a partition wall of timber studding was inserted
under the south-western transverse beam, creating two rooms,
each with one fireplace. The front room, which had squaresectioned transverse and longitudinal ceiling beams intersecting
at the centre, was panelled throughout. The annexe room
entered from it was also panelled throughout, and behind the
panelling were found shop-made timber-framed windows (see
p. lxxviii) of two, three and ten lights, that of ten lights in the
N.W. wall being transomed; all had been blocked. The rear
main room was also fully panelled. Removal of the panelling
and the 18th-century fireplaces in both rooms revealed the
original 16th-century brick fireplaces; they had four-centred
arches with hollow chamfers continued down the jambs to
simple run-out stops. Between the two chimney-stacks a small
closet had been formed and the original timber-framed wall
cut through for access to it; the closet contained a two-light
timber-mullioned window. A similar addition had been made
below on the ground floor. The room on the second floor of
the annexe had timber-framed walls (Plate 48) with two and
three-light mullioned windows, all shop-made as before.
SOUTH PARADE was a terrace of twenty houses to be
built by the York Commercial Building Company,
consisting of forty subscribers. A foundation stone was
laid in 1824, and by the end of the next year the first
three houses were assessed to the rates. By 1827 Nos.
1–11, 13–15 and 17 were inhabited, and all were completed by the end of 1828. No. 16 was the home of
Thomas Rayson, senior (1764–1836), from 1828, and it
is probable that he was the contractor for the series;
at No. 17 the first occupier, from 1827 to 1833, was
Peter Atkinson (II), architect, very likely the designer of
the terrace. The parade was designed as a venture in
relatively high-class housing for genteel occupiers, on a
larger scale than that provided by Mount Parade (q.v.).
SWANN STREET was built as small-scale terrace
housing in 1828–9; it was demolished by 1967. See
TADCASTER ROAD is a continuation of The Mount
and Mount Vale, leading to Dringhouses. See also
pp. 116–18 and 129.
(119) The White House, Nos. 238, 240 (Plate 196),
was built in the 17th century; it is called 'New Inn' in an
engraving by John Haynes, dated 1731, when it was
still a simple oblong on plan. In the later 18th century
additions were made to N. and W., and the whole
house remodelled inside and out. An angle, formed by
the added rooms, was filled by a one-storey extension in
the 19th century, when various offices were erected
against the W. side. For a long time this was called the
Gallows House, being opposite 'Tyburn', the York
gibbet on the Knavesmire. In the 19th century it became
a starch factory; then it was used by the York and Ainsty
Hunt as kennels, and later became licensed again, as the
White House Inn. Eventually the proprietors, the Station
Hotel, allowed the licence to lapse (J. W. Knowles,
York Notes MS., 1890, 72–3) and the premises became a
laundry, later divided into two houses.
The front elevation, plastered and colour-washed, with a
low stone plinth of flagstones set on edge, is of brick, part
refaced in the 18th century. To N., at ground floor, is a sash
window with shutters, each with three fielded panels. The
doorway, to N., has a round-headed opening with a radial fanlight, fluted pilasters, and a plain frieze with triglyphs, supporting a moulded and dentilled pediment. There is a plain doorway further S. The fenestration is irregular with hung-sash
windows and projecting bay windows. At the eaves is a cornice
with dentils and modillions, and there are two fluted urnshaped water heads (late 18th-century).
On plan the original part of the house comprises a straight
range of three rooms, all with fireplaces, and an entrance hall.
The two rooms to S. share a common chimney with fireplaces
back to back and an entrance lobby at the side of the chimney.
The N. room is separated from the others by the entrance hall
and has a chimney projecting boldly on the N. end wall. The
original open fireplaces, with openings spanned by chamfered
oak beams, have been partly filled in to receive later firegrates.
The staircase (Plate 86) in the entrance hall has a moulded rail
and string, and turned balusters; it is of the early 18th century.
The first-floor fireplaces have surrounds of the late 18th and
early 19th centuries. There is some 17th-century panelling in
one of the bedrooms but it is reset. Demolished 1955.
TANNER ROW with TOFT GREEN formerly
constituted a part of North Street and was a back row
at the northern end of the tofts along Micklegate.
To some extent this street has always constituted a
service road for Micklegate properties, with warehouses,
coach-houses, stables and other subsidiary buildings
linked to main burgages on the Micklegate fronts of the
tofts. However, many of the back plots had been
severed at an early date, and this allowed part of Tanner
Row to be developed as an independent street. As its
name denotes, many of these properties belonged to
tanners, and this area was for long almost exclusively
devoted to the leather industry.
Toft Green, though a name now applied to a street,
was in mediaeval times a public open space next to
The King's Toft, a royal holding on which stood the
King's Houses and the royal chapel of St. Mary Magdalene. Soon after the Conquest the houses and chapel
were in the keeping of the Maleshoures family, who held
by serjeanty of finding benches for the County Court of
Yorkshire and wax for the county seal. This implies
that the King's House was then the administrative centre
for the whole county, and this may have been so before
the Conquest. These arrangements had become obsolete
by the 13th century, and in 1227 the site and chapel
were granted by Henry III to the Dominican Friars.
The friars were later permitted to extend their boundaries, but when they wished to take in the whole Green in
1307 it was found upon inquisition that Toft Green, 17
perches long by 11 perches from the highway to the city
ditch, was the only place in York large enough for the
assembly of show of arms, the only spot for erecting
military engines of defence, a common market from
time immemorial, and the place of duel for trial by
combat. This last function was evidently a survival from
a period when the Shire Court was held here.
Toft Green was also the place where the properties
of the guilds taking part in the Pageant Plays were kept,
and became alternatively called Pageant Green. A
Friday cattle-market continued to be held here until
after the end of the Middle Ages, and a Wednesday
swine-market had only been discontinued 'very lately'
when Hargrove wrote in 1818. By that time, however,
most of the area had been taken up by the New House
of Correction, a prison for the City and Ainsty, finished
in 1814. In 1839 this disappeared when the whole area
was acquired by the York & North Midland Railway
for the (old) Station. See also pp. 128, 133.
(120) House, No. 1, with No. 39 North Street, of
two storeys has walls of brick and plastered timber
framing with tiled roof. It was built in the late 15th
century as a Wealden house having an open hall with a
two-storeyed block on the E. side, jettied to both N. and
E.; there was another jettied block on the W. side of the
hall, but not communicating with it. Probably this
represented part of a similar two-block Wealden house
(cf. Med. Arch. VI–VII (1962–3), 216). This W. block was
rebuilt or refronted in brick in the 18th century (G.
Benson and J. England Jefferson, Picturesque York (1886),
pl. 7). It fell into disuse towards the end of the 19th
century and by 1929 had been demolished. In the early
17th century the hall and E. block were divided into
two tenements: the hall was divided into two storeys, the
new floor being jettied out to match the flanking
jetties, and a central chimney-breast and two staircases
inserted. In the early 19th century further internal
alterations were made. The roof was completely
renewed probably when the W. block was demolished,
and the building, after lying derelict for some time,
has recently been renovated. It is of great interest as one
of the most northerly recorded examples of the Wealden
The North Elevation to Tanner Row is plastered above
chamfered rubble base-courses which carry a wooden sillplate. Centrally there is a 19th-century doorway, and to W. a
horizontal sliding-sash window of the early to mid 18th
century. At the E. end is the corner post with moulded and
carved cap (Plate 48) above which it curves out to carry the end
of the dragon-beam. The upper storey is plastered with a jetty,
the E. half original, the W. of the early 17th century.
The East Elevation to North Street, mostly rendered in
cement, retains the chamfered rubble base-courses as far as the
first doorway. On these rests the sill-plate. Next to the corner
post is an early 19th-century bow window, and to S. of this the
original doorway to the house, altered in the early 19th century.
To S. of this is a second doorway, entirely of early 19th-century
date. The plastered upper storey is jettied with later windows.
The South Elevation, now cloaked by the adjoining house, has
been rebuilt in brick.
The West Elevation, timber-framed with plastered gable, was
originally the partition between the hall and the W. range.
The plain framing is exposed and shows at the N. end the twin
corner-post construction required by the Wealden design
(Plate 48). Pegholes and one surviving curved strut indicate
that the roof was probably of the standard York crown-post
type (cf. Fig. 13c). The existence of the W. range is shown by
grooves and mortices in the W. face of the main timbers.
On the Ground Floor the E. room has the timber-framing
exposed. In its N. wall is an original opening (now blocked)
for either a window or an open shop-front (see p. lxxviii). In the
E. wall are the two jamb-posts of the original doorway; part of
the chamfer is visible on the S. post. The rebuilt W. wall has
an early 19th-century grate inserted into the 17th-century
chimney-breast. To S., behind a later brick partition is a
staircase, probably of the 17th century, with wooden octagonal
newel post. The W. room, which formed the lower part of the
hall, has no original features visible, but in the S.E. corner is a
second staircase also with an octagonal newel post.
On the First Floor the E. room retains the original framing
in the N. wall; the layout suggests two small oriel windows,
similar to those in Church Cottages, North Street (104).
The W. room represents the upper half of the open hall, but
the timber-framed N. wall is of 17th-century date except for
the corner posts at each end. These belong to the jettied blocks
flanking the hall, and each carries a small solid spandrel-piece
to support the eaves across the front of the hall (Plate 48).
The E. and W. walls also retain the original timber-framing.
Near the N. end of each is the corner post of the original front
wall of the hall. These posts carry the original N. wall-plate
and under the floorboards, the corresponding middle rail.
There is an intruded chimney-breast in the middle of the E.
(121) House, No. 7 (Plate 190), goes back to the late
17th or early 18th century, but the only early feature is
the upper part of the staircase which has bulbous
balusters characteristic of that period. The front is of the
later 18th century, as are also some internal features,
such as the doors to the front rooms. It might, therefore,
appear that the house is of late 18th-century date with
parts of a reused staircase, but from the irregularity of
the plan it seems more likely that an earlier house was
refronted. There is nothing to indicate that the building
was originally timber-framed, or that it had any
relationship to the Old Rectory (No. 7A, (122)),
adjoining on the W. In the S. wing some work was done
in the first half of the 19th century; the back door has
mouldings of c. 1840, and the lower part of the staircase
has square balusters, which may be of the same date.
The Front Elevation, of rather poor quality red brick in
Flemish bond, has at first-floor level a projecting band three
courses deep and at the eaves, a dentilled wooden cornice.
On each floor are two sash windows with flush frames and
arches of headers; those at ground floor have almost flat arches
and those at first floor low elliptical ones. The 19th-century
door has four panels and a simple pilaster-type surround. To
the extreme W. is the door to No. 7A with a plain surround.
The South Elevation, faced with stucco, has a Yorkshire slidingsash window at ground floor and a hung-sash window at first
floor. The E. end of the front range is also stuccoed.
Internally, the doors are simple, with two or four panels,
sunk or fielded, with ovolo-moulded framing. All the fireplaces have plain, unmoulded surrounds. The staircase to the
first floor is early 19th-century, with square-section balusters,
turned newels at top and bottom, and a swept, moulded rail.
The upper part, to the attic, has turned bulbous balusters and a
square newel with ball finial.
(122) The Old Rectory, No. 7A (Plate 190), bears on
modern plaster at the back the dates 1498–1937; the
latter is the date of a restoration undertaken by the Rev.
P. Shaw when Rector of the adjacent All Saints' Church.
No evidence for the date 1498 has been discovered, and
the structure is probably of c. 1600 or later. The building
is timber-framed in three bays; it originally had no
chimney and there is no evidence of any internal
partitions. This suggests that it may not have been built
as a house, but because of its situation near the river
frontage it would have been suitable for a warehouse.
The house has been considerably altered by the insertion,
probably in the late 17th century, of a central chimney-stack with back-to-back fireplaces at ground floor, and
partition walls in both storeys. A spendid oak staircase of
c. 1640 (fn. 1) (Plate 82), said to have come from Alne Hall,
was inserted in 1937.
The elevation to Tanner Row is gabled, with jetties at first-floor and at eaves level; the ground floor has been rebuilt in
brick with hung-sash windows; the upper part is stuccoed and
also has later windows. On the W. side the framing is exposed;
the windows, two blocked below and two renewed above,
occupy original window positions.
Internally much of the original framing remains exposed in
the E. and W. walls together with the chamfered beams and
the joists which carry the upper floor (Plate 190); between
the main cross-beams there are spine beams carrying the joists
except in the N. bay where the joists run longitudinally to
form the jetty. In the attic the floor is of gypsum carried on
exposed timbers. The roof is carried on simple trusses with
purlins framed to the principal rafters (Fig. 13l).
(123) House, No. 16 (Plate 46), is largely of c. 1820
but contains elements of an earlier structure, probably
erected in the late 18th century and represented by lower
features of whitish-red brick and the ashlar stone front.
In the early 19th century Sir John Simpson, corn
factor, lived here, giving his name to Simpson's Yard
at the back, later incorporated in Botterill's Horse
Repository. He was Sheriff in 1826–7; Alderman 1834
and re-elected 1835; Lord Mayor 1836 and knighted
that year, fined for Lord Mayor in 1847 and again
in 1853; he died in 1854, aged 58. His firm, L. & J.
Simpson, corn millers, suffered a great fire in 1820
(York Gazette & Herald, 14, 28 Oct.), and it is not
certain whether the house was affected, but about this
time a third storey and attics, in a large dark-coloured
brick, were added. The front porch was formed, the
entrance hall remodelled, and flues added to the earlier
chimney stacks. Fireplaces with good surrounds and
Carron grates, although in the later build, would conform better with the earlier work of the late 18th
century and may have been moved from the lower
storeys at the remodelling.
The three-storeyed Front Elevation has a gabled finish.
Ground and first floors are in ashlar with some stucco, and part
of the second floor has ashlar facing to a former gable some
10–15 ft. below the present gable. At ground floor stucco
covers the plinth and lower wall up to a band at window-sill
level. To W. is the entrance, of Regency date, with reeded
pilasters to the opening and a simple entablature; the door,
set back in the thickness of the wall, has six fielded panels, a
segmental fanlight, reeded pilasters with lions' masks on the
caps, and small flanking lights, blocked with shutters. Two
large windows to E. have segmental heads and raised key-blocks. At first floor are three sash windows with flat 'arches',
each of a single block, and a plain band at sill level; above is a
moulded string-course. Set within a central round-headed
recess at second floor is a sash window with plain ashlar sill
and, on either side, a flush-framed sash window with plain sill
and flat brick arch. The ashlar carries up over the central window, indicating that the building was originally of two storeys
with attics, lit by a window in the gable. The Rear Elevation,
mainly of whitish-red brick but with the top floor and attics
of a later, larger brick, has a projecting plinth, three bricks
deep, and above it a stone sill band. There are two doorways,
a two-storey bay window and hung-sash windows under flat
The house is divided by a central passageway between the
front office and two back rooms, leading from the entrance
hall on the W. to the staircase on the E. The fittings to the
ground floor are all of c. 1820 or later. On the upper floors some
of the rooms have been modernised but some retain their
fittings of c. 1820. The third-floor fireplaces have iron grates
by Carron of late 18th-century style.
The Staircase is all of one date: the two flights to the first floor
have cantilevered stone treads, stone slabs at the half-landing
and landing, and a moulded pinewood rail, under which an
iron strap holds the tops of slender cast-iron balusters, copied
from turned wooden prototypes with a square knop; at the
bottom, the rail spirals over an iron newel of the same form
as the balusters; the rest of the staircase has softwood treads on a
cut string, a rail as before, and turned wooden balusters like
the others but sturdier, incorporating some of c. 1830 which
have a series of annulets at knop level. The main feature of the
staircase is the extreme slenderness of its members; there are
similar staircases at the Black Swan, Coney Street, and 18 Blake
Street, both of the late 18th century. The skirting of the first
three flights is different from that of the others, which is
common to the upper floors.
(124) The Unicorn, No. 17, was originally a small
18th-century house, two-storeyed with an L-shaped
plan comprising a range, one room wide, along the
street and a wing extending to S. By 1804 it had already
become The Unicorn public house, occupied by
William Dale, and was owned by John Kilby, brewer of
Tanner Row (YCA, E.96, ff. 30–1). In the first half of the
19th century a three-storeyed wing was built behind,
filling in the angle between the former ranges and projecting further S. The original disposition of rooms has
been lost in later alterations, and the interior is now
substantially of c. 1840–50, or later.
The N. front was completely altered in the 19th century,
though the upper windows could be in the original positions.
The ground floor has windows and doors framed by timber
pilasters and entablature of c. 1840–50. At the eaves is a timber
The whole of the ground-floor front range of the original
building is occupied by the bar; simple moulded door architraves and the bar counter with panelled front are all of the
mid 19th century.
TRINITY LANE already existed, under its present
name, before the middle of the 16th century. It does not
seem to have been of much importance, in spite of
being the main link between Micklegate and Bishophill.
In the 17th century it contained some light industry, as
represented by the soap-boiling factory built by
Nicholas Towers and long known as Towers' Folly
(now No. 29). Through the 18th and 19th centuries its
inhabitants included a few individuals of standing;
among them was William Walton, Roman Catholic
Bishop and Vicar Apostolic, who lived from 1774 until
his death in 1780 in No. 25, now demolished (Rate
Books; information from Rev. Fr. Hugh Aveling).
(125) Jacob's Well, a house of late mediaeval date,
consisted of an open hall with a cross-wing to E.; it is
impossible to determine whether there was also one
to W. Another house of the same date now forming
the S. half of the cross-wing, was originally a separate
tenement. This common mediaeval form, of an open
hall on the ground floor, is unusual in York. The hall
was horizontally sub-divided by the insertion of a
floor possibly c. 1600. By 1564 both tenements were in
the possession of Isabel Warde, who conveyed them in
1566 to the parishioners of Holy Trinity as feoffees
(Deeds in possession of the Feoffees). Isabel Warde,
who died in 1569, was the last prioress of Clementhorpe
Nunnery. In 1651 the property was described as belonging to 'the dissolved Priory in Micklegate' and in 1815
£130 was spent on it (ms book, Rectory, 45, 46). By
1822 it had become the Jacob's Well public house but in
1904–5, becoming unlicensed, it was purchased by the
Rector and underwent extensive restoration to the designs
and at the expense of Walter Harvey Brook; it is now
used as a parish room for Holy Trinity Church.
The form of the original house presents some interesting features. The open hall was probably only one
bay in length, the upper part of the W. wall being
original; on the ground floor the hall was open to the
room in the cross-wing to E. The entrance was on the N.
side of the cross-wing and adjoining this now restored
doorway are two original windows, each of three
lights, in excellent condition. The ground-floor walls
of the cross-wing, except to the N., are of stone and
may be original or may have survived from an even
earlier structure; otherwise, the whole structure was
timber-framed, the cross-wing having first-floor jetties
to the N. and E. The property now includes a two-storeyed brick-built section to N. of the cross-wing,
and a third storey to the cross-wing, now inaccessible
except by trap-door; either or both of these additions
may be of 1815. Nothing survives of any cross-wing to
W. of the hall, the modern rectory of Holy Trinity
being built against that end. The very thorough restoration of 1905 included much replacement of old or lost
timbers by new ones; the addition of a staircase to N. of
the hall and a large bay window on the S. side; and
restoration of the adjoining part of the cross-wing in
the same style. A most important feature of the house
is the pair of carved brackets supporting the canopy
over the E. door; they came from the Old Wheatsheaf
inn, Davygate, belonging to the Bishop of Durham
(Cooper mss. 4, 13), and are now the only example of
their kind surviving in York.
The stonework of the E. wing (Plate 191) is confined to the
ground floor on the E., S. and W. elevations except on the W.
side where it extends to the top of the first floor at the S. end,
but in this upper part the bonding is rougher and the work is
probably not original. At the S. end of the E. front, where the
jetty has been lowered, the stonework gives place to brick.
Timber framing with widely spaced studs is exposed on the first
floor of the E. front to Trinity Street and in the N. end of the
cross-wing but here the later addition covers much of it;
the ground-floor doorway and original windows and the jetty
(Plate 191) are visible internally. The jetties of N. and E.
elevations meet with a diagonal dragon-beam. The hall was
wholly timber-framed but on the N. side only the main posts
and rail remain and on the S. the lower part has been rebuilt
in stone with a modern bay window.
In the N. wall of the cross-wing the doorway has been
restored and a canopy over it removed; the adjoining windows
retain the original timber mullions of diamond section, but
the glazing is modern. On the E. front the timbering at the S.
end is not original and the doorway is modern but has late
mediaeval carved brackets (Plate 191), from the Old Wheatsheaf, supporting the canopy. They are cusped with figures
carved on the points of the cusps and the spandrels are decorated with an eagle, a Tudor rose, and conventional leaves and
flowers. On the W. side of the cross-wing two 17th-century
windows to the first floor have chamfered brick jambs and
mullions. In the N. wall of the hall a modern window follows
the design of the original ones.
Internally, at the S. end of the cross-wing, is a substantial
chimney-breast at the E. side of which is a small room which is
said to have contained a staircase; it is separated from the main
room by a stone wall. The E. end of the hall appears always to
have been open to the ground floor of the cross-wing. The
hall is now divided into two storeys with an upper floor carried
on a chamfered beam and chamfered joists. The roof over the
hall consists of paired rafters and collars supported by side
purlins and a central collar-purlin carried at the W. end by a
crown-post truss (Fig. 13b).
(126) House, Nos. 2, 4, was originally a late 16th-century timber-framed structure of at least three bays,
jettied to the street. In the early 19th century, the jettied
front was replaced by a flush brick elevation, probably
on the line of the first-floor jetty; the back bay was
rebuilt and extended in Victorian times.
The S.W. front (Plate 188), is of stuccoed brick, with flushframed sash windows to each floor. The surround of the doorway to No. 4 (actually in the adjoining No. 6) has reeded
pilasters carrying enriched brackets.
Some of the original framing is visible and on the second
floor studs in the S.E. wall are all grooved for infilling (cf.
Fig. 71) and numbered, and on an adjacent main post is a
carpenter's mark (Fig. 11b). Demolished 1956.
(127) House, No. 6 (Plate 188), timber-framed and
probably of the early 17th century, may have been
jettied along the street front, but the front was rebuilt
in brick, probably with the fronts of Nos. 2 and 4, in
the early 19th century. The house consisted of at least
two bays roofed parallel with the street; a central
chimney breast was inserted in the 17th century.
Enough of the roof structure survived to show that it
had a slightly cambered tie-beam, with side purlins
clasped between a collar and rafters. In the gable the
studs (5 in. by 3 in.) are grooved for infilling and the
rafters are pegged at the apex, with no ridge (Fig. 13k).
(128) House, No. 27, is the survivor of a pair built
c. 1735 for Messrs Dawson and Hillary, wine merchants.
The site was bought by Richard Dawson between
October 1733 and January 1734/5 (YCA, E.93, ff. 75, 79,
80) and included a warehouse and cellars. By 1736 the
house had been built (Drake, 265), and in 1740 Dawson
advertised his property as 'a large convenient well-built
House, with a garden and very large Cellars' (York
Courant, 6 May). In 1746 he mortgaged the 'messuage
and warehouse, counting house and cellars joining and
under' (YCA, E.93, f. 183). Later in the 18th century
the house was taken by William Tuke and his wife
Esther to be a girls' boarding school under the auspices
of the Society of Friends. The school opened on 1
January 1785 and continued until 1812, when it was
taken over as a private venture, but closed in 1814
(H. W. Sturge and T. Clark, The Mount School, York
(1931), 1–31). No doubt because of its extensive cellarage
the building was again used by wine merchants and later
became the Trinity House public house. In the early 19th
century, narrow window openings in various places were
replaced by broad ones. The house to E. was demolished
The Front Elevation, of pale pinkish brick, has a plain plinth
and, above the ground floor, a projecting band. A magnesian
limestone cornice supports a brick parapet with stone coping.
The main doorway has a round arch of rubbed brick with stone
key-block and moulded stone imposts and a radial fanlight
with very heavy glazing bars. The plan comprises a central
entrance and stair hall with one room to each side and a wing
projecting N. and W. All fittings have been removed from the
ground floor. The staircase rises in three flights and has a
moulded handrail swept upwards at each landing, a cut string
and moulded newels and balusters. In a room on the first floor
is a fine early 18th-century fireplace (Plate 70), with pine
enrichment. A room to N.W., entered through an arched
doorway with moulded architrave and panelled reveals, is
panelled in two heights with moulded dado rail and skirting
and fielded panels. The fireplace, set obliquely in the S.E.
angle, has a moulded stone surround, with a heavy entablature
and key-block. Demolished 1961; enriched fireplace from S.W.
room presented to the York Civic Trust and in 1969 reused in Nos.
17, 19 Aldwark, York.
(129) House, No. 29 (Plate 188), basically a large 17th-century structure, four storeys high, has undergone such
extensive alteration that its original form and use cannot
be determined from internal evidence, though it would
seem likely to have served some industrial purpose.
The site seems to be that of a building, with large
chimney-stacks and Dutch gables, seen on several of the
early views of York and identified as Towers' Folly by
Lodge (etching, 'The Ancient and Loyall Citty of York',
no. 10). This implies that it was the soap-boiling factory
built c. 1638 by Nicholas Towers (d. 1657), Sheriff at
the time of his death (Skaife MS.). Its subsequent history
is still obscure until c. 1800 when it became the horn and
shell comb factory of John Nutt, a use which continued
until after 1851 (Borthwick Inst., Rate Books of Holy
Trinity Micklegate; Directories). In the next few years
it was occupied by the Rev. Henry Vaughan Palmer
whose daughter Henrietta, born here on 13 January
1856, was later an authoress under the pseudonym
'John Strange Winter' (T. P. Cooper, Literary Associations of the City of York, 7). It later housed St. Stephen's
Orphanage for many years.
Of the first building there now survive the outer wall,
much altered and with no original windows, but including
the large chimneys on the S. side; internally one ground-floor
fireplace at the W. end, and the basement. Later alterations
include late 17th-century windows, since blocked or altered,
and a very fine early 18th-century fireplace, now on the top
floor. In the early 19th century the whole was completely
remodelled and the central part heightened. Most of the existing windows and much of the fittings and decorations are of
this date, though there has been subsequent alteration and subdivision of the rooms.
VICTOR STREET—see BISHOPHILL
Acomb lies on the W. side of York, beyond the hamlet
of Holgate; it remained a rural parish in the Wapentake
of Ainsty until its incorporation into the city in 1937.
It was an ancient possession of the Church of St. Peter,
York, from before the Conquest, though nearly one-eighth of its land belonged to the king until it was given
by Henry I to the York Hospital. In 1222 the lordship
of the manor was granted by Archbishop Walter de
Gray in perpetuity to the Treasurer of York Minster,
and the advowson of Acomb church was added 5 years
later (C. T. Clay ed., York Minster Fasti, i, YASRS,
cxxiii for 1957, 1958, 23). The manor of Acomb
included the township of Holgate, though that formed
part of the city parish of St. Mary Bishophill Junior, and
also scattered parts of Clifton on the opposite side of the
Ouse. It was a populous area in the 14th century, for
there were over seventy households in Acomb and
Holgate in 1379 (The Returns ... of the Poll Tax, YAS,
1882, 299). Acomb continued to be held by the Treasurers until the abolition of their office in 1547, when the
manor passed to the Crown. In 1623 it formed part of an
exchange whereby it reverted to the Archbishops, who
leased it to tenants, for a long period members of the
Barlow family, to whom it was sold in 1855.
Acomb consisted mainly of open arable fields and
common waste until inclosure in 1776. The only houses
were those in the village, mainly in Front Street but a
few beside the Green and near the church. The Court
Rolls refer to a number of houses as new built, lately
rebuilt or to be rebuilt, in c. 1668 (roll of 1728), 1691–3
(Mon. 149), 1758, 1760, 1761, 1774 (two), 1783, and 1784
(YCA, deposited Acomb manorial records, and typed
transcripts; H. Richardson, A History of Acomb, YPS,
1963; Court Rolls of the Manor of Acomb, YASRS,
cxxxi (for 1968–9), 200, 248, 251, 252). See also pp. 123,
FRONT STREET is the main street of Acomb, running
from E. to W., always with the main concentration of
houses, occupying tofts regularly laid out on both sides.
(130) House, No. 2, was built in the second half of
the 18th century; since then, fireplaces have been
modernised and modern annexes erected to S. of the
main block and at the S.E. corner. In the late 18th and
early 19th centuries, the Pickford family lived here. Mrs.
Pickford was a Radcliff and her son Joseph took that
name; he was created a baronet in 1812 (G. Benson,
'Notes on Acomb', AASRP, xxxviii, 93).
The house is nearly square on plan; the entrance hall
between the front rooms gives access to a wide stair hall
between the back rooms. The front is symmetrically designed,
with a central doorway flanked by plain pilasters and shaped
brackets supporting a cornice. On each side is a large three-sided bay window and at first floor are similar bays on either
side of a sash window with a flat rubbed brick arch. Between
the floors is a projecting brick band. Above, and running round
the bays, is a dentilled cornice, and at each end is an oblong
chimney-breast. At the back there is a new block to E. and a
19th-century addition projecting in the centre.
The Cellar has three divisions, each with a barrel vault; that
to S.W. has an open fireplace between segmental-headed
recesses, and some candle recesses. The Staircase has a moulded
rail, a large turned newel at the bottom, with moulded cap and
base and turned balusters with a square feature.
On the first floor two rooms retain 18th-century fireplaces
and in one of the front rooms the original ceiling cornice is
carried round the bay window showing the bay windows are
part of the original design.
(131) Vine Tree House, No. 3, was built in the late
18th century incorporating some walling of an earlier
18th-century building. It became for a time the Black
Swan public house. Most internal features date from the
later 19th century, when a two-storey annexe was built
at the N.W. angle.
The South Elevation, of yellowish red brick, has to E. a
shallow curved bay window with two sashes, and a dentilled
cornice. To W. is a doorway with plain pilasters and frieze,
and a moulded canopy carried on modillions (19th-century).
At first floor is a similar bay window and, over the doorway, a
sash window with flat arch. On the E. side it is apparent that
the wall to the top of the ground floor is of older brick, and
that the first floor and the S. front are later. On the N. side is a
large gable, with large sash windows on ground and first
floors, and a small casement light to the attics.
Four rooms retain early 19th-century fireplaces, two of them
being of marble. Demolished 1965.
(132) House, No. 4, of one and two storeys, with
brick walls, was originally an early 16th-century cottage;
it was extended in the 18th century, and has since been
largely rebuilt and remodelled. The exterior, stuccocovered and with modern openings, is undistinguished.
A room to W., rebuilt on the old foundations, has a chamfered beam from an old house in Skeldergate. In the roof of a
room to E. is a 16th-century moulded ceiling beam, said to
belong to the original cottage. The room is panelled from
floor to ceiling with oak wainscotting of the early 17th century
said to have been brought from a house in Colliergate. The
remainder of the house has 18th-century doors, with four
fielded panels, and some reused beams.
(133) House, No. 6 (Plate 192), was built in the first
half of the 18th century as an oblong block with a one-storey annexe to S., on which a second storey was
built in the later 18th century. Another addition was
erected against the W. gable and the openings in the N.
front were modernised in the 19th century.
At ground floor, in a room to N.E., is a fireplace with an
early 18th-century eared and moulded surround, beneath a
pediment formed by two volutes and decorated with a shell
and festoons. Above, added in the late 18th century, is a mantel,
consisting of two fluted pilasters supporting a plain shelf, and a
frieze decorated with a mask between two oval paterae. A
room to N.E., at first floor, has a fireplace with panelled jambs,
segmental head with enriched key-block, and oval paterae at
the angles. In a room to S.E. is a late 18th-century fireplace with
wooden surround and moulded mantel. The mid 18th-century
Staircase has a heavy moulded rail, no string, and turned
(134) House, No. 8 (Plate 192), was built in the early
18th century; it was altered in the late 18th century,
when the front bay was added, and has been modernised.
In the N.E. room at ground floor, is a late 18th-century
fireplace (originally at first floor) having reeded jambs bound
with garlands of ivy, reeded lintel, and central panel decorated
with Venus and Cupid (Plate 76). On the first floor, the fireplace in a room to S.E. has a late 18th-century basket grate with
urns and festoons on the jambs. In another room is a late 18th-century fireplace with reeded jambs and lintel, and oval paterae
at the angles.
(135) House, No. 9, was built in the middle of the
18th century; a two-storey extension was made to N.
in the 19th century, and in modern times an annexe has
been added to the N.W. corner and two shops built
against the S. front.
The street front (Plate 135), partly obscured by later shops,
has at first floor two windows, each with a rubbed brick flat
arch. The E. side is symmetrically designed with a three-course
band between the stages. The central doorway has a moulded
cornice supported by shaped consoles (19th-century), and a
window on either side; there are two similar windows at first
floor. Both elevations have a modillioned cornice at the eaves
and a dormer in the hipped roof.
The ground floor has been modernised but retains an 18th-century archway to the stair hall, having an enriched architrave and fluted pilasters with enriched caps. The Staircase has a
moulded rail and string, heavy turned newels and turned
balusters with a square knop. It is perhaps earlier than others
of the same form in Acomb, having a marked string which the
others omit (c. 1750). On the first floor are two simple 18th-century fireplaces. Demolished 1965.
(136) The White House, No. 12, was built in two
parts in the first half of the 18th century, that to W.
being perhaps the earlier; in the second half of that
century a W. wing and staircase were added and a servants' stair inserted in the older part. The whole was remodelled in the early 19th century, when various
windows were blocked, bay windows added, and the
roofs remade in places, the S. wall of the W. range
being raised to make the roof line correspond with that
The elevations are irregular; there is a projecting band
between the storeys and a small early 19th-century cornice at
the eaves. The entrance doorway has reeded pilasters and
shaped brackets flanking a rectangular fanlight and carrying an
entablature with reeded frieze.
Internally, the cellars are covered by early 18th-century
vaults. The main staircase, of the second half of the 18th
century, has balusters alternately turned and twisted; the
servants' staircase, with turned balusters, is of the same date.
Several rooms have fireplaces of the 18th and 19th centuries,
all of simple design.
Outbuildings etc. (i) To S.E. of the house is a block of buildings
of four different dates, including a stable, brewhouse and dovecote of the early 18th century, and a coachhouse and cottage
of the early 19th century. In the stables are two loose-boxes,
entered under round-headed archways with moulded architraves, supported on a column and pilasters, with plain timber
shafts and moulded caps. Under the dovecote, is a high room
containing a large open fireplace with a big copper at its side.
(ii) In the garden, to S., is a small brick summer-house, square
and with hipped pantile roof. The door is of early 19th-century
Gothic type. (iii) Many stones used in the garden rockeries
have deeply cut 13th-century mouldings, and perhaps came
from St. Mary's Abbey. House and outbuildings demolished 1960.
(137) Manor Farm, No. 14, which formed a single
building with No. 14a (138), was erected in the late 15th
or early 16th century, perhaps the house of the 'farmer'
of the manor before the Reformation. It later became
the Manor house but in the late 19th century it was
divided into two cottages, and new windows, doors
and staircases inserted. It is the only timber-framed
building remaining in Acomb, and the oldest house.
None of the framing is visible on the exterior, but some is
exposed internally and is remarkable for its massive size.
Ceiling beams on the ground floor are all cased but good
framing is visible on the upper floor, in general consisting of
heavy posts carrying wall-plates and supporting large tiebeams. In the cellar is a large chamfered beam and oak joists.
In the roof, the principal rafters are about 1 ft. 6 in. square, and
chamfered, and there are collar-beams and queen-posts.
(138) House, No. 14a, comprises a central portion
built in the late 15th or early 16th century, which was
originally a wing of the Manor Farm (137), rooms to N.
not much later in date and having similar framing, and
to S. a brick kitchen of the late 17th or early 18th
century. At the end of the 18th century the earlier
walls were largely recased in brick, and the section
connecting this wing to monument (137) may have been
removed at this time. The scullery was added in the 19th
century and most of the windows were renewed in the
Internally some of the heavy timber posts and beams are
exposed. Repairs to the N. wall have shown that it consists of
studs and infilling of old narrow bricks. On the upper floor
are a number of 18th-century doors showing two panels on one
side and vertical planks on the other.
(139) House, No. 17, was built in the middle of the
18th century on an L-shaped plan against No. 19; its S.
front was altered at the end of the 18th century. Most of
the fireplaces were inserted at the beginning of the 19th
century, when a large bay window was built, extending
the dining room to N., and a passage constructed,
giving access to a new kitchen to N.W.
The S. front, plastered and with rusticated quoins, has at
ground floor two large sash windows and a doorway having
fluted engaged pillars with moulded bases and foliated caps,
supporting a simple entablature. Between the stages is a band,
and at first floor are three windows similar to those below.
The early 19th-century cornice has coupled gutter brackets
and the roof is of large Westmorland slates.
Internally, 18th-century fittings include panelled doors,
window shutters and dado panels under the windows, and the
main staircase which has a moulded rail, no string, a square
newel at the top and a cluster of four balusters at the bottom;
the balusters are turned, with a square knop, alternate ones
being twisted. Demolished 1966.
(140) Laburnum House, No. 19, was built in the
early 18th century, but in the middle of that century a
new extension was built to E. (No. 17, (139) above),
and this part deteriorated. In the 19th century, it lost
most of its old features.
The S. front, originally symmetrical and with a band between
the storeys, has a central doorway with fluted pilasters having
moulded caps, a light of four panes between fluted friezes, a
moulded cornice above, and door with six fielded panels (late
18th-century). The windows all had sliding sashes under
segmental arched heads, but some have been replaced by hung
sashes. The only original fittings remaining are doors of two
or three fielded panels with angle hinges. Demolished 1966.
(141) The Lodge, No. 21 (Plate 193), built in the late
17th or early 18th century on an L-shaped plan, with a
side entry leading to the kitchen in the N.W. wing, was
originally of two storeys. In the late 18th century a third
storey was added to both ranges; two bay windows were
inserted in the S. front, each extending over two floors;
other openings were altered, the whole was plastered
and, internally, rooms were altered. In the 19th century
and modern times, sashes were rehung, some windows
altered, and annexes built in the angle at the back.
The S. front has a doorway with plain pilasters, a moulded
canopy, and door with six fielded panels and a fanlight above
(late 18th-century); it is symmetrically designed except that to
W. is a small sash window with flat arch and key-block,
representing the original entrance to the kitchen wing. Bay
windows flank the central doorway and the second floor has
five narrow windows with late sashes. At the eaves is a cornice
with modillions and dentils, the E. half being slightly deeper
than that to the W. At both ends of the elevation are late 18th-century waterheads; the pipes have two fleurs-de-lis at each
junction, a feature common in York at the end of the century.
On the other elevations there is a brick band of two courses
between the floors.
Internally the only original feature remaining is the staircase,
with closed string, square newels and turned balusters (Plates
84, 87). In most of the rooms skirtings, cornices, and doors
are of the late 18th century, contemporary with the addition
of the third storey, and fireplaces have simple marble surrounds
of the 19th century. In the kitchen are cupboards made up of
reused early 17th-century panelling.
(142) Acomb House, No. 23, built in the first half
of the 18th century, consisted of a symmetrically
planned block, with a small scullery block projecting
to N. In the later 18th century, the rooms to E., above
and below, and the dining room were altered, a servants'
staircase inserted, and attics added. In the early 19th
century, the dining room was extended to N. by the
addition of a large bay window, to W. of which was
added an annexe and, to E., a porch with alcove above;
the ground floor of the front bay was also remodelled.
Gent's Ripon (1733, part 2, p. 4) mentions that Acomb
is 'grac'd by a handsome antient seat of the Family of
the Blanshards', thought to have preceded the present
house. Successive inhabitants of the house since the
late 18th century have been George Lloyd; Foljame;
Ralph Creyke, M.P. for York; T. B. Whytehead and
Major Lindberg (Benson in AASRP, xxxviii, 93).
At the centre of the symmetrically designed South Front
(Plate 193) is a projecting bay with chamfered angles, the lower
part forming a porch. On either side of the bay are windows
with rubbed brick heads and key-blocks, and above a moulded
cornice the second floor has small casement windows without
key-blocks. The brick of the attic stage differs from that below;
as the bay is nowhere bonded-in below this storey, it must
have been added at the same time as the heavy cornice which
carries round it. The East Side is gabled, with two chimneystacks; it has two late sash windows at ground floor; at first
floor is an original window with early sashes and above is a
round-headed stair light with rubbed brick arch and key-block,
and square imposts, between two small blocked windows.
On the West Side two chimney-breasts project. At ground
floor, the original North Elevation is partly obscured by a
porch with staircase alcove above, and a large bay window,
all of the early 19th century. The staircase alcove is lit by a
round-headed window with original glazing bars, reset.
At first floor of the main block are four windows with rubbed
brick arches, key-blocks, and early 18th-century ovolo-moulded sashes; and, above, a broad band and five attic casement windows as on the S. front.
The Entrance Hall has a moulded cornice, dado rail and
skirting and doorways with moulded architraves, pulvinated
friezes and dentilled cornices. The staircase hall is entered by a
large round archway having fluted pilasters with moulded
caps and bases, moulded architrave, large key-block, and
jambs with plain panels on the inner faces. The front room to
E., refitted in the late 18th century, has moulded cornice, dado
rail and skirting, and heavy moulded architraves and shutters
to the windows; the fireplace has a plain moulded surround
with fluted key-block, a stone or plaster moulded and dentilled
mantel, and an overmantel consisting of a simple moulded
eared panel. On either side is a cupboard doorway with
moulded architrave, large fielded panel above, and door of six
fielded panels. In the S.W. corner is an early 19th-century
built-in cupboard with fluted surround and plain panels.
A front room to W., wainscotted from floor to ceiling in two
heights, with deal bolection-moulded panelling, has an entablature with heavy modillioned cornice, moulded dado rail and
skirting. The fireplace (Plate 194) has a light brown marble
surround and panelled overmantel. Doorways to the hall and
to cupboards have enriched architrave, enriched pulvinated
frieze and cornice (Plate 67). The windows have heavy architraves enriched with egg-and-dart (early 18th-century). The
Dining Room, to N.W., of late 18th-century character, with
moulded cornice, dado rail and skirting, has in the W. wall a
brown veined marble fireplace with enriched eared surround, a
frieze of Adamesque character with central urn, small urns of
flowers on either side, and slender festoons, and a cornice with
key-blocks and dentils. The iron fireplace, itself of the same
period, has swags on either side, coupled with an urn to right
and musical instruments to left, and above are two medallions,
each with a cherub, swags and festoons.
The Main Staircase (Plates 84, 195) has balusters alternately
turned and twisted. From the half-landing, a round-headed
archway, having fluted pilasters with moulded caps and bases,
moulded head and key-block, leads to an alcove above the
back porch; over it is a glazed cupola light. Inserted in rooms
to S.E. and rebuilt at first floor the Servants' Staircase has a heavy
moulded rail and plain string and turned balusters with a
square knop (c. 1740–50).
On the first floor are four principal rooms all with moulded
skirting, dado rail and cornice. The Saloon to S.W. has enriched plaster panels, and heavy enriched modillioned cornice.
The fireplace (Plate 72) has a brown veined marble surround
and elaborate overmantel. The doorways each have an enriched moulded architrave, and entablature with enriched
dentilled cornice and pulvinated frieze, below a large enriched
panel; the doors have six fielded panels. The later 18th-century
ceiling in shallow relief is painted in pale blue and pink, and at
each end is an oblong panel (Plate 77). A bedroom to N.W.
has a fireplace with simple moulded stone surround of the
early 18th century, a dentilled cornice added later in the same
century and an overmantel of an eared panel. Two bedrooms
to E. are reached through a small plaster-vaulted lobby. Each
room has a fireplace with bolection-moulded brown veined
marble surround, a moulded and dentilled mantelshelf above
(18th-century), and an overmantel of a simple moulded eared
panel; on either side is a doorway with moulded architrave,
large fielded panel above, and doors with six fielded panels.
(143) House, No. 25, was built in the early 18th
century and modified in the second half of that century;
the front was remodelled in the mid 19th century.
The symmetrically designed front has a central doorway
with fluted pilasters, moulded caps and moulded canopy; and,
on either side, a window with segmental rubbed brick arch
and late sashes. There are three similar windows at first floor.
On the ground floor are fireplaces with panelled stone
surrounds and shell decoration; doors have three or five fielded
panels. The staircase has a moulded rail, no string, and turned
balusters alternately straight and spiral; it is lit by a round-headed window. On the upper floor is a fireplace with enriched moulded surround and panelled overmantel; other fireplaces are simpler but one retains an old iron grate with scrolled
and foliated arch.
(144) House, No. 27, was built in the second half of
the 18th century with a through passage giving access
to a front room, a central transverse staircase and a back
room; an extension was erected at the N.W. corner
later in that century. In the 19th century two small
additions were made to N. and a bay window inserted
in the S. front.
The S. front has a doorway with plain pilasters and a pedimental canopy supported on brackets, and a large Victorian
bay window. Between the stages is a three-course brick band;
the upper floor has three segmental-headed windows with
19th-century sashes. Above is a modillioned cornice, and a
hipped Mansard roof with a late dormer. There are houses
against the E. and W. sides. To N., on the E. side, is a gable
with large segmental-headed sash windows to both floors and
later windows to the attics.
Internally, all doors have six fielded panels and original
furniture. The front room has a fireplace with moulded architrave, jambs with swags hanging from medallions, a frieze with
oval paterae, and a moulded cornice; on either side is a round-headed recess with moulded imposts and moulded architrave
to the arch. Archways similarly treated divide the entrance
passage to give a spatially separate stair hall. The Staircase,
rising to the attics, has a moulded rail, no string, a turned newel
and turned balusters with a square knop. On the first floor, the
front room has a fireplace like that below, but the original
grate has a scrolled and foliated round iron arch, with an inner
white marble surround.
(145) Tuscan House, No. 31 (Plate 47), was built in
the early 18th century and remodelled in the second
half of that century, when a new main front was erected,
and a new staircase and stair light inserted. In the early
19th century various annexes were added.
Straight joints on either side show that the S. front is not
original. At ground floor, which has a stone plinth, is a doorway with moulded architrave, and dentilled cornice supported
on slender, shaped brackets, on either side of a frieze of triglyphs
and moulded paterae; the door has six fielded panels. To E. is a
three-sided bay window with sashes, and to W. a sash window
with rubbed brick flat arch; there are similar windows at first
floor. Each floor has a stone string, which carries straight
across and acts as a sill to the windows. There is a semicircular
light to the attics. The E. wall, has a two-course brick band
between the stages and a wooden modillioned cornice.
In the entrance hall the window W. of the entrance has a
seat formed of fielded panels. The staircase, at the back of the
hall, has a moulded rail, no string, and turned balusters with a
square knop and alternately twisted and plain stems; the plain
balusters have all been removed, except those on the landing.
At the bottom, a newel reproduces the form of one of the
twisted balusters, but in much heavier form. To E. of the
staircase a round-headed doorway with moulded architrave
and key-block, and fielded panels to the spandrels and jambs,
leads to a passage to the rear. The front room has a fireplace with fluted pilasters, and a moulded cornice (late 18th-century); the bay window has a dado of plain panelling, and
hung shutters. In the kitchen behind, the fireplace has fluted
pilasters with round medallions at the head and fluted panels
on the lintel, on either side of a similar medallion (early 19th-century). In the cellar below are some reused oak joists and an
ovolo-moulded beam, of the 17th century.
Upstairs, in the main front room the fireplace has a moulded
architrave between fluted pilasters with moulded caps and
bases, the caps having round paterae, and a cornice. Doors
throughout the house have fielded panels, some with angle
hinges and original locks. Demolished 1965.
(146) House, No. 51, built in the second half of the
18th century, has been modernised.
The symmetrically designed front has a central doorway
with fluted pilasters, lintel of a shaped fluted panel, and
moulded cornice (early 19th-century), between segmental-headed windows, that to W. enlarged. Above a brick band of
three courses is a segmental-headed recess, between similar
windows; in the roof is a dormer with low pitched gable and
There are six-panelled doors, of 18th-century type, throughout the house. On the ground floor, a room to N.W. has
exposed oak joists slightly chamfered. The Staircase has a
moulded rail, plain tapered newels with moulded caps and
bases, a plain string, and turned balusters. At first floor, in a
room to E., is a fireplace with moulded architrave and cornice.
(147) House, No. 67, has been very drastically renovated and, although perhaps of the original form,
retains nothing of note but two 18th-century doors, each
with six fielded panels. To E. of the doorway in the S.
wall is set a white limestone slab, discovered during the
restoration and inscribed in good lettering 'Elizabeth
(148) House, No. 103, was built in the 18th century,
and a range was added to N.W. later in the same
The symmetrically planned front has a central doorway with
plain pilasters, having moulded caps and bases, and a moulded
canopy; and, on either side, a sash window with shutters.
Above is a brick band of three courses and, at first floor, two
similar windows, with a segmental-headed recess between,
below a two-course band. At the eaves there is a brick dentilled
cornice. The W. gable has two bands and a small light to each
floor, and the E. gable similar bands, with a further one at
eaves level, and a small light to the attics.
Internally, the ground floor is modernised, except for a
fireplace in the N. range, with plain stone surround and wooden
dentilled cornice, and a chamfered beam in the same room. At
first floor are several 18th-century doors, with two or four
(149) White Row, consists of six cottages which are
wholly modernised, their present character being of
1920–30, but there is no doubt that they represent five
houses built soon after 1691, the homes of five copyholders whose names are added at the end of the Court
Roll of the Manor for 1693 but not mentioned in the
Roll for 1691 (Acomb Manorial Records on deposit in
the York City Library). The measurements of the present rooms agree with those in the document mentioned
below, and during modernisation chamfered oak
bressumers were removed from the fireplaces, and oak
joists were seen when the ceilings were reinforced. A
proposal to erect the houses (in the Manorial Records,
undated, but on palaeographical evidence of the late
17th century) gives a plan and details (Plate 6). They
were to be built in a row 186 ft. long, 13 ft. 6 in. wide,
and with side walls 8 ft. high. The identification of
the compartments is interesting, for only the five rooms
marked 'A' were to have a habitable loft above, reached
by a ladder. Otherwise, each house has a kitchen ('B')
and a stable open to the roof ('C').
The walls are of brick covered with rough-cast but such
brickwork as is exposed is all of the mid 19th century or later.
The roof is covered with pantiles. Three wings have been
added at the back. The original five dwellings, having been
converted to six, now have more doors and windows than the
original plan provided and no original features remain.
The building of five dwellings in one row must have represented an advanced design for rustic housing, despite the fact
that rows of houses existed in the city of York from c. 1320.
Each house was of 'long-house' type, with the entrance through
a doorway into the stable, whence a doorway at the side of the
chimney led into the kitchen, with the parlour, chambered over,
at the far end. This plan is typical of small 17th-century farm
houses in many parts of the west and northwest of England,
especially Cumberland and Westmorland, but the compartments here described as stables were elsewhere more commonly
GALE LANE runs S. from the W. end of the village
and was the way to the former Common Moor of
Acomb called Acomb Knole. It was not built up beyond
the junction with Front Street.
(150) House, No. 1, was built in the 18th century;
at the end of the century, a chimney-breast and fireplace
were added in a room to N. In the 19th century most of
the present openings were formed and an annexe built
The front is symmetrically designed with a central four-panelled door and a stepped brick cornice at the eaves. On the
N. side a two-course band is carried across at eaves level.
The windows are fitted with sliding sashes. The room to N.
has a late 18th-century fireplace with plain wooden surround,
moulded architrave and dentilled cornice. There are some
doors with fielded panels.
THE GREEN lies behind the backs of the built-up plots
on the N. side of Front Street, and to S. of the old road
to Knapton. It is triangular, the apex lying to E. on the
York Road, the W. side having formerly faced the open
lands of the Chapel Field. The only early buildings were
along the N.E. side near the Church.
(151) House, Nos. 17, 19, was built in the middle of
the 18th century, an annexe being added to the W. end
of the N. front a little later. In modern times, a large
extension was built on the S.E. side.
The almost symmetrical front has a central doorway and
open porch, with two round fluted pillars and corresponding
pilasters with simple caps, supporting a moulded entablature
with small central medallions, and a lead roof; the door has six
fielded panels. On either side are large windows with flat brick
arches and 19th-century sashes; there are similar windows at
first floor, but over the doorway the original window has been
blocked and a modern one inserted. To E. is a further bay, with
a modern door and a window in original openings. At the
eaves is a brick dentilled cornice.
The entrance hall has a moulded cornice, and a round-headed archway to the staircase has plain jambs and moulded
imposts. The staircase has a moulded rail, low string, oblong
newel and turned balusters with square knops (c. 1740).
In the room to W., doors on either side of the fireplace, and
to the hall, have six fielded panels. A first-floor fireplace has
reeded jambs and lintel, oval angle pieces with paterae, an
enriched mantel, and enriched architrave round the inner stone
surround (late 18th-century). Some of the rooms have good
doors with fielded panels.
(152) Danebury House, was built in the late 18th
century. The front was remodelled in the 19th century
and there have been further alterations to convert the
house into three tenements. To W. is a 19th-century
annexe (No. 3).
The plastered front was originally symmetrically designed,
as shown by the remaining five second-floor windows.
Below are 19th-century bay windows, three to each floor;
there are doorways between the bays. There are three chimneystacks. The back has various late windows and a round-headed
There are doors with six fielded panels throughout the house.
On the ground floor is a fireplace with moulded architrave,
dentilled cornice, and stone inner surround; on the first floor
are five fireplaces, each with plain wooden surround, moulded
architrave and mantel; all are of the 18th century.
A Stable range, to N.E., has rusticated stone quoins. Further
N. are the remains of a ha-ha and terraced Gardens.
Dringhouses lies to S.W. of York along the main Tadcaster Road: it was a manor given by Archbishop
Walter de Gray to his brother and it then descended in the
family of Gray of Rotherfield and later to the Deincourts and the Lovells. Ecclesiastically the township
belonged mainly to Holy Trinity, Micklegate, but
in part to St. Mary Bishophill Senior (earlier to St.
Clement) and to Acomb. It forms a long street village
stretching along the main road for nearly a mile
beyond the ancient boundary of York. Until enclosure
in 1835 there were open arable fields cultivated in strips
(see p. 2) and areas of common waste including part
of the Knavesmire. Enclosure from Dringhouses Moor
was taking place as early as 1742–6 (YCA, E.93, ff. 150,
183). Dringhouses was incorporated into the city in
TADCASTER ROAD was the only built-up street of
Dringhouses before 1850.
(153) House, Nos. 13, 15, 17, is of two main builds;
No. 13, the oldest part, was originally a low 17th-century cottage of one storey and attics, and Nos. 15
and 17 were erected against it in the early 18th century;
later in that century No. 13 was given a new front and
an upper storey. Various additions were made in the
19th century. Although added later, the front of No. 13,
is similar to the remainder of the front elevation, from
which it is separated by a straight joint.
The ground floor has hung-sash windows with segmental
arches, and plain four-panelled doors. Between the stages is
a four-course brick band; at first floor are three square-headed sash windows, and above is a dentilled brick cornice.
The older part of the heightened N. gable is of tumbled
brickwork; in this end are blocked 17th-century two-light
windows. The S. gable is also tumbled but has modern
openings. The back is partly masked by additions.
In No. 13, at ground floor, is a plain 19th-century fireplace
and, in the bedroom, a fireplace with plain surround and basket
grate with urn features on the jambs. The sitting room in No.
15 has a stop-chamfered beam and a 19th-century fireplace
with plain surround. In a bedroom to N. is an 18th-century
fireplace. In the sitting room of No. 17 is a stop-chamfered
ceiling beam, and a stop-chamfered bressumer over a large
fireplace. In both Nos. 15 and 17 the stair landing has a moulded
rail, chamfered newel, and slender square balusters of the early
(154) House, No. 23, was built in the 17th century,
if not earlier, as a broad N.–S. range, on plan comprising
three rooms with an internal chimney between the
central and S. rooms. So early a date can be assigned
because the house is wide and the beams have a disposition common to buildings of the earlier 17th century.
No part of the original house is visible externally, as it
was cased in brick in the 18th century. In the early 19th
century a two-storey annexe was added to S.E. and a
staircase built; c. 1850 the dining room was remodelled,
and later a further extension was made to E. The whole
has been modernised and offices added to the back.
A brick band of three courses, now cut back, divided the
storeys of the front elevation. The windows have hung sashes
and those on the ground floor are fitted with panelled shutters.
The back of the main block, of red brick, colour-washed, has a
two-course band between the stages. At ground floor is a
modern French window and, at first floor, a sliding-sash
window and a large early 19th-century window lighting the
stairs. The roof, of shallow pitch, projects boldly.
On the Ground Floor the drawing room to N. has been
enlarged by the incorporation of a small room to E. The
central room has a cased ceiling beam, and a stone fireplace,
which has fielded panelled jambs and a key-block with shell
decoration between two shaped and fielded panels on the lintel
(late 18th-century). In the dining room to S. are two cased
ceiling beams, and windows and fireplaces of mid 19th-century
date. The chimney-breast between the two last rooms, over
9 ft. broad, must be earlier than the 18th century. A room to E.
has a moulded 18th-century fireplace surround. At First Floor
most of the doors have six panels and ogee-moulded frames
(early 19th-century); the fireplaces, in general, have plain
stone surrounds and basket grates (late 18th or early 19th-century). In one room the fireplace is flanked by fielded
panelling of the 18th century. The main Staircase is of the early
19th century and has a moulded mahogany rail, no string,
slender square balusters, a large turned newel at the bottom,
and shaped spandrels to the treads.
(155) Cross Keys Hotel, No. 32, was built in the
early 18th century, but an inn has existed on this site
since c. 1250. Later in the 18th century bay windows
were inserted, and a large central segmental-headed
carriageway was blocked; buildings to W. were erected
in the 19th century, and the whole modernised in 1900.
The symmetrically designed Front Elevation has, at ground
floor, cloaked by a porch, a large segmental-headed archway,
now blocked, with stone imposts and a modern doorway in
the blocking. On either side, to each floor, are large inserted
three-sided bay windows, in which red brick contrasts with the
earlier yellow-red brick of the remainder of the elevation.
Between the storeys is a short section of an original three-course brick band, and between the bay windows, at first
floor, a large blocked segmental-headed window, with a
smaller sash window in the filling. The top of the wall, the
cornice and the roof are all modern. The N. wall, with a band
at eaves level, has been heightened. The S. wall has two large
bay windows extending over both storeys; all features otherwise are modern. The W. elevation is modernised.
Little old work remains at ground floor. The Staircase, of the
first half of the 18th century, has a moulded rail and string,
square newels with half-balusters attached, and turned balusters
with a square knop; it has been much restored. At First Floor
is a fireplace with panelled jambs, each with a star form on the
entablature; on the lintel shaped panels flank a key-block with
shell decoration (late 18th-century).
(156) Houses, Nos. 33, 35, were built in the late 18th
century, and a parallel two-storeyed block was added
to E., in the 19th century.
The street front has, at each end of the ground floor, a
segmental-headed sash window with shutters of two plain
panels, and centrally a pair of doorways with flat arches,
containing doors each with four plain and two glazed panels.
Between the storeys is a brick band of four courses and above
are three windows, similar to those at ground floor. A 19th-century barn has been built against the N. end. The S. end, only
4½ in. thick and formerly abutting the chapel built in 1747, has
a modern window at ground floor. In the sitting room of No.
33 is a fireplace, originally open, with a segmental arch at the
head and a moulded cornice. No. 35 has several 18th-century
(157) House, No. 34, was built in the 18th century,
but largely remodelled in the early 19th century;
much of the gable ends, and all the W. front are of the
later date, as are most of the internal features. In modern
times, a room at the S.W. corner has been extended.
The street front has at ground floor an original small sash
window to N., two larger windows of the early 19th-century,
and to S., the entrance with a Roman Doric door-case also of the
19th century. At first floor are two 18th-century sash windows
and, to S., a shallow curved bow window with sashes framed
by fluted uprights and a moulded cornice (early 19th-century).
Under the roof are coupled gutter brackets and a moulded
cornice (early 19th-century).
In the entrance hall is a doorway with reeded architrave
having round paterae at the angles. The staircase has a moulded
mahogany rail, no string, a turned newel with moulded cap
and base, and slender square balusters. The stair light has a
round head with moulded architrave. There are some original
doors, with six fielded panels; other doors, also with six panels
belong to the remodelling.
(158) Manor House, No. 41, though standing on an
old site, appears to have nothing earlier than the early
18th century. The central section is of this date, the N.
cross range of the early 19th century, and the S. cross
Only the central part of the W. front has not been cased in
new brick, and it has a brick band of three courses between
the storeys. At ground floor are three sash windows with plain
shutters, and a modern door; at first floor are three similar
windows. All other elevations are now cased in new brick,
except the sides of the N. range which are of early 19th-century
brick; all openings are of this date or modern.
Internally there are some cased beams which, together with
the W. wall, suggest an early 18th-century date. At ground
floor are doors with six fielded panels and, in the entrance
hall, a later 18th-century stone open fireplace. The balusters of
the staircase are turned and have fluted stems with square
knops, and an umbrella-shaped decoration (early 18th-century);
they came from No. 46 Bootham, as did the early 17th-century panelling in a room to N.; in the same room is an
18th-century cupboard with two fielded panelled doors.
(159) House, No. 60, was built in the late 18th or
early 19th century, but drastically altered in the late 19th
century, to which date most of the exterior belongs; a
straight joint in the S. wall shows that the earlier house
was then extended to W. Internally there are many doors
with six fielded panels. In a bedroom is an early 19th-century fireplace with moulded jambs and lintel, and
round paterae at the angles.
(160, 161) Manor Farm, Nos. 64, 66, built in the early
18th century, was divided into two in the late 18th or
early 19th century, when a staircase was inserted in the
S. part and a chimney-breast, with obliquely placed
fireplace, in the N. part. Most of the present openings
The whole house is stuccoed. Its front elevation has a large
sash window on either side of a broad modern door, with
another door to S. Above a band at first floor are four similar
windows; there is a cornice of diagonally set bricks. The N.
gable is plain, except for a two-course band between the floors,
which stops short of the W. side; the S. gable, with no band,
has five modern openings. The W. elevation has one old sash
window with very small panes; other windows are modern.
No. 64, has a simple plan: the entrance hall leads through
a round-arched opening to the staircase behind, with front
and back room to N., both with a diagonally placed fireplace.
The early 18th-century Staircase has a moulded rail rising to a
square newel with a pendant at the base, a moulded string and
turned balusters with a square knop. No. 66 has an entrance
hall with a later staircase contrived in the S.E. corner of the
building. The staircase has a moulded rail, plain string and
square balusters (early 19th-century). At First Floor, in a bedroom to N.E. (in No. 64) is a diagonally placed fireplace with
plain surround, beneath a cupboard with 'butterfly' hinges
(18th-century); the modernised room to N.W. has a similar
cupboard over the fireplace. On the first floor is an 18th-century
fireplace with moulded surround, pulvinated frieze, and
moulded mantelshelf. In both houses there are old fitted cupboards.
Middlethorpe is a hamlet to S.E. of the Knavesmire; it
was a small lordship within the manor of Dringhouses
and belonged in the Middle Ages to Byland Abbey.
It was leased by the abbey to Reginald Beasley, and in
1558 William Edrington and Edward Beasley obtained
the reversion from the Crown (CPR, 1557–8, 390).
The early settlement of Bustardthorpe, lying between
York and Middlethorpe, had disappeared by the 16th
century and its area was added to that of Middlethorpe
proper. In 1385 Richard II appointed Master Robert
Patryngton and John Heyndale, masons, to build a
stone cross in Middlethorpe on the spot where Sir
Ralph Stafford had been killed by the king's halfbrother, Sir John Holand (CPR, 1385–9, 13). The cross
stood beside the Bishopthorpe Road about one-third
of a mile N. of the houses of Middlethorpe.
(162) Middlethorpe Grange, in Sim Balk Lane,
was built in the late 17th century. It is a two-storeyed
house of brick covered with rough-cast, roofed with
pantiles. It was already called Middlethorpe Grange on
White's map of 1785 but in 1818 (Greenwood) appears
as Middlethorpe Lodge. By 1831 (Cooper's map) it was
'Grange' again and the name became fixed when
Alderman James Meek in 1836 built a new house called
Middlethorpe Lodge in Dringhouses (Yorkshireman,
21 June). The original house was L-shaped, of two
storeys with a single-storey wing at the back. Additions
were made in the second half of the 18th century.
In 1847 Archbishop Musgrave took a great interest in
this farm (C. E. W. Brayley, Annals of Bishopthorpe, 13),
and the house was occupied by George Bennett, bailiff
to successive archbishops in the later 19th century,
the period of the main remodelling.
The main S. front towards the fields is rough-cast and has a
two-course brick band and an eaves cornice of diagonally
placed bricks. In general the exterior was remodelled in the
second half of the 19th century and few traces of the original
The original Staircase (Plate 83) has a simple rail, shaped plank
balusters and square newels, all of oak but painted; an extension to the loft is in softwood (late 18th-century). Some of the
doors are of 18th-century date. The main loft has an 18th-century floor but the roof itself is relatively modern.
Fig. 72. (163) Middlethorpe Hall. Sketch by Samuel Buck
(BM, Lansdowne MS. 914, f. 30), c. 1740.
(163) Middlethorpe Hall was built c. 1699–1701
(Plate 198) by Thomas Barlow of Leeds who bought
the property in 1698 (Borthwick Inst., List R. Dru.,
1–22). An entry in Ralph Thoresby's diary, on 17
September 1702, states: 'Received a visit from Mr
Barlow of Middlethorp near York, which very curious
house he built after the Italian mode ...' (Diary of
Ralph Thoresby, 1830, 1, 399) (Fig. 72, BM, Lansdowne
MS. 914, f. 30). It is probable, however, that Sir Henry
Thompson, who died in 1692, inhabited a house on this
site with which the dovecote and various outbuildings,
of late 17th-century character, were associated. Side
wings were added to the main S. front in the mid 18th
century by Francis Barlow (1690–1771), High Sheriff of
Yorkshire in 1735. At the beginning of the 19th century, there were important alterations: the W. wing
was enlarged to make a ballroom; the entrance hall and
staircase hall received new ceilings; doorways and open
porches were added to the N. and S. entrances; a room
to W. of the staircase, at first floor, was remodelled;
various fireplaces were added; the main roof was
heightened; and the balustraded parapet was removed
perhaps at this time (Fig. 73). The S.W. prospect of
York by John Haynes (1731) shows the Hall with a
crowning balustrade. An architect's drawing at the Hall,
entitled 'Elevation of the N. Front, Middlethorpe' (early
19th-century), shows the late portico and also, against
the E. wing and near to the main block, a large portico
since removed, with similar pillars and a Doric frieze.
In front of the house is shown a red brick wall with two
iron gateways and to E. of them a carriage entrance
to the stable yard, as at present; this suggests that the
gateways too are of the early 19th century. In modern
times a partition has been inserted in the entrance hall;
bathrooms fitted in the N.E. corner of each floor; the
plain walls of various rooms enriched by applied
moulded strips, giving the effect of panelling; and a
kitchen range built to N. of the E. wing.
Fig. 73. (163) Middlethorpe Hall.
The house remained in possession of the Barlow
family until the first half of the 19th century. Lady
Mary Wortley Montagu resided there in 1713–15.
By 1838 it was held by the Rev. Edward Trafford Leigh,
husband of Frances, daughter of John Barlow, and in
1875 by her second husband, M. A. E. Wilkinson;
by 1893 their son, Col. G. A. E. Wilkinson, was owner,
retaining possession until his death. During most of the
19th century the Hall was let: in 1823 to Lady Mary
Stourton, in 1875 to Miss Ann Marion Johnson who
kept it as a boarding school, and after 1912 to L. C.
Paget. In 1836 arms were granted to John Bower,
described as 'of Middlethorpe Hall and Broxholm, co.
York' (Harleian Soc., lxvii (1916), 41).
The symmetrically designed North Elevation (Plate 197) to
the road is of fine brick in Flemish bond, tuck-pointed, with
limestone ashlar dressings and rusticated quoins. Although an
important feature on the S. front, the side wings are here
unobtrusive. Below a moulded stone plinth are basement
windows of two square-headed lights with chamfered reveals
and mullions, and plain surrounds. The ground floor has a
central doorway, with eared and bolection-moulded surround
of c. 1700 cloaked by an early 19th-century stone pedimented
porch (Plate 62). On either side of the doorway are three sash
windows, each having a moulded stone architrave with
simple key-block, and a moulded sill. Above, and also between
first and second floors, is a flat stone band with hollow chamfered edge. At first floor are windows similar to those below,
but the central one has a more elaborate eared architrave and
moulded cornice. The second-floor windows are similar but
smaller; the W. end has been rebuilt and a window here is
blocked. All the windows have been refitted with 19th-century sashes. Above a simple, bold cornice, which projects
over the central window, is a centre-piece of three oblong
panels with pilasters between; the centre panel is surmounted
by an eagle displayed, in limestone, for Barlow.
The East and West Elevations are each in four bays uniform
with the N. front but partly obscured by the wings and by
added chimneys; a number of the windows are blocked. In the
W. wall of the ballroom the different periods of construction
are clearly marked by a change in the size of the bricks.
On the South Elevation (Plate 199), the main front of the house,
the principal block is visually supported by the side wings,
to make a symmetrical façade. The central block has a similar
elevation to that to N., but there are slight differences: some
of the basement windows have lost their mullions; the porch
has pillars with stylised leaves on the caps, moulded bases,
and an entablature without pediment; the crowning feature
has a festoon and swags in each panel, and the eagle is in better
condition. The side wings are each of three bays and of one
storey with basement. The E. wing (Plate 197) has, in a plinth
with square stone capping, three basement windows each with
segmental arch and hung sashes. The bays are divided by stone
Composite pilasters and between them are windows, much
taller than those in the main block, each having a stone surround with square head and key-block, and early 19th-century
sashes. The pilasters support a heavy stone entablature, above
which is a parapet with balustrading over each window. The
W. range is similar, but the basement windows have sliding
sashes and the hung sashes above have exceptionally narrow
bronzed glazing bars. The roof, raised behind the balustrade
and hipped to W., is of Westmorland slate.
The Entrance Hall, divided by the insertion of a modern
partition wall, has a coved ceiling with attenuated dentilled
cornice (early 19th-century) and a floor of stone flags. In E. and
W. walls are doors, each having an enriched bolection-moulded surround (Plate 203), and formerly with a laurelleaf pulvinated frieze, and an enriched cornice (early 18th-century); the panelled doors are replacements. A large chimney
breast in the S. wall has a black marble fireplace with bolection-moulded surround and black marble hearth.
The stair hall, to S., with a floor of black and white marble
squares, has in the N. and S. walls large doorways (Plate 203)
with early 18th-century doorcases, and later doors with eight
fielded panels. The Main Staircase (Plate 202), of oak, has a
heavy moulded rail, no string, and square panelled newels;
the rail rises at each newel, with a spray of foliage in the
spandrel; the balusters are fluted and enriched and stand on
steps with carved panelled ends (Plate 83). Under the second
turning point of the staircase is a handsome Corinthian column.
On top of the S.E. newel on the first-floor landing is scratched
'IB 1764 & S B' (for John and Samuel Barlow). The first-floor
landing has four doors, each with a bolection-moulded surround and enriched dentilled cornice, and a coved ceiling with
a central moulded oval containing a delicate centrepiece set in
shell ornament and with radiating features (early 19th-century).
The Drawing Room is panelled in two heights with plain
panels with grained moulded frame, possibly of deal, and has
an enriched cornice, moulded dado and skirting. The fireplace
has a moulded and enriched architrave, pilasters with long
swags hanging from lions' masks, a fluted and enriched
cornice (second half of the 18th century), and an overmantel
consisting of a large panel. In recesses on either side are bookcases with enriched cornices and fluted sides. Doorways in the
E. and W. walls have enriched surrounds (early 18th-century)
and later eight-panel doors (Plate 203). The windows have
fielded panelled shutters. The Dining Room (Plate 201) is lined
with painted oak panelling with enriched cornice, dado rail
and skirting. The fireplace, with green marble surround, is
flanked by fluted Ionic pilasters above which the cornice is
increased to a full entablature (Plate 200). In the E. and W.
walls are corresponding centrepieces (Plate 202) of round-headed panels flanked by pilasters. In the corners of the room
the cornice is also increased to a full entablature above fielded
panels; in the intervening spaces are taller bolection-moulded
panels. The doorways have carved architraves (Plate 66).
The Servants' Staircase to E. (Plate 83; Fig. 17b) rises from
basement to attics. The servants' hall, wainscotted from floor
to ceiling in two heights of bolection-moulded oak panelling,
with panelled pilasters between each pair of panels, has a
moulded cornice, dado rail and skirting, and later fielded
panelled shutters to the windows. In the W. wall is a doorway
with bolection-moulded surround and eight-panelled door.
The fireplace has a white marble bolection-moulded surround
and overmantel consisting of a pilaster on either side of a large
In the East Wing the E. room, wainscotted in two heights
with fielded panels set in a projecting moulded frame, and with
a dentilled cornice, has in the N. wall three bolection-moulded
panels, probably early 18th-century reused. In the W. room
of the wing, the fireplace has a moulded eared architrave
between panelled pilasters with fluted consoles at the head
supporting a dentilled cornice; above is a scrolled broken
pediment with festoons of laurel leaves enclosing a block on
which is a cartouche with eagle supporters, and a scroll
inscribed 'Hic posuisse gaudet'. Above this again is a pediment
originally over the main S. doorway. To E. are bookshelves
having a projecting round arch with console key-block above
and, on either side, fluted pilasters and consoles.
The West Wing contains a large Ballroom with an enriched
Adamesque cornice, enriched dado rail and moulded skirting;
modern mouldings have been added to give a panelled effect.
The ceiling (Plate 202) has an oval of interlacing laurel leaves
round a fluted circle with festoons and swags round the outside, and a foliated centrepiece. In the N. wall is a white marble
fireplace with panelled pilasters on either side, over which are
medallions of musical instruments; the head has a central
block bearing martial accoutrements and a moulded cornice.
The doorways (Plate 203) have doors with six Regency-type
panels. The windows have reeded surrounds. A small closet
to N. has a large round-headed niche in the N. wall, with
moulded imposts and fluted pilasters on either side (early 19th-century). In general, the Cellars are barrel vaulted, that under
the dining room having a fireplace with plain pilasters,
panelled lintel and key-block, and a cornice supported by fluted
On the First Floor a room over the Dining Room is wainscotted in two heights with bolection-moulded panelling,
and has a moulded cornice, dado rail and skirting (early 18th-century). In the N. wall is a fireplace with a veined white
marble inner surround, having an enriched egg-and-dart
architrave, jambs on either side with a volute at the head and a
swag beneath; a frieze with elaborate foliated enrichment and,
at either end, a medallion; a fluted and enriched cornice; a
veined white marble hearth (second half of 18th century)
and a grate of the same date. To E. is a dressing room with
similar panelling and a plain early 19th-century fireplace. The
room to N. of the main staircase, 'The Blue Room', (Plate 201),
wainscotted in two heights with bolection-moulded panelling,
has a moulded cornice, dado rail and skirting; between each
bay of panelling is a panelled pilaster. There are two doors each
with a bolection-moulded surround. Set diagonally in the
S.W. corner, beneath an earlier bolection-moulded panel
between two fielded ones, is a fireplace with an enriched and
moulded architrave round a brown veined marble inner
surround; and a plain frieze beneath a moulded and dentilled
cornice (late 18th-century). The N.W. room has been modernised but retains an early 18th-century fireplace with bold
bolection-moulded brown veined marble surround, and a late
18th-century basket grate. The S.W. room, was refitted in the
early 19th century.
On the Second Floor, fireplaces are mostly of the late 18th
and early 19th centuries. To W. is a room with moulded
cornice, dado rail and skirting (early 18th-century), but probably modern panelling, formed by applied moulding; beneath
a large bolection-moulded panel (early 18th-century), is a fireplace with moulded jambs and lintel and square angle pieces,
and a plain mantel (early 19th-century). The door has six fielded
panels set in a boldly moulded frame, and an original brass
lock and handles (early 18th-century); most doors in the house
are of the same type and likewise most windows had fielded
panelled shutters fitted later in the century when the glazing
bars were altered. Two bedrooms have late 18th-century
fireplace surrounds. A large modernised room in the S.W.
corner has a fireplace with enriched architrave (late 18th-century), enriched pulvinated frieze, and moulded enriched
cornice (early 18th-century). The staircase to the loft, with
slender square balusters, is of the early 19th century. The roof
has been remodelled to eliminate a central valley and now
covers the moulded and panelled lower parts of the chimneys.
The trusses are elaborately constructed with queen-posts and
Outbuildings: N.E. of the house is a stableyard with entrances
to N. and W. flanked by gate piers of brick with stone bases
and crowning entablatures; those to the N. are surmounted
by ball finials, those to W. by eagles, the Barlow crest. Flanking the N. entrance are two-storey buildings which originally
had open archways in three sides of the lower storey; some of
the arches are now blocked. These buildings are of the early
18th century but incorporate some earlier brickwork in the
lower courses of the N. walls. The W. gateway is flanked by
small single-storey buildings. A gateway to S. is plain and partly
rebuilt. Two-storey buildings to the E. are, in part, of c. 1700
remodelled in the 19th century. Further E. is a former coachhouse with a semicircular arch over the entrance, and beyond
is an open yard approached through a gateway with brick
piers surmounted by the remains of stone entablatures, uniform
with the gateways to the stableyard.
Dovecote, S.E. of house, of c. 1700, is square on plan; it has
brick walls and a late hipped tiled roof. The inside is lined with
nesting boxes now cut into by an inserted floor and later
windows. Garden, enclosed by 18th-century brick walls, has
two piers with 18th-century lead urns. Ha-ha, S. of house, is
revetted with brickwork. Two Urns, S.E. of house, of artificial stone, are decorated with allegorical figures and have
handles comprising volutes and birds' heads (perhaps late 18th
or early 19th-century).
(164) Middlethorpe Manor was the capital messuage
of a subordinate lordship within the Manor of Dringhouses. In the Middle Ages this lordship belonged to
Byland Abbey and after the Dissolution the Waller
family became Lords, Thomas Waller in 1566 making an
agreement with the City about right of pasture on
Knavesmire. Early in the 17th century it was owned by
William Brearey, merchant, Sheriff in 1598–9 and
Alderman 1609–10 (d. 1637), whose will of 9 August
1637 bequeathed: 'To my son Christopher Brearey
my new Hall I built at Middlethorpe'; the foundations
of his hall may be those found in the higher land to E.
of the present house. The central block of the present
house was built in the late 17th or early 18th century,
a date suggested by the narrow brick in Flemish bond
in the cellar and the oak timbers of narrow, deep section
in the roof; the staircase and hall panelling and fittings
are also of this date, but are said to have been inserted by
Col. Bryan Fairfax, who lived there in 1927. In the
second half of the 18th century a block was added to E.;
c. 1840–50 another large extension was added to W.;
and at the turn of the century, a long N.-S. range
was built against the W. end of the N. front. In modern
times a staircase has been added at the S.W. angle, a
dining room has been built on the N. side, various offices
added, and the roof of the central block remade.
When Middlethorpe Hall (163) was built by the
Barlow family early in the 18th century, the existence
of two major houses in the manor led to difficulties
and about 1735 (Drake, 382) the lordship of the manor
was in dispute between Francis Barlow and Dr. Brearey.
The last Brearey lord, Christopher, died in 1826 and
his estates were broken up. In 1893 the Hon. E. W.
Lascelles was Lord of the Manor; his daughter married
Capt. H. D. Brocklehurst, who became owner by 1901;
H. E. Preston resided there in 1908; Brigadier General
the Hon. O. U. G. A. Lumley in 1917; and by 1927,
Col. Bryan C. Fairfax was Lord of the Manor.
All the elevations are stuccoed above a shallow stone plinth
and have a timber cornice at the eaves. The South Elevation
(Plate 204) consists of a central block recessed between lateral
ones. The E. block has two sash windows with stone sills at
each floor, one being a dummy. The central block has a
central modern porch with a large sash window, probably 19th-century, to each side, and at first floor a small sash window
between two large ones each of three lights; the eaves cornice
is modern and replaces a parapet. The W. block has a modern
twin-light sash window which does not range with the others.
The East Elevation of the E. block has, to S., a large semicircular bay, with a French window between two modern
sash windows, at ground floor. The North Elevation of the E.
block, stepping forward a little, has the same disposition as that
to S., also with a painted dummy window. Built against the
lower part of the central block are a modern dining room and
offices; above are sash windows and a round-headed stair
window. The W. block, in the same plane, has five windows
to ground floor and three above. Built against the W. end of
the W. block, the N.-S. range has in its E. wall four segmental-headed windows to each floor. At the W. end of the house,
recessed behind the W. block, is a modern two-storeyed
addition, and further S. a modern scullery built up on early
The large Entrance Hall, comprising the whole of the S. part
of the central block, has been formed out of an original hall
with a small room on either side by removal of the intervening
walls. It is lined with plain pine panelling in two heights, of
c. 1700, under a modern cornice. In the N. wall is a fireplace
(Plate 75) with decorated timber surround and brown veined
marble slip. In the W. part is a fireplace with an enriched
In the E. block the S. room has a moulded enriched cornice,
moulded dado rail and skirting, and a fireplace (Plate 75) with
Corinthian pilasters, decorated frieze and veined white marble
slip (c. 1770).
The Main Staircase, of c. 1700, has a moulded string and a
heavy moulded rail swept up to square newels over solid spandrel pieces, all of pinewood; the heavy turned balusters are of
sycamore. Against two newels at ground floor are elaborate
foliated volutes (c. 1700).
Cellars, beneath the central block, are built chiefly of
2 in. brick in Flemish bond, with timber floors above. To
N.E. is a small wine cellar, with an 18th-century brick barrel
On the First Floor the main landing has a panelled wood dado
mostly of c. 1700 and three-panelled doors of the same date.
In the E. block the rooms open off a small central hall lit by a
cupola in the ceiling. In the central and E. block some of the
rooms have 18th-century fireplaces and ceiling cornices.
In the W. block the fittings are of the mid 19th century.
Garden features include: (1) to E. of the house an elaborate
Ha-ha, with brick revetment on the inner side (late 18th-century); (2) to S.E. of the house two plain Urns, of magnesian
limestone; (3) to S.E., in a rockery formed in a coppice, various