Piccadilly-St. Saviour's Place
Piccadilly (Monuments 373, 374)
Piccadilly runs from Pavement across the Foss and along
its E. bank to the E. end of Castle Mills Bridge, beside
Fishergate Postern Tower. The S. part already existed
as a lane or open space in 1610 but was widened and
named from the London street c. 1840. It was extended
N. to Pavement in 1912, destroying a row of timber-framed houses. Much of the street is built on ground
originally covered by the Fish-pond of the Foss.
(373) Terrace, Nos. 41, 43, 45, consists of four small houses
built shortly before 1850, two now used as offices being
numbered 41. The entrance doors have pilastered timber surrounds. Each house has two rooms to each floor with a staircase immediately opposite the front door. Demolished.
(374) White Swan Hotel, No. 4, is a substantial building
of 1912 with imitation timber-framed elevations, but incorporates part of a mid 18th-century house of three storeys
and attics, of which nothing can be seen externally. Among a
few surviving original fittings is the top-lit staircase, which
has open strings and three turned balusters on each step.
Precentor's Court (Monuments 375–378)
Precentor's Court runs parallel to High Petergate, W.
of the Minster, with an alley communicating with the
street and formerly with another running N. towards
the site of the Archbishop's Palace. Although marked on
maps of the city from 1610, it is not named until 1722
as Precentor's Lane; its present name first occurs in
1822. Remains of a stone shrine, apparently that of St.
William, from the Minster, have been found in this
area since 1700.
House, No. 1, see Nos. 24–36 High Petergate (324).
(375) Terrace of four houses, Nos. 2, 3, 4, 4a (Plate
137; Fig. 124), was built between 24 January 1700/1 and
22 February 1722/3 (YML, we; wf) and on stylistic
grounds can be assigned to the first few years of the
18th century. The terrace, of two storeys with attics and
semi-basements, is of thirteen bays and comprises one
double-fronted five-bay house (No. 2, now refenestrated), one single-fronted three-bay house (No. 3) and
what appears to be a second double-fronted five-bay
house but is in fact two small single-fronted houses with
entrance doors off a central common passageway
(Nos. 4, 4a).
The front elevation has a high brick plinth, in which are set
the windows which light the semi-basements. At first-floor
level is a three-course plat-band with coping. Timber below
the present narrow eaves cornice indicates that this was originally considerably heavier. The three doorways on the ground
floor are approached by stone steps; those to No. 3 and to the
common passage to Nos. 4 and 4a have original pegged
frames and mullioned fanlights; Nos. 2 and 3 have original
doors of three bolection-moulded panels and that to Nos. 4
and 4a is of plank construction with moulded stiles and rails
forming three sunk panels. The windows to Nos. 4 and 4a
and the first floor of No. 3 have original timber transomed
and mullioned frames. The arches are of narrow red gauged
bricks but those on the ground floor are covered by a cement
band; the attics are lit by hipped dormers with casements. The
large diagonally-set chimney-stack shared by Nos. 3 and 4
has been rebuilt, but follows the original pattern. Nos. 3, 4 and
4a have short wings at the rear. The back doors are of plank
construction with moulded stiles and rails, and the windows
are mullioned and transomed, except in the upper part where
there are small casements.
The plans of the houses are of particular interest because
each unit is small and dominated by large chimney-breasts set
at 45° to the street, giving angle fireplaces in the rooms. The
houses all have only two rooms on each floor, excluding closets,
and the kitchens were in the semi-basements; some of the
closets are fenestrated. All houses retain a number of original
fittings, the least altered being No. 4, which has a ground-floor front room with bolection-moulded panelling (Plate 172;
Fig. 10b), and a staircase with splat balusters rising about a
small rectangular well in a constricted space; the staircase in
No. 4a (Plate 190) follows the same pattern, but those in Nos.
2 and 3 have bulbous balusters. Original door architraves have
a simple and very small cyma reversa moulding which is
repeated on the stiles and rails forming the doors of two sunk
panels; on the first floor of No. 4, identical mouldings are used
to form a door of six sunk panels. The houses exhibit a variety
of early, if not original hinges, including L, H and butterfly
forms, and some with shaped terminations. Some original
fireplaces survive but have had late 18th-century cast-iron
Fig. 124. (375) Nos. 2, 3, 4, 4a Precentor's Court.
(376) House, No. 5, of the early 18th century, small
and two-storeyed with basement and attics, is built
against No. 4a and of much the same date. It has two
rooms to each floor, with the staircase placed unusually,
adjacent to the front wall. The front elevation, in
painted brick, has the entrance approached by a flight
of steps, and one sash window at the ground floor and
two at first floor. Internally, the staircase has heavy
turned balusters set on a close string, a heavy handrail,
and square-section newels. Fireplaces are set diagonally,
as in Nos. 2–4a; two have late 18th-century surrounds
with applied composition enrichment, possibly by
Wolstenholme. Originally the kitchen was in the
(377) Fenton House, No. 9 (Plate 8; Fig. 125), formerly the prebendal house of Fenton, was built in the early
18th century by a lessee, John Bolling (YML, wg,
f. 473). It has been refenestrated at various times and
was refurbished to some extent in the first half of the
19th century, but the original staircase balustrade and
some panelling remain.
Fig. 125. (377) Fenton House, No. 9 Precentor's Court.
The house, built of brick with stone dressings, four-square
on plan and of two storeys with cellars and attics, has a brick
lantern-like structure rising from the flat area of roof between
the two gables which run back from the hipped front part of
the roof. The front elevation is of some architectural pretension and, although now refenestrated in three bays, was
originally of five; it has a plinth, plat-band at first-floor level,
and stone quoins. In the centre bay, which breaks forward and
has a moulded stone cornice at first-floor level, the doorway
and window above have eared surrounds of stone, now
rendered. The rainwater gutter and cornice at the eaves have
been renewed. The rear elevation has also been refenestrated
and the round-arched staircase window is an 18th-century
modification, but in the attic are three original three-centred
arched heads with recessed tympana above later windows.
There is a two-course plat-band at attic-floor level and a
parapet between the two gables of the roof.
Inside, the plan affords four main rooms to the ground and
first floors (Fig. 125), with the principal staircase rising only to
the first floor, and a secondary staircase continuing to the attic.
The main staircase has renewed steps but retains the original
balustrade, with heavy moulded close string, ramped handrail,
bulbous balusters and a scrolled termination at the foot of the
stairs (Plate 200; Fig. 11h). Some original panelling survives
on the first floor.
(378) House, No. 10 (Plate 145), incorporates late
mediaeval stone walls and, in the entrance hall, the
carved stone arch of a 15th-century fireplace opening.
Early in the 18th century the present structure was built,
with the S.W. front of two storeys in brick, and
utilising the existing stone walls for the other elevations;
the asymmetrical front elevation was probably dictated
by a pre-existing structure on the N.W. The plan at that
time has been lost due to considerable additions and
alterations in the second quarter of the 19th century,
which included the addition of a two-storeyed canted
bay in Gothic style at the rear (Plate 148). About 1900,
further major alterations took place and the N.W. wing
was rebuilt from the ground and dormered attic
storeys were added to the back and N.W. side elevations, all in a hard red brick. The house contains many
earlier fittings. The Study, at ground floor, has moulded
beams dating from the 16th century, and three walls
are wainscotted in early 17th-century panelling; the
fourth wall has an 18th-century fireplace with panelled
overmantel. The fine early 18th-century staircase has
been re-assembled and reused. Carved stone mediaeval
fragments have been built into the N.E. rear elevation.
The bedroom to the N.E. has a fireplace of the second
quarter of the 18th century with a reset richly-carved
mantelshelf and frieze (Plate 180).
St. Andrewgate (Monuments 379–390)
St. Andrewgate runs N.E. from King's Square to
Aldwark and forms part of an apparently ancient line
of streets outside the S.E. wall of the Roman fortress.
Its name, from the church on the E. side, is first recorded
c. 1200. In 1421 it was called Mickle or Great to distinguish it from Little St. Andrewgate, the lane curving
around the churchyard. The church was closed in 1548
and sold by the city in 1581 but still stands (Monument
(3)). A house built to the N. on its graveyard is mentioned in 1409. The city's first police station was established here in 1826, at the offices of the City Commission. The entrance from King's Square was widened
in 1830 and Bedern was continued through to the
street in 1850. Since 1960, demolition of most old
buildings along St. Andrewgate has given it a derelict
(379) House, No. 25, of two storeys with brick walls and
a pantiled roof, was built probably in the 18th century. The
N.E. wall incorporated late 16th or early 17th-century timber
framing including a roof truss with clasped-purlins. Demolished.
(380) House, Nos. 27, 29, of two storeys and attics
in brick with pantiled roofs, was built in the early 18th
century and had three ground-floor rooms with
internal chimney-stacks, central door, N.E. end passage
and projecting rear staircase block. The N.W. angle
between house and staircase was infilled later in the
18th century, and in the early 19th century the house
was sub-divided, refitted and extended to the rear. No.
27 was refronted and cement-rendered, and a wagon
entrance rising through two storeys was inserted to the
S.W.; No. 29 was refenestrated, the passage door replaced and a staircase inserted. The original close-string
stair with bulbous balusters survived in No. 27, as did
three reused 17th-century doors in the attic and a threepanel door in No. 29. Demolished 1978.
(381) House, No. 31, of two storeys and attic, with walls
of brick and a pantiled roof, was built in the mid or late 17th
century. The front elevation had a moulded string between the
storeys and an eaves cornice with bricks laid diagonally; the
openings had all been altered. The S.W. end wall, masked by
the adjacent house, had a blocked mullion-and-transom
window in brick on the ground floor, and a mutilated Dutch
gable with a blocked window beneath a segmental pediment.
Inside, the first floor was originally a single large room with
ovolo-moulded ceiling beams and joists. Demolished 1978.
(382) House, No. 35, of three storeys and attic, with a twobay front elevation, was built about the mid 18th century as
one of a group of three, but the other two houses were taken
down possibly c. 1950. Demolished c. 1967.
(383) House, No. 20 (Plate 143; Fig. 126), is substantial, three-storeyed, and of the late 18th century.
The style of the front is similar to work designed by
Thomas Atkinson. Atkinson is known to have purchased land in St. Andrewgate and was recorded as
living in the street in Bailey's Northern Directory in
1781; it can therefore be considered probable that No.
20 was designed by Thomas Atkinson for his own
The house was economically constructed with walls of
common brickwork with a minimum of architectural decoration and the interior appears to have been very simply fitted.
The five-bay front is finished with a pediment with a stone
cornice. The sills of the windows to the two lower storeys are
joined to form narrow string-courses. The central entrance
(Plate 161), set in a shallow arched recess, has a rusticated stone
surround arched over a low fanlight under a pediment supported by consoles; the central window above has a stuccoed
surround and cornice. The other windows have plain brick
arches and reveals. Within the gable is a circular light with
moulded surround and festoons to each side. At the back a
two-storey bay window has been added; the pediment
crowning the back elevation is more simply finished than that
on the front, and the side elevations, where not concealed, are
quite plain. The plan is simple, with the main stair placed in the
rear hall between the two back rooms and a secondary staircase
between front and back rooms to the W.
Inside, the N.W. front room has recesses fitted with shelving
against the W. wall and below the ceiling is a simple cornice;
some of the rooms retain simple fireplace surrounds and castiron grates. Both staircases have cantilevered stone steps; the
principal one has cast-iron balusters carrying a mahogany
handrail of roughly circular section. The balusters are simple,
of hollow-sided square section.
Fig. 126. (383) No. 20 St. Andrewgate.
(384) House, No. 22, of three storeys, was built during the
second quarter of the 18th century. The walling is of common
brickwork with red dressings to the openings, largely disturbed when the windows were altered in the 19th century.
Plat-bands divide the storeys on the front elevation. The
central entrance has been altered and a projecting window
added. There are two windows to each floor; those to the top
storey have Yorkshire sashes, one of great width, suggesting
that it was designed to light a work-room. The plan appears to
comprise two deep rooms to each floor with the staircase
placed behind the E. rooms, but the whole of the interior
was not accessible. Demolished.
(385) House, No. 24, of two storeys with semi-basement,
small, plain and single-fronted, was built in the second quarter
of the 19th century.
(386) House, No. 40, of two storeys with rendered front
elevation and stepped parapet, was probably that which
Thomas Bennett, sculptor and monumental mason, had
'lately erected' in 1823 (YCA, BG, 12 Nov. 1823). The ground-floor window had a rusticated surround and a lion's mask on
the key-block and that on the first floor a raised surround with
a shaped feature above and drapery which continued down the
architrave; this has affinities with Monument (5) in Holy Trinity,
Goodramgate (2), signed by Bennett. Demolished.
(387) House, No. 42 (Plate 149), of two storeys and attic,
was built c. 1740. It was extended at the back and refitted in the
19th century and, later, part of the ground floor was converted
to a garage. After standing derelict, it was restored in 1972 by
the architect A. M. Mennim. The front is in five bays, with
good red brick dressings to the quoins and window openings,
but the original windows only remain in the upper floor. The
house originally comprised two rooms to each side of a central
entrance hall and staircase.
(388) Former Fire Station, No. 44, was built in
1845. The Yorkshire Fire and Life Insurance Company,
founded in 1824 and operating a fire service from
Eyre's coach-house in Petergate, in 1826 or 1828 set up
its own fire station in New Street (present No. 8 (288)),
from which it operated two engines. In 1830 York
Corporation transferred its fire establishment to the
company. The St. Andrewgate property was bought in
1845 for £390; G. T. Andrews was paid £52. 15s. for
his work in designing the buildings and superintending
the works, which cost £1,055. 13s. The main building
housed the 'new large Size Improved Carriage Fire
Engine . . . Painted Blue picked Red and varnished . . .
Writing on each side of Engine in Gold Letters, shaded,
EBOR and in front YORKSHIRE FIRE & LIFE
INSURANCE COMPANY 1845'. Much of the
maintenance work was to be done on the premises, but
the horses were housed elsewhere. In 1875 the privately-owned fire service was abandoned and the 'Yorkshire'
made over to the Corporation all their engines and
plant, with free use of the St. Andrewgate Fire Station
and cottage for seven years, an option to purchase, and
a contribution towards the expenses of the Corporation
Brigade. About 1889 the Corporation built its own
station in Clifford Street, and the St. Andrewgate
building was used by the Company as its stationery
store. It was sold in 1973 for residential use.
The front elevation is of two storeys. Piers with attached
Doric pilasters frame three wide openings for the horse-drawn
fire engines and two side doorways beneath rectangular fanlights leading to passages along the boundary walls. The
pilasters support a continuous entablature. The main openings
were later blocked with brick panels containing large windows. Above are five evenly-spaced sash windows with recessed
frames and flat-arched heads of gauged brickwork, and a
continuous stone string-course at sill level. Over the windows
is a deep plain stucco entablature with shaped brackets supporting the cornice of the slate roof. The upper storey extends
over the front part of the building only. The rear of this block
is of brick, with irregularly-spaced sash windows above the
roofs of the single-storey extension, which is top-lit, of two
bays, and had a double gable with a low central doorway
flanked by sash windows. The door was later blocked and
replaced by a new entrance under the left-hand sash window.
Gable barge-boards project on the purlin ends.
The ground plan consists of two side passages flanking a
single space for the engines, which is partly obstructed by a
rounded stair-well. The beam supporting the back wall is
supported at mid-point by a cast-iron column with a capital
characteristic of Andrews. The upper floor, reached by two
flights of stone steps with cast-iron balusters, comprises four
main and two subsidiary rooms.
A contemporary cottage at the rear is of two storeys, each
of two rooms, with a straight staircase. It is of rendered brickwork with a pantiled roof.
(389) House, No. 46, built between 1822 and 1832 as a
public house (Baines' Map; YML, Subchanters Book 1847–65,
102–3), known as the Anglesey Arms in 1851 (OS Map), is of
two storeys, in brick; the tiled roof has been removed. A
garage has been formed in half of the ground floor.
(390) Houses, Nos. 48, 50 (Plate 149), are two small terrace
tenements of two storeys and attics, built by William Nelstrop,
bricklayer, between 1824 and 1830 (YCA, E97, ff. 189v, 248;
YG, 9 Oct. 1830). A carriageway has been opened through
St. Helen's Square (Monuments 391–393)
St. Helen's Square (Plate 2) was formed in 1745, when the
triangular graveyard of St. Helen's church, exchanged
for a new burial ground in Davygate (20), was levelled
and paved to give better access to Blake Street. Previously
a footpath from Blake Street to Davygate crossed the
graveyard, and Stonegate and Davygate ran down two
sides to meet the end of Coney Street at an angle known
as Cuckold's Corner. Houses adjacent to this corner and
facing the Mansion House were demolished in the late
18th century, and the rest of the S.E. side was set
back to create a regular shape after 1900.
(391) No. 1 (Plate 155), stone-faced, of three storeys
and basement, was built as the head office of the
Yorkshire Insurance Company in 1846–7 to the design
of G. T. Andrews (YG, 25 April 1846). The elevation to
St. Helen's Square is in an Italianate style based on
Sangallo's Palazzo Farnese in Rome, with rusticated
quoins and modillioned and dentilled cornice to the
main five bays, and a plain S.E. end bay with carriageway; the frieze is inscribed YORKSHIRE INSURANCE COMPANY ESTABLISHED MDCCCXXIIII.
Later dormer windows light the top floor. The side
elevation to Lendal is plain, with continuous sills, a first-floor band and a modillioned cornice.
The interior retains its moulded and enriched cornices, and
of note are the central ground-floor room with walls divided
into bays by moulded plasterwork, the first-floor former
Board Room with wall panels and ceiling rose, and a room
with door and window architraves enriched with pellets and
corner lion-masks. The main staircase has a cast-iron vine
(392) York County Savings Bank, No. 5 (Plate 153),
stands at the corner of Blake Street. The bank was
established in 1816 and acquired this site in 1829 from
R. Cattle (W. Camidge, York Savings Bank – Its History,
Formation and Growth, 1886). Previously there had been
a large timber-framed house at the corner, which was
included in a sketch by J. C. Buckler in 1814 (BM, MS.
36396, f. 114) (see Plate 2). In August 1829 tenders were
invited for a new building designed by the York
architects Watson, Pritchett and Watson. Work
commenced the same month and was completed in
March 1830 at a total cost of £4,691 for the site and the
building. The original appearance of the bank is shown
in a small engraving in the New Guide (p. 70), but the
positions of the doors were moved and the interior of
the ground floor altered in the early 20th century. There
was a proposal to refront the adjoining house in St.
Helen's Square, owned by Mr. Munby, in a uniform
style with the bank (YG, 1 Aug. 1829) but this was
apparently not carried out as intended. In 1924 an
extension on the N.W. side, fronting Blake Street, was
built where there had previously been a two-storey
house; it is possible that some of the older structure
remains behind the modern facade.
The bank is built of brick but is faced with a fine-grained
sandstone from Huddersfield, and has a slate-covered roof. A
rounded corner enables the two elevations, to the Square and
Blake Street, to form a single composition. The ground-floor
wall is faced with smooth rustication, except that below the
windows it has a horizontally-furrowed finish. The original
doors have been skilfully converted to windows, and the
existing later doorway, with segmental arch, occupies an
original window position. The first floor is articulated by
engaged monolithic fluted columns and plain pilasters of the
Corinthian order. Between the columns are tall round-arched
windows, now with plate-glazing. The 1924 extension continues the same elevational scheme but is three-storeyed.
Nothing original remains internally on the ground floor. The
former board room, on the first floor, has Corinthian pilasters
on the walls, and a coffered ceiling with transverse beams
decorated on the soffits with oak leaves and acorns in relief. In
the 1924 addition is a reset early 19th-century chimney-piece.
(393) House, No. 7, a tall narrow building of one
bay to St. Helen's Square with a longer return elevation
to Stonegate, was erected on a confined site against St.
Helen's church in the second half of the 18th century.
It has been extensively modernised and the original
staircase has been removed; the effects of bombing in
the Second World War necessitated the removal of the
fourth storey which had become unstable. The original
appearance of the building was recorded by Buckler in
1814 (BM, MS. 36396, f. 114) (see Plate 2) and by Thomas
Shotter Boys in 1837 (hanging in building); these views
show that it originally had a parapet above a modillioned
cornice, an unusual feature in York. Inside, the original
plan, which was restricted by the projection of the
westernmost angle of St. Helen's church, provided two
rooms and a staircase compartment on each floor.
St. Leonard's Place (Monuments 394, 395)
St. Leonard's Place connects Museum Street to
Bootham and was cut through the former site of St.
Leonard's Hospital. This extra-parochial area, known as
Mint Yard from the royal mint operating there intermittently from 1546 to 1698, was bought by York
Corporation from Lord Halifax for £800 in 1675. The
creation of a street 'for genteel private residences' was
first proposed in 1831 but no positive progress was
made until 1834. The street was thrown open to
carriages in 1835, although building continued until
1842. The barbican of Bootham Bar and an adjoining
length of the city wall and rampart were removed for
the northern end of St. Leonard's Place and at one time
the demolition of Bootham Bar itself was contemplated.
(394) De Grey House (Plate 100; Fig. 127), built for
William Blanshard to designs dated 1835 by P. F.
Robinson and G. T. Andrews (YCA, B50, 15 July, 1835;
Dwg. 55/958), was the only one of a projected terrace
of three to be built. Bought by York Central Conservative Club in 1909, it was extended to the rear in 1910
(YCA, Dwgs. 248/4580–2, 276/5131).
Built of brick rendered in 'Roman Cement' to front and
side, the house is of three storeys with basement and attics in
the slated mansard roof. The slightly curved three-bay front
elevation, and four-bay side elevation, have identical cornices,
bands and sills. The front elevation has cast-iron area railings
and steps down to the basement, and one window on each of
its floors was originally built blind. A single-bay, two-storey
rear wing was demolished in 1910.
Fig. 127. (394) De Grey House, St. Leonard's Place.
The interior, with five service rooms in the basement, three
rooms on the other floors, lateral staircase and axial chimney-stacks, retains many original fittings. There are several marble,
pilastered chimney-pieces, and the ground and first floors
have moulded cornices, the second floor coved cornices. The
first-floor front Drawing Room is the best appointed room
with enriched cornice and chimney-piece with sunk panels and
corner paterae. The staircase has a cast-iron geometrical
(395) Terrace, Nos. 1–9, of nine houses, was built on
99-year leases from the Corporation from 1834 onwards to designs by John Harper (Plate 154; Fig. 128).
The Recorder of York, C. H. Elsley, was responsible for
securing the adoption of Harper's design for the front
elevation and himself occupied No. 9. No. 1 was used
as a library, with internal fittings by Robinson and
Andrews and with offices beneath, and No. 5 was used
by the Yorkshire Club initially but later became a
private house. Private houses were built on the other
plots for Robert Davies, the Town Clerk (No. 8), for
George Willoughby (No. 7), for John Harper himself
(No. 6) and for Thomas Kirby (No. 2), and two plots
were built on by subscription. Despite the uniform
front elevation, the internal arrangements were left to
the individual leaseholders. Craftsmen employed included Richard Powell and Son, bricklayers, John
Bacon, carpenter and joiner, William Crabtree,
plasterer, Thomas Hodgson, plumber and glazier, C. J.
Hanson, painter, and Leonard Overend, slater. Thomas
Kirby supplied the bricks and the iron railings for the
forecourts; balconies and staircases were supplied by
Gibson & Walker; the houses were roofed with
Lancashire slate. The marble fireplaces bought for No. 1
from the Kendal Marble Works have not survived
(YCA, B50). Upon expiry of the leases, the terrace
reverted to the Corporation and is now used as local
Fig. 128. (395) Nos. 1–9 St. Leonard's Place.
The terrace, of twenty-seven bays, is of three storeys with
attics and basements. It is built on a curve and has a regular,
rendered front elevation with emphasised end and centre
features; the main elevations of Nos. 1 and 9 face Museum
Street and Exhibition Square respectively. The ground floor
has horizontal rustication and pilastered doorcases. The central
part has a porch with coupled pillars, as does the main elevation
of No. 9. The end and centre features break forward from the
main plane and are emphasised by paired giant pilasters extending over the first and second floors; their first-floor windows
are more elaborate than those of the rest of the terrace. The
first floor has cast-iron balconies and the second floor has
continuous bands at sill level. There is a moulded cornice
overall and the centre part has a raised parapet wall with
pilaster-like projections in which are set attic windows. The
rear elevations are irregular and of brick.
The houses had basement kitchens with ranges therein and
first-floor drawing rooms. Fittings include cast-iron staircase
balustrades (Plates 194, 195), decorative plasterwork including
Greek scenes in No. 6, and doors of four sunk panels. Original
fireplaces are of pilaster form and of wood or marble.
St. Sampson's Square (Monuments 396–403)
St. Sampson's Square, the former Thursday Market, is
now only an expansion at the N.W. end of Parliament
Street, cleared for a new market place in 1836. The old
name is first recorded c. 1250 and the present name (as
Sampson's Square) in 1818. Until the formation of
Parliament Street, the market place, 180 by 80 ft., was
entered at the four corners by Finkle Street, Silver
Street, Feasegate and Davygate, with lanes N.W. to
Little Stonegate, N.E. to Stonegate (Sadler Lane, now
Three Cranes Lane), and S.E. to Jubbergate by Starkthwaite Lane, now destroyed. The new Church Street
was made in 1835. The appearance both of the cross
erected in 1429 and of the market hall which succeeded
it and stood till 1815 are known (Ant. J., xliii (1963), 132,
Plate xxii; YAYAS, Report 1949–50, 35). Until the
building of W. P. Brown's department store in 1905,
timber-framed houses remained on one side of the old
market place. In 1852 seven of the tenements on the
surviving three sides were inns; two still function.
House, No. 1, see No. 1 Feasegate (157).
(396) House and Shop, No. 2, three-storeyed, of
brick with a pantiled roof, was described in 1789 as 'a
new-built Dwelling-house, consisting of a large Shop,
a Sitting-Room adjoining, a Kitchen behind the same,
above, an excellent Dining-Room, four good LodgingRooms, and a Garret' (YC, 14 April 1789). It was built
on the site of the Nag's Head Inn, also known prior to
1711 as the Cutt-a-Feather or White Horse Inn (West
Riding Registry of Deeds, D328, 559; H223, 274; YCA,
E93, 203; E97, ff. 250v–251v).
The shop front on the ground floor of the front elevation is a
mixture of 19th-century and modern elements, with an
entrance on the right. The brickwork above is similar to that
of No. 3, but there is a straight joint between the buildings.
The first and second floors each have three sash windows under
flat arches of gauged brickwork. The cornice, of small brackets
and dentils, overlaps the facade of No. 3. Attic space is obtained
by the use of a stub tie and diagonally-braced uprights supporting the principals. Fragments of a late 18th-century Chinese
fretwork balustrade remain.
(397) Melrose House, No. 3 (Plate 147; Fig. 129),
of three storeys, was built in the late 18th century by
Alderman Thomas Hartley, a brewer, on the site of The
King's Head Inn, which he bought in 1768 (YCA, E94,
f. 90v; E95, f. 176). The front, of four bays in good
quality Flemish-bonded brickwork, has a stone platband at the first floor and narrower bands joining the
window-sills of the two lower storeys; at the eaves is a
modillioned timber cornice. The entrance doorway,
with a semicircular fanlight, has a pilastered and
pedimented timber door-case. The windows are set
under gauged flat arches. The back, faced with poorer
quality brickwork, without bands or cornice, has a tall
round-headed window lighting the stairs. Inside, the
ground floor has been altered to a shop. The entrance
was originally in the second bay, and the entrance
passage had a large room to one side and a small room
to the other. The staircase, between the back rooms,
has cantilevered stone steps and straight cast-iron
Fig. 129. (397) Melrose House, No. 3 St. Sampson's Square.
(398) Former Golden Lion, p.h., No. 5, of three
storeys and attics, built of brick with slate and pantile
roofs, dates from the second quarter of the 18th century
but has been modified since. It was bought by Thomas
Crosby, innholder, in 1729 and was already called The
Golden Lyon (YCA, E93, 46).
The S.E. front elevation has a smooth stuccoed ground floor,
with two sash windows to the left and one to the right of an
early 19th-century doorway, with reeded pilasters and scroll
brackets supporting an entablature. Above a fascia strip, white
pilaster strips frame the rough-cast first and second floors, each
with three sash windows, under a modillioned eaves cornice.
The plan in the 18th century was L-shaped, with a staircase in
the angle between the two ranges. On the N.W. side is a late
19th-century wing of two storeys, extending further to the
rear and incorporating part of a timber-framed building in its
S.W. wall. The front range is divided into two rooms on the
first floor and three on the second floor. The 18th-century
staircase, surviving above first-floor level, has a close moulded
string, turned balusters with round knops, and square newels
with attached half-balusters.
(399) House, No. 6, of three storeys and attics, is of
mid 18th-century date, but may incorporate parts of an
earlier timber-framed building. It has an L-shaped plan
but the original internal arrangement has been much
altered. It was formerly part of the Golden Lion p.h.,
No. 5. Since at least the early 19th century, when it was
refitted, the rear wing has had a large room on each
floor, suggestive of a commercial use. The building is
now occupied by a department store.
The front elevation is of rendered brick, three bays wide,
with a modern shop front on the ground floor. The windows
have modern casements, and there is a bold timber cornice
with modillions. The rear wing is of 18th-century brick, but
the windows are of the 19th century. Inside, the ground floor
has been opened out into a single room, but some early 19th-century cornices survive. On the first floor the room in the
rear wing has early 19th-century fluted architraves with
corner roundels. The second floor retains some original
fittings including a fireplace with moulded stone surround.
The staircase has an open string and turned balusters with
square knops; the continuation up to the attic has reused
balusters of c. 1700. Certain cased beams on the second floor
may be survivals from the framing of an earlier building, but
the roof trusses, of principals and butt-purlins, are 18th-century.
(400) House, No. 7, now a shop, was built probably
in the early 16th century as a three-storey timber-framed building, two bays long, parallel to the street.
In the 18th century the jettied upper floors were cut
back and a new front wall was built of brick, with sash
windows. At the back, the main posts rise the full height
of the building and have upward braces to the wall-plate and tie-beams. The collar-rafter roof has sidepurlins supported by raking struts. In the S.W. corner
is a late 17th-century staircase with close strings, square
newels and bulbous balusters. At the rear is a 19th-century addition, also three-storeyed. By 1804 it was
known as the Punch Bowl p.h. (YCA, E96, ff. 30v-32).
(401) Three Cranes, p.h., No. 11, of three storeys, was
built probably in the 18th century, but has been drastically
altered. The back wall of the extension along Three Cranes
Passage was rebuilt in the 19th century.
No. 12, see No. 1 Church Street (94).
(402) Houses, Nos. 13, 14, were built c. 1835–40, of four
storeys, and have a two-bay front elevation; the side elevation
to Silver Street is less regular.
(403) House, No. 15, was built c. 1835–40; it is of four
storeys, with a two-bay elevation, but retains original sashes
on the second and third floors only.
St. Saviourgate (Monuments 404–413)
St. Saviourgate runs N.E. from Colliergate to Peasholme
Green. Its name, from the church, is attested first in
1368 but it was probably the Ketmongergate (fleshsellers' street) mentioned from 1175–1290. Its course
was apparently determined by the existence of the
marsh to the S., mentioned in documents from 1100.
Most of the buildings in the street, which contains the
Presbyterian chapel of 1693 (32), were rebuilt in the
18th century. Drake describes it as 'one of the neatest
and best-built Streets in the City, the Houses most of
them new'. It was widened in 1777. The disused church
is now overshadowed by the modern concrete block of
Stonebow House. Of the two impressive Nonconformist buildings which also stood in this street, only the
Centenary Methodist chapel of 1840 remains (24). The
even larger Salem Chapel (31), built in 1839 for the
Congregationalists, was demolished in 1964 and replaced
by the office block of Hilary House.
(404) Terrace of four houses, Nos. 1–7 (odd), of three
storeys, was built c. 1840, later converted into a department
store and is now used as offices. The walling is of common
brickwork, irregularly divided by brick pilasters, and with a
rounded angle at the junction with Colliergate. The ground
floor is entirely modern, replacing shop windows. The plans
of the houses vary to suit the irregular and restricted site: each
house had one or two rooms on each floor and a staircase, all
now removed, placed transversely at the back or between
front and back rooms. Of the original fittings only a few
moulded architraves (Fig. 9n, o) and some ceiling cornices
(405) Masonic Hall (Plate 156), built for The
Institute of Popular Science and Literature (formerly
The Mechanics' Institute) in 1845–6, to the design of
J. B. & W. Atkinson (YG, 21 June 1845), originally had
a lecture hall, news and reading room, class rooms and
library (Sheehan and Whellan, 1, 644). It was bought by
the Eboracum Lodge of Freemasons in 1883.
Brick-built with cellars, the building has a two-storey main
block with clerestorey and a short, two-storey S.W. side wing.
The three-bay front elevation of the main block is stuccoed,
with corner rustication, moulded bands and cornice. On the
ground floor, pilasters define side bays with three-light
windows and a central doorway, blocked in 1910. Above a
broad band formerly inscribed THE INSTITUTE, the first
floor has round-headed windows within rectangular frames
with corner rosettes, and a line of tall, but narrow, clerestorey
lights. The slightly recessed wing is more simply treated. The
interior has been altered on the ground floor and the rear stair
hall was rebuilt in 1969. On the first floor, the S.W. wing has
two rooms, one open to the original lecture hall which
occupies the whole of the main block. The windows of the hall,
formerly identical to front and rear, were blocked during
conversion to a Masonic Temple, but the shouldered-arched
recesses in the side walls and coffered ceiling remain.
(406) House, No. 27, narrow and three-storeyed, is dated,
on a rainwater head, 1763. At the front the ground floor has
been completely rebuilt in modern brickwork and the windows
above were enlarged in the 19th century. At the second floor
is a brick plat-band and at the eaves a timber block cornice
with dentils. The back part is roofed at right angles to the front
to give a gabled rear elevation. All the back windows are
modern. The interior has been modernised in conversion to
flats. The plan gave a front and back room on each floor with
a transverse staircase between them. The entrance passage
continues no further than the stair hall.
(407) House, Nos. 29, 31 (Fig. 130), is of three
storeys with a five-bay front, probably built in 1735,
the date on the rainwater head, and has a four-bay
extension to the N.E. with a rainwater head bearing the
date 1739. Modern extensions have been added to the
rear of the building. In the late 18th century the original
entrance doorway and eaves cornice were renewed. A
second entrance was made for No. 31, when the property was sub-divided in the early 19th century.
Fig. 130. (407) Nos. 29, 31 St. Saviourgate.
The front rooms on the first floor are lofty, giving only two
storeys and semi-attics, but at the back there are three full
storeys. In the original building, the middle bay breaks forward slightly and the first floor is marked by a brick plat-band.
The entrance (Plate 160) has a moulded and enriched door-case
with an open pediment over the fanlight and simple side
pilasters of Roman Doric type, with a heavy entablature above.
Both the first-floor front room in the original house and the
ground-floor front room of the extension have bolection-moulded panelling and elaborate plaster overmantels. The
staircase has close strings with turned fluted balusters and
square fluted newels (Plate 191). The doorways have moulded
architraves (Fig. 9c, d).
(408) Houses, Nos. 33, 35, and No. 10 Spen Lane
(Plate 149), three-storeyed and built as one unit c. 1770–
80, were considerably altered in the 19th century and
again c. 1964 for conversion to modern flats.
Each house has one front and one back room on each floor
with a staircase between them. The elevation to St. Saviourgate was symmetrical, with the entrances to Nos. 33 and 35
opening to entrance passages. In No. 10 Spen Lane the entrance, in the gabled end of the building, leads directly to the
stair hall. This house was also differentiated by having a closestring staircase, whereas the other two have open-string stairs.
(409) Houses, Nos. 16–22 (even) (Plate 4; Fig. 131),
were built as a terrace c. 1740. They appear in a sketch
by Nathaniel Buck in 1743, and an engraving of the
subject dated 15 April 1745, described as 'New Building
of several Houses in St. Saviourgate'.
The main street front, of three storeys over cellars and with
dormered attics, is built in good Flemish-bonded brickwork,
terminated at each end by flush stone quoins, and the storeys
are divided by stone bands. All the original entrance surrounds were replaced either in the late 18th or early 19th
century, and many of the sash windows were enlarged by the
lowering of the moulded stone sills and reglazed with plateglass in the second half of the 19th century. The bold eaves
cornice is supported on pairs of shaped brackets, with the heads
of the upper windows breaking into the fascia board. All windows have flat arches of gauged brick; those to the ground and
first floors have stone key-blocks and those over the entrances
have double key-blocks. The houses vary in size: Nos. 18 and
22 are of three bays to the street, No. 16 is of four bays and
No. 20 of six bays. Nos. 18 and 20 have interlocking L-shaped
floor plans; No. 18 has one room to the front and two to the
rear, whilst No. 20 has two rooms to the front and one at the
back. A ground-floor front room of No. 20 has been incorporated into No. 18.
All four houses have moulded architraves to the doorways
(Fig. 9e–h); the staircases are to the same design, with two
flights between floors and three turned balusters per tread. The
ground-floor rooms of No. 18 are fully panelled (Plate 173),
as is the front room on the ground floor of No. 16. Many of the
original fireplaces were replaced in the 19th century, but those
to the front rooms of Nos. 16 and 18, and in some of the upper
rooms, are original, though blocked. On the upper floors there
has been some rearrangement of doorways to the small closets
over the front entrance passages, and small closets have been
added at the backs with access from the half-landings.
Fig. 131. (409) Nos. 16–22 St. Saviourgate.
(410) House, No. 24 (Plates 4, 141; Fig. 132), of three
storeys with cellars and attics, was built probably in
1763; this date, with the initials of Marmaduke Fothergill, appears on a rainwater head on the front (Plate 181).
The front was altered in the early 19th century with a
new door-case to the entrance (Plate 161) and new
sashes glazed with single sheets of plate-glass to the
windows. The back has been largely modernised.
The front, of three bays with the entrance to one side, is
built in plain brickwork with painted plat-bands and timber
eaves cornice. The windows are set under arches of gauged
brick. The design is conspicuous for the unusual height of
walling between first and second-floor windows. At the back
is a small original three-storey projection to S.W. and two
round-headed windows, lighting the staircase, to N.E.
The plan is that of a normal town house, with one front
room, one back room and entrance hall leading to the staircase
behind. The small closet wing is reached from the back rooms.
On the first floor the saloon occupied the full width of the
front but is now divided. The staircase is designed without
newels and has turned balusters with mushroom knops. Most
of the rooms have good plaster cornices and in the main front
rooms these are elaborated with modillions and enrichment.
Some of the mouldings round doors and windows are also
enriched. The principal rooms have lost their original fireplace surrounds.
Fig. 132. (410) No. 24 St. Saviourgate.
Fig. 133. (411) No. 26 St. Saviourgate.
(411) House, No. 26 (Plates 4, 140; Fig. 133), of
good quality, was built c. 1725. It is shown on John
Cossins' plan of York of c. 1727 with a drawing of it in
the margin described as the house of Thomas Fothergill
Esq. It was still referred to as 'newly built' in Drake's
Eboracum of 1736 (p. 312). The ownership of Marmaduke Fothergill is commemorated by a rainwater head
dated 1740 with his initials.
The house is of two storeys with attics. The front, five bays
wide, has a moulded stone string-course at the level of the
first floor and a dentilled timber cornice at the eaves. The
central entrance was remodelled early in the 19th century but
the entrance to a side passage retains the original bolection-moulded surround and door with bolection-moulded panels
(Plate 159). The windows are set under flat arches of gauged
brick but the middle window on the first floor has a raised
eared surround. Small cast-iron guards were added to the first-floor windows early in the 19th century. The back of the house
is roofed at right angles to the street with a valley between two
gables; the rear fenestration has been much altered but there is
an original round-headed window lighting the staircase.
The plan with the staircase behind the central entrance hall
and a secondary staircase to one side is typical of many 18th-century houses of this class. The interior is generally well
fitted but without elaboration; some of the fireplaces and
panelling have been removed. The main staircase has open
strings and substantial turned balusters; the staircase window
is flanked by fluted pilasters with a Doric frieze. The secondary
staircase has close strings. An original fireplace surround and
remaining panelling have bolection mouldings.
(412) Houses, Nos. 30, 32 (Plate 4), are a pair, built in the
late 18th century. No. 30 has been altered for the formation
of a shop on the ground floor and No. 32 has been converted
to two flats. On plan each house has one front and one back
room with the staircase placed transversely between them and
reached by an entrance passage at one side.
(413) House, No. 34 (Plate 4; Fig. 134), is of three
storeys and two bays wide, built in brick. The external
appearance is consistent with the date 1780, which
appears on a rainwater head, but the house incorporates
a two-storeyed timber-framed mediaeval building of
four bays depth, to which a third full storey was added
in the 16th century. Although the exact form of the
original house is not now clear, it was obviously a
substantial building, even before it was heightened. It
was one of 'three tenements lying together', probably
built by Thomas Bracebrig between 1443 and 1465
(Yorkshire Deeds i, YASRS, xxxix, 188, No. 508;
Yorkshire Deeds iv, YASRS, lxv, 160–1, Nos. 543,
Fig. 134. (413) No. 34 St. Saviourgate.
Only the N. side wall of the timber-framed house survives in
any completeness, with posts of the two E. bays remaining.
The ground-floor room at the rear retains the original cross-beam, and the housings to the soffit show the positions of
braces, studs and two windows, of three and two lights. Some
encroachment on the site by the house to the S. is denoted by
the reduced width of the W. front room, illustrated by the
numbering of the joists. A blocked 15th-century doorway,
with an ogee-shaped head, remains in the first-floor E. back
room; it probably gave access to an adjacent building on the
N., now demolished. Housings for the common rafters of the
original roof to the two-storeyed building exist in the upper
side of the N. wall-plate. When this roof was removed, a
second wall-plate was placed above the original one, both
having scarf joints (Fig. 5b). The building was heightened by
placing short posts above the earlier ones. This added storey
was jettied towards the rear but, due to the rebuilding of the
street frontage in the late 18th century, no evidence remains
for the original form of the W. elevation. Only part of one
roof truss of the three-storey building survives; this has been
broken into by the formation of a chimney-stack in the 18th
century. It has a cambered tie-beam and a kerb-principal from
tie-beam to collar supporting a purlin, of 16th-century type.
St. Saviour's Place (Monuments 414–417)
The E. part of St. Saviourgate, continuing the line of
Spen Lane, is now known as St. Saviour's Place.
(414) House, No. 11, formerly the Red Lion p.h., was built
in 1826 (Historical Manuscripts Commission, 'Architectural
History and the Fine and Applied Arts: Sources in the National
Register of Archives', ii (1970), No. 2362). It was greatly
altered and converted to business premises in 1962 and a 19th-century double shop front from the Westminster Press Office,
Fleet Street, London, was inserted at that time. The building
is of three storeys with three bays to the S. front, and is of
brick with a Welsh slate roof.
(415) Houses, three, No. 12, one between Nos. 12 and 13,
and No. 13, of brick with pantiled roofs, date from about the
second quarter of the 19th century and, though similar in
style, are of different builds. No. 12 is three-storeyed and two
bays wide; No. 13 is of two storeys with attic and of three
bays on the ground floor but only two on the first floor. The
house between the two, of one bay and three storeys, has no
independent front door; in 1850 (OS) it was apparently part
of No. 13 but in 1961 was shown as part of No. 12. No. 13 has a
typical pilastered door-case with dentilled cornice and is built
in English garden wall bond, unlike the Flemish bond of the
other two buildings. All houses incorporate some earlier
brickwork on the rear elevations and all have gutters carried
on coupled bearers.
(416) House, No. 14 (Plate 142), was built probably c. 1775
as a manse for the Wesleyan chapel (25), erected opposite St.
Anthony's Hall in 1759. It is of three storeys and on plan comprises one room each side of a central entrance hall and staircase. The front retains the original doorway with a semicircular fanlight rising into an open pediment. At the eaves is a
timber block cornice. The interior retains many of the original
fittings, all quite simple. The staircase has open strings and
turned balusters with square knops.
Fig. 135. (417) Peasholme House, St. Saviour's Place.
(417) Peasholme House (Plate 112; Fig. 135), a
substantial free-standing house of three storeys and
basement, was built as a speculation in 1752 by Robert
Heworth, carpenter, who in March 1752 acquired from
Elizabeth and Richard Mosley 'a dwelling house with
stables . . . outhouses, gardens and orchards', and in
September of the same year mortgaged the 'new built
dwelling house, stable, outhouses, gardens' etc. The
house was let as a school from 1872 until its sale in 1884
to furniture removers, who erected a warehouse across
the front of it. After a period of dereliction, the warehouse was demolished and the house restored by the
York Civic Trust in 1975. Peasholme House is one of
the most distinguished houses in the city and may owe
its design to John Carr, with whose other houses it has
features in common.
The front elevation, of five bays, has plat-bands at the floor
levels and one joining the sills of the first-floor windows; at the
eaves is a timber cornice with dentils and modillions. At the
angles are stone quoins with alternate stones projecting (York
iii, Fig. 14). Flat arches over the windows have stone keys. The
central doorway is flanked by attached Ionic columns; these
carried a pediment which was completely destroyed and replaced by one of modern design. The back has brick plat-bands
and no stone dressings; the bands are not repeated on the ends.
Inside, most of the rooms have original moulded dado rails,
cornices and fireplace surrounds; the entrance hall and the E.
room on the first floor are more elaborately treated: the doorcases have eared architraves and cornices; the ceiling cornices
are enriched and the walls have plain sunk panels. The opening
from the entrance hall to the stair hall is flanked by Ionic
columns carrying a full entablature with enriched frieze. The
main staircase (Plate 112; Fig. 11t) has an open string and
turned balusters carrying a wreathed handrail, and is lit by a
Venetian window with fluted Doric pilasters. The secondary
staircase has close strings and square newels. A new staircase,
from first to second floor, has been put in over the entrance
hall. In 1975 a decorated ceiling from Bishophill House (York
iii, (38) Plate 154) was re-erected in the E. room on the