Houses
Piccadilly-St. Saviour's Place

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English Heritage

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1981

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199-212

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'Houses: Piccadilly-St. Saviour's Place', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5: Central (1981), pp. 199-212. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=126006 Date accessed: 20 August 2014.


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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.

N.E. side:

(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.

S.W. side:

(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 grates inserted.


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 basement.

(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 appearance.

N.W. side:

(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.

S.E. side:

(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 occupation.

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 No. 48.

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 scroll balustrade.

(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.

N.W. side:

(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 balustrade.

S.E. side:

(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 authority offices.


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.

S.W. side:

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 balusters.


Fig. 129. (397) Melrose House, No. 3 St. Sampson's Square.

N.W. side:

(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).

N.E. side:

(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).

S.E. side:

(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.

N.W. side:

(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 survive.

(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.

S.E. side:

(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, 544).


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.

N. side:

(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.

S. side:

(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 ground floor.