Shambles (Monuments 418–445)
Shambles, a narrow street running S.E. from King's
Square to Pavement, results from the infilling of a more
open area, perhaps after 1086 when the district is first
mentioned ('in macello'). Booths still existed in 1100 but
by 1240 the street had the name of Haymongergate and
was later called Nedlergate (1394). In 1426 both these
alternatives and the more usual name of the Great Flesh
Shambles, eventually abbreviated to the Shambles,
were used. There is a continuous tradition of occupation by butchers: in 1798 nineteen and in 1830 twenty-five out of eighty-eight listed in the city had shops here.
Now only two butchers' shops remain. St. Margaret
Clitherow, the wife of a butcher, lived in a house in the
Shambles. The churches of Holy Trinity and St. Crux,
at either end of the street, were demolished in 1936 and
1887. The picturesque appearance of the ancient
jettied houses almost meeting across the cobbled roadway now attracts tourists and the sellers of antiques,
souvenirs and luxury goods. The buildings on either
side have been generally restored by the city since 1950.
However it is only within the past fifty years that this
street, the last survivor of other equally picturesque,
though more squalid, York lanes, previously demolished without protest, has been thought either remarkable
(418) Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, are a group of three-storey
houses of varying dates, modernised in 1970–1 to give
a series of separate shops with a single suite of offices
No. 1 is of two dates. To E., a small two-storey two-bay
timber-framed structure is of uncertain date but perhaps of the
14th century. Its upper floor is jettied towards King's Square,
and the dragon-beam and joists with shaped ends, carrying this
floor, remain exposed. To W. is a three-storey building of the
second half of the 18th century. A room on the first floor is
lined with reused 17th-century panelling, and has a window
and overmantel flanked by Ionic pilasters.
No. 2, built in the first half of the 18th century, originally
had three hung-sash windows to each upper floor but was
altered in the 19th century.
Nos. 3, 5, formed a symmetrical pair of early 19th-century
houses, one of which was the Shoulder of Mutton p.h. in 1820
(YCA, E97, f. 98). The original transverse staircases between
front and back rooms remain.
(419) House, No. 6, narrow and of three storeys, was
built in the third quarter of the 18th century. The front
elevation is of mottled brick, with dark red dressings to
the quoins and the windows. The ground floor is taken
up by a shop front and both upper floors have one
hung-sash window with flat arch of gauged brick, that
on the first floor five courses deep and that on the second
floor hidden in part by the timber modillioned cornice.
The rear elevation has been refenestrated and in part
rebuilt but the original doorway remains.
The house is only one room deep with the staircase at the
back rising parallel to the street in one flight with winders
between floors. The original Chinese fret balustrade, with
ramped handrail, is almost identical to that in No. 78 Low
Petergate (351). An original fireplace with typical Adamesque
decoration remains in the first-floor room.
(420) House, No. 7 (Fig. 136), was built in the late
15th century. It is of three storeys, with the upper floors
jettied towards the street under the end gable, and
carried on moulded bressummers. The building was of
five bays, divided into three rooms, and was shortened
at the rear by half-a-bay in the 18th century. Much of
the original framing remains or can be inferred from
mortices. The main posts have projecting shoulders
under the main cross-beams of each storey and many of
the beams and wall-plates are enlarged at one or both
ends. The intermediate framing is of simple studwork,
with studs placed 1½ to 2 ft. apart and with upward and
downward braces. Some of the original 'wall-tile'
infilling remains. There were originally partitions
between the second and third and the third and fourth
bays. Part of the fourth bay is occupied by a brick
chimney-breast, inserted in the 17th century. An
original fireplace with four-centred head and stop-chamfered jambs remains on the first floor. Constructional evidence shows that the house was erected in a
space between two existing buildings.
The roof is of collared-rafter type with cambered tie-beams.
The front three trusses have crown-posts carrying a collarpurlin with a longitudinal brace at each end (Plate 130). The
other two trusses have queen-posts on the tie-beams.
(421) House, No. 8 (Plate 124; Fig. 136), built in the
first half of the 15th century, is timber-framed, of three
storeys with the upper floors of the gabled front jettied
to the street. The jetty of the second floor was raised in
the early 19th century and the internal floor levels
altered. The original building was two bays deep,
forming one room on each floor, and behind it was a
courtyard. The yard was built up in the late 16th
century with a lower two-storeyed timber-framed block
of two or more bays, a blocked five-light window with
ovolo-moulded wooden mullions surviving in the S.
wall. This block was curtailed to one-and-a-half bays
in the late 17th or early 18th century, when a third
block was built at the E. end of the messuage, probably
as a kitchen, since it had a large fireplace in its N. wall
with cambered and stop-chamfered bressummer.
The framing of the front block shows upward bracing with
two studs in each bay, main posts with enlarged heads, and
tie-beams and wall-plates with enlarged heads. The middle
range has similar framing of smaller scantling, some of it
unpegged. It was framed into the main posts of the front block
by attached brackets. The walls of No. 7 to N. and of No. 9
to S., both without studding, and the external plastering of the
corresponding stud walls of No. 8, show that the early front
block of No. 8 was built before Nos. 7 and 9, and that No. 7
was built before the middle block of No. 8.
Fig. 136. (420–424) Nos. 7–12 Shambles.
The roof of the front block is of collared-rafter construction,
probably altered in the 19th century. Repaired and drastically
altered 1961, when the rear building was demolished.
(422) House, No. 9 (Plate 124; Fig. 136), is timber-framed and of two storeys and attics. The front two
bays, gabled to the street, were built in the 15th century.
There may have been a third bay which collapsed and
was replaced in the late 16th century by a roughly-framed addition of two bays. Other buildings at the
back of the messuage have been demolished. A large
brick chimney-breast was inserted in the 17th century,
and the upper walls of the front were pargetted when
the level of the first floor was raised in the 18th century.
On the street front both upper floors are jettied. Above, the
walls have been refenestrated, and the first-floor jetty raised.
In the gable is a crown-post supported by curved struts, and
the roof is ceiled at collar level. The rest of the roof to the front
range appears to have been rebuilt in the late 16th century.
In the back addition the roof has been heightened and is
inaccessible. In the middle of the house is a late 17th-century
chimney-breast, retaining in the attic a brick fireplace with
chamfered four-centred head. Restored 1955 and later.
(423) Houses, Nos. 10, 11 (Fig. 136), originally one
building, are of two storeys with brick front and back
walls. The original layout is obscure, but probably
consisted of a two-storeyed block to the street with a
15th-century open hall of the same height at right angles
behind it. This open hall still survives, but the front
block was rebuilt in the first half of the 17th century.
The hall was converted into two storeys and the whole
building divided into two tenements c. 1730, when part
of the E. end was demolished and given a brick elevation. The houses were modernised internally c. 1790,
including the provision of two new staircases, and the
front was rebuilt in brick in the early 19th century.
The building, which was restored in 1956, was the home
of St. Margaret Clitherow, executed in 1586.
The front and back walls are gabled. Internally some of the
original timber framing remains and the back part retains part
of the 15th-century roof. This is of collared-rafter construction with side-purlins supported by braced struts. There are
also longitudinal braces from the struts to the purlins. Two
staircases with Chinese fret balustrades remained until 1956.
(424) House, No. 12 (Fig. 136), of two and three
storeys with attics, shows a development incorporating
three periods of timber-framed building. At the rear of
the site were the remains of a 14th or early 15th-century
house, probably T-shaped and having a forecourt to the
Shambles. In the late 15th century this forecourt was
built up with a three-storeyed house, the upper storeys
jettied to the street; then in the 16th century the front
range of the rear block was replaced by a range of two
storeys with semi-attics, abutting the rear wall of the
front block. The jetties of the front range were cut back
in the first half of the 18th century and replaced by a
brick elevation. Considerable alterations took place in
the 19th century and the whole range has been restored
and modernised in recent years.
The W. front is of pale brick with red brick dressings. There
are brick strings at first and second-floor levels and a moulded
and modillioned eaves cornice. At the S. end is an opening to
a passageway along the S. wall with an original four-centred
door head at the E. end. Considerable amounts of timber
framing survive on all floors. On the first floor a 17th-century
chimney-breast, containing a late 18th-century grate set within
a four-centred opening, had a plastered overmantel painted
with a royal arms of the Stuarts with supporters and garter
motto, and an illegible inscription (destroyed 1955). The
second floor contained a room of two bays open to the roof
with chamfered arch-braces to the central tie-beam. The roof
contains principal rafters with two purlins each side.
The middle block retains only some simple framing, whilst
of the rear block, the framing of the first-floor wall at the S.
end and the S. wall to W. of it were the only remains, and
these have been demolished in recent years.
(425) House and Shop, No. 13, timber-framed and
of early 17th-century date, was greatly altered in the
early 19th century when the front elevation was rebuilt
in brick and an attic formed. A two-storeyed brick
addition at the rear was mostly rebuilt in modern times.
The timber supports to a counter and the canopy of the
original open stall are incorporated in the present shop front.
Internally there are chamfered posts and transverse beams with
(426) House and Shop, No. 14, of two storeys with
dormered attic, was originally timber-framed but has
been so much altered and restored that its original form
and the significance of some surviving features are no
The front elevation, now of fine red brick in Flemish bond,
retains the sawn-off horizontal supports of a former counter
and, above, a wooden canopy carried on the ends of joists,
which project through the wall from the front room. The
first-floor window has a rendered flat arch, grooved to simulate
Inside, exposed joists run from front to back in the front
room and, in the third compartment from the front, part of a
timber-framed partition wall remains. A plank and muntin
partition in the attic probably surrounded an earlier stair; there
is now no fixed stairway up to the attic.
(427) House, No. 19 (Fig. 137), was originally
timber-framed, of three storeys, attic and cellar, with
two jetties to both street and back. It was built c. 1640
and consisted of two separate blocks joined together by
a narrow corridor containing the staircase, the three
elements being grouped around a central light-well.
In each block the wall to the light-well was of brick with
contemporary chimney-breast and windows.
Early in the 18th century the rear jetties were cut
back and replaced by a brick facade, and the front
jetties were treated in the same way in the third quarter
of the 18th century. In the early 19th century part of
the light-well was incorporated into the staircasecorridor, the lowest flight of the original staircase removed, and a new staircase inserted in the rear block.
The street front is of red brick in Flemish bond with plain
brick strings at first and second-floor levels. The ground floor
was remodelled in the 19th century; both upper storeys have
three sash windows with rubbed brick heads, all heavily
restored. The rear elevation is mostly built in stretcher bond,
all the sash windows having shallow segmental heads. There
are brick strings at the floor levels. The original early 17th-century door to the through-passage has recently been removed
and a modern extension added. Some of the windows retained
their heavily ovolo-moulded glazing bars until recently.
Every room has a ceiling beam and joists, all moulded except
in the ground-floor front room where they are chamfered.
Some fragments of 17th-century panelling with arabesque
frieze survive, now reset on the ground floor. The original
staircase has bulbous balusters and heavy moulded handrail and
string. It is considerably mutilated and now runs from first
floor to attic. A secondary staircase of early 19th-century date
has moulded newels with plain square balusters, and runs from
ground to second floor in the rear block.
Fig. 137. (427, 429) Nos. 19 and 21 Shambles.
On the first floor each room has an original moulded brick
window to the light-well, and on the second floor the rear
room has an early 18th-century window in a similar position.
Much of the timber framing is visible in the side walls. The
attic was designed for use and the roof has principal rafters with
(428) House, No. 20, of mid 18th-century date, is of
three storeys built of brick; it has a central staircase
between front and rear rooms.
Both front and rear elevations have first and second-floor
strings, with fenestration and other detailing much altered in
the 19th century. The front is built in Flemish bond, the rear
in English garden wall bond.
Internally the ground floor has been modernised, the back
room having originally been the kitchen. The staircase runs
the full height of the house. It has a moulded handrail, close
string, turned balusters with rounded knops, two to a tread,
and plain newels. On the first floor the front room was remodelled in the 19th century. It has a glazed corner-cupboard of early 19th-century date and a fireplace surround and
grate of c. 1840. The back room has a fireplace surround and
elegant hob-grate of early 19th-century date.
The second floor has been treated in the same way with an
early-Victorian fireplace and grate to the front room, and a
fine early 19th-century hob-grate with moulded and reeded
wooden surround in the rear room. The roof is of coupled
(429) House, No. 21 (Fig. 137), forms a separate
tenement within a large T-shaped block of early 18th-century date, comprising Nos. 21, 22, 23, 23½ the
Shambles and No. 1a Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate. In
1798 the house was occupied by William Jenkinson, a
saddler. By 1804, and probably earlier, it was in the
possession of the feoffees of St. Crux church, and the
occupant was Henry Bewlay, a butcher. Afterwards
it probably continued as a butcher's shop until recent
The two-bay front of three storeys in Flemish-bond brick is
part of a continuous frontage with Nos. 22, 23 (430). Above a
shop front there is a brick string at first floor, a stone band at
second floor and a moulded stone cornice. The two second-floor windows have red brick dressings, but a large Victorian
sash window has replaced the two on the first floor.
Internally the staircase is set centrally between front and
rear rooms. It rises in three flights and has a close string, turned
balusters of uniform height with round knops, and rectangular
newels with attached half-balusters. The moulded handrail is
(430) Houses, Nos. 22, 23 and 23½, formed one large
messuage in a block of early 18th-century date which
also included No. 1a Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate to the
E. and No. 21 Shambles to the N. It was bounded at
the S. end by the N. wall of the N. aisle of the nowdemolished St. Crux church. No. 21 was always a
separate tenement (see Monument (429)), and No. 1a
Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate, if not always so, must have
been separated off soon after it was built. By 1804, if not
earlier, the main messuage had, with No. 21, come
into the possession of the feoffees of St. Crux church,
and a few years later they also acquired No. 1a Whipma-whop-ma-gate. Between 1804 and 1824 it was
divided into three messuages; at the front were Nos. 22
and 23 Shambles, with which were incorporated the
second floor and attic of the rear wing, leaving the
ground and first floors of the rear wing as No. 1a
Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate. The subdivision of No. 23
into a shop (No. 23) and a house (No. 23½) dates to the
present century. The combined Shambles messuage was
occupied in 1784 and 1798 by George Nathaniel
Hotham, a merchant and haberdasher, and in 1804 by
Miss Hotham, presumably his daughter. From 1824
onwards No. 22 was occupied by a variety of trades,
whilst No. 23 was then occupied by William Thackray,
a butcher, a trade which has remained there ever since.
No. 1a Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate was occupied by
William Palmer in 1824, then by Richard Palmer, and
in 1865 by Solomon Wilkinson, all of them butchers.
Nos. 22 and 23 each has a two-bay front of three storeys in
Flemish-bond brickwork, forming part of a continuous
frontage with No. 21. Under the S. end of No. 23 a public
passage runs through to Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate. Over the
shop fronts is a brick string, with a stone band at second floor
and a moulded stone cornice. The first-floor windows, two to
each messuage, have red brick dressings and stone sills. Those
to the second floor are similar, but one is blocked. The S. end
is gabled with attic windows and chimney-stack; the second
floor and gable are of red brick, built up over the stone N.
wall of St. Crux.
Most of the rear elevation is masked by the rear wing, but
the S. end of it contains the passage-archway with a sash window in each upper floor. At the W. end of the rear wing is a
doorway to No. 23½. Above it, cutting the first-floor brick
string, is a tall round-headed staircase window, and above the
second-floor brick string a segmentally-headed sash window.
All its elevations contain sash windows as well as several
blocked windows with segmental heads.
Some of the rooms retain original panelling, cornices and
doorcases, but many of the present fittings are of early 19th-century date, including decorated iron grates. The two staircases, serving Nos. 22 and 23½, are set side by side at the W.
end of the rear wing. Both are of 19th-century date and have
the same design of plain balusters and moulded newels.
(431) House, No. 26, three storeys high and two bays wide,
had a stuccoed front elevation and pantiled roof. It was one of
two adjacent houses probably built for Alderman William
Redman, Mayor 1712–3, and his son Felix Redman, free in
1705 (YCA, E94, f. 211). Its early 18th-century staircase, set
between front and rear rooms, had a close string and bulbous
(432) Houses, Nos. 27, 28, were built in the early 19th
century. They are three-storeyed, with rendered brick walls
and slate-covered roofs, and have been extensively altered
(433) House, No. 30, of two storeys, is of brick and has a
pantiled roof. It was built in the 18th century but virtually
rebuilt c. 1952. On the front elevation are two first-floor
windows with key-stones and a rainwater head inscribed
(434) Houses, Nos. 31, 32, 33, form a two-storeyed
timber-framed range of tenements described in 1436 as
recently built (YCA, Memo. Book B/Y, f. 79) and stand
on land which had belonged to Nicholas Blackburn
senior, bequeathed to his executors by his will of 1421
(Raine, 186). The jettied and plastered front elevation
was altered in the late 19th century and the first floor of
No. 33 appears to have been raised at that time. An
original doorway with four-centred timber head survives between Nos. 31 and 32. The back wall has been
partly removed but some framing is exposed on No. 31.
The interior has been much altered. The roof construction, visible in No. 32, has collared-rafters supported by
side-purlins carried on braced struts. Behind No. 32
there was a two-storeyed timber-framed block aligned
at right angles to the main range and probably also built
in the 15th century. Before demolition c. 1955 it was
two-and-a-half bays long but had originally extended
further to the W. Some framing remained in the S.
wall which included a three-light timber mullioned
window. At the rear of Nos. 32 and 33 there are now
modern brick-built additions.
(435) House, behind No. 34, originally of two
storeys, was situated in a narrow lane parallel with the
Shambles and linked to it by several access lanes. Like
No. 32, it stood on land belonging to Nicholas Blackburn senior and was one of the tenements described as
recently built in 1436. It was of four or more bays, with
a central two-bay open hall on the first floor and a jetty
along the N.E. elevation to the lane. Prior to demolition,
only the two hall-bays remained, most of the framing
had been removed, and the interior had had the first
floor removed and had been converted into a slaughterhouse. The hall had a cambered tie-beam, and the roof
two purlins each side, the lower purlins supported by
curved struts from the tie-beam and the upper ones
clasped in notches in the collar. Demolished 1959.
(436) House, Nos. 35, 36 (Figs. 138, 139), partly of
two storeys, partly of three, is timber-framed. The
earliest part (Plate 135), set back some 13 ft. from the
Shambles, is a late 14th-century two-storeyed unjettied building with an open hall on the first floor. The
space in front was filled in by the addition of a front
room with a jettied upper storey in the late 15th century,
and in the late 16th century a long back wing, of three
storeys and jettied on one long side, was built, probably
replacing an earlier range. The earliest building was
erected on a site belonging to Richard Barneby which
by 1436 had become Minster property (YCA, Memo.
Book B/Y, f. 79). The association of the building with
St. Margaret Clitherow is incorrect.
The early building is divided into three unequal bays by
trusses carried on substantial wall-posts, c. 26 ft. high. The
ground floor, now used as a chapel, consisted of one room with
opposed doorways in the front and rear walls, providing
access to the jettied wing behind. A wave-moulded wall-plate survived along the N. wall until 1954. On the first floor
the S. end bay formed a narrow room. The other one-and-ahalf bays formed a lofty hall with a great open truss of heavy
scantling having an arch-braced cambered tie-beam (Fig. 138,
section b–b), set 3 ft. from the S. partition truss (Fig. 138,
section a–a). The timbers were heavily soot-encrusted. The
collared-rafter roof has braced crown-posts, carrying a collarpurlin (Plate 130). Some trusses have struts to the rafters,
crossing the braces, but there are no side-purlins. Along the
top of the E. wall the full bay of the hall contained a range of
unglazed windows with diamond-shaped mullions, and the
half-bay a three-light opening with square mullions, possibly
a smoke outlet. The back wing, formerly numbered 36,
which contained a staircase with splat balusters (Fig. 11c), was
demolished in 1954 and the rest thoroughly restored.
(437) Houses, Nos. 37, 38 (Plates 124, 135; Fig. 139),
a two-storey timber-framed structure of two ranges
beneath symmetrical gables to the street and three bays
deep, date from the late 15th century but were extensively restored and in parts rebuilt by York Corporation
c. 1950. A Northern Echo photograph, taken before
restoration, shows the two gables to the Shambles but
the different fenestration indicates that most, if not all,
of the first-floor framing has been renewed; evidence
for the internal arrangement of the building has also
been destroyed. It is not now clear whether the doorway
at the S. end gave direct access to the dwelling or
whether there was always a common lane here with
access to the dwelling being gained from the passageway. A drawing of 1832 (BM, Prints and Drawings
L.B. iii 217 (29a)) shows it leading to a passage to the
rear, as now.
Fig. 138. (436) No. 35 Shambles. (See Fig. 139 for plan).
Fig. 139. (436, 437, 439) Nos. 35–39 Shambles. (See Fig. 138
The ground floor has modern shop fronts and at the S. end
an original ogee-headed doorway (Plate 200) leads to a passage
to the rear. On the jettied first floor are curved braces from sillplate to posts and intermediate studs, and the post carrying the
wall-plate between the gables is double-jowled. The roof
trusses have cambered tie-beams, crown-posts with collars and
collar-purlins and curved braces from the crown-posts to the
tie-beams. The rear elevation of No. 37 (Plate 135), now filled
with brick, exhibits a similar pattern of framing; that of No.
38 is obscured by a modern extension.
(438) Slaughterhouse, behind Nos. 37, 38, was a
single-storeyed timber-framed structure, perhaps of
14th-century date, containing three or more bays, of
which two survived. Some of the wall framing remained, encased in later brickwork. Above straight
tie-beams the roof was of crown-post type with crossed
struts carrying a side-purlin. The crown-posts had
enlarged heads, but there was no collar-purlin. The
property can be identified as one of several, including
Nos. 32 and 34, which belonged to Nicholas Blackburn
senior. Demolished 1955.
(439) House, No. 39, now of three storeys to the
front and of two at the back, is externally apparently of
19th-century and modern dates but incorporates a
two-storey timber-framed structure of the 15th century.
The W. and E. walls of the earlier building have been
destroyed by the rebuilding in brick in the 19th century but
large parts of the N. and S. side walls survive and these, together with the ceiling joists and tie-beams on the ground floor,
indicate a building one bay wide and at least four bays deep
(see Fig. 139). Only one original roof truss, cut through in the
17th century for the insertion of a chimney-stack, remains
visible; this had a steeply cambered tie-beam with braces up to
a crown-post supporting a collar with no collar-purlin.
(440) House, No. 40, of three storeys in brick and
with pantiled roof, was built in the early 18th century,
possibly by Robert Clough, bricklayer, who obtained a
lease of the property jointly with Francis Swan, carpenter, in 1708 (YML, wf, f. 64), or by the subsequent
lessees, William Etty and William Mudd, carpenters,
who obtained the lease in 1725 (ibid., f. 268).
The front elevation, in random-bonded brickwork, has a
shop front at ground floor, a tripartite hung-sash window at
first floor and a narrower hung-sash window at second floor.
There is a two-course brick band at first-floor sill level and one
of four courses at second-floor level. On plan, the house has one
front and one back room with the chimney between them,
set to one side, with the staircase against it. The lower part of
the staircase has been removed. The upper part retains original
(441) Nos. 41, 42 (Plate 124), is a three-storeyed timber-framed building of three bays with a pantiled roof, of 15th-century date but heavily restored, situated on the corner of
Shambles with Little Shambles. It is jettied out in two stages
to N. and E., with the N.E. corner supported on dragon-beams. In the roof, a short crown-post clasps the collar-purlin
and has braces to the tie-beam and to the collar-purlin.
(442) House, No. 43, of three bays and three storeys
with shop fronts on the ground floor, was built in 1775
(YCA, E101) by William Fentiman, bricklayer, and has
been modernised in recent years. The front elevation
has red brick dressings to the window openings and a
continuous sill-band to the first-floor windows, but the
ground floor has been rebuilt. A bell-shaped rainwater
head bears the initials PA SP TY, two of them probably
identifiable as those of Mrs. Askwith, the occupant in
1775 (YCA, BD), and Solomon Preston, documented
as a butcher in the Shambles in 1741 (York City Pollbook). The timber rainwater gutter, carried on shaped
brackets, is 19th-century.
(443) House, No. 44, of 15th-century date, retains two
internal timber-framed walls. In the late 18th century the
jettied timber-framed front elevation was rebuilt in brick and
a new staircase inserted. It was modernised and partly rebuilt
(444) House, No. 45, is three-storeyed and was probably
built in the second quarter of the 18th century. The front
elevation, altered in the late 18th or early 19th century, is
rendered and has one hung-sash window on each upper floor.
The gabled rear wall had a small projection for closets which
has been removed recently. The interior is much altered.
(445) Houses, Nos. 46, 47, at the corner of Newgate,
were built c. 1740 by Benjamin Atkinson (YCA, E95,
f. 246; E96, f. 8iv), haberdasher, free in 1740 and
chamberlain in 1747–8, who is documented in the
Shambles in 1741 (York City Poll-book). They may
originally have formed a single house but were certainly
occupied as two dwellings by 1801. The building, of
brick with pantiled roofs, consists of a three-storeyed
block on the street frontage and a wing behind, of two
storeys and attics, which was probably a later addition
but was rebuilt in c. 1950. The front elevation is four
bays wide, has shop fronts on the ground floor and sash
windows with flat arches of gauged brick on the upper
floors; there is a plat-band of five courses at the second
floor and a modern timber eaves cornice. Most of the
interior fittings are late 19th-century or modern.
Silver Street, leading from St. Sampson's Square to
Jubbergate parallel to Coney Street and Patrick Pool,
is first named on the map of c. 1541 in the Public Record
Office (York III, Fig. 1). Its N.E. side is occupied by the
W. end of St. Sampson's church and its former graveyard, gradually encroached on or removed since 1336.
(446) Range of houses, on S.W. side of street, of
brick with a slate-covered roof, is of two storeys and
was built in 1841; it incorporated a new Police Station
which remained in the building until 1892 when new
premises were erected in Clifford Street (VCH, York,
466). The elevation is nine bays long, divided by
pilasters with simple capitals, but has been much altered,
although a few original sash windows remain on the
first floor. The short front to Jubbergate has a pediment
enclosing a bull's-eye, and two windows below flanked
by pilasters. The interior has been converted into shops.
Spen Lane (Monuments 447–449)
Spen Lane, from St. Andrewgate to Peasholme Green,
is first recorded in 1161–84 as Ispingail, 'the lane overgrown with aspens', a name sometimes corrupted in
the 18th century to Penny Lane. The house of Benedict
the Jew was here in 1190 and from c. 1260 to 1310 there
was a small house of Friars of the Sack in the lane.
(447) Houses, Nos. 1, 2, of two storeys and attics,
were a U-shaped building comprising a straight range
facing Spen Lane with a back wing to N. at each end.
The E. wing contained remains of timber framing,
probably of the early 17th century. The main range was
probably timber-framed originally but had been completely rebuilt in brick in the late 17th century. It retained an older collar-rafter roof in which some of the
collars had peg-holes for fixing crown-posts but these
had been removed and the roof had been reconstructed
with side-purlins. The W. wing had been mostly
rebuilt in the 19th century. Demolished.
(448) St. Andrew's House was built in the first half
of the 18th century as a small two-storeyed dwelling
with attics; it had two rooms to each floor and a small
projection at the back for a staircase. In the late 18th
century additions were built at the rear. The building
was further increased in depth by extensions in the early
19th century, and much of the interior was refitted,
including a new staircase. Considerable alterations
were also made to the S.W. front by the refenestration
of the first floor, the replacement of the entrance doorway and the addition of stucco.
(449) Range of four small early 19th-century tenements
converted to workshop use, has most of the fenestration on the
S. front blocked up with timber and a large carriageway
inserted in the second dwelling from the W. A warehouse was
added at the rear of the centre two dwellings before 1850.
No. 10, see Nos. 33, 35 St. Saviourgate (408).
Spurriergate (Monuments 450, 451)
Spurriergate continues Coney Street between Market
Street (the former Jubbergate) and Ousegate. The name,
derived from spurmakers who lived here in the late
15th century, is first recorded in 1538; previously the
street was still regarded as part of Coney Street. In 1613
it was called Little Coney Street or Spurriergate.
Widening of the street in 1770 to double its width and
again in 1841 has reduced the length of St. Michael's
church (13). As in at least six other cases in York, a
narrow row of houses was built in the churchyard on
its N.E. side in 1337, now represented by Nos. 22, 24
(451); another row to the S.E. has been removed. The
common lane down to the Ouse still exists, though
there is no longer a Fish Landing at the bottom end, as
in 1567. It is joined by the short Church Lane from
(450) Houses, Nos. 1–17 (odd), were of three and
four storeys, with tiled roofs. No. 1 dated from c. 1730,
the remainder were built as a result of a street-widening
scheme in and after 1769. Nos. 3, 5 and 7 represented
refronting and remodelling of timber-framed houses,
but Nos. 9–17 were built on cleared sites, No. 17 by
Henry Masterman (Guildhall, Parcel 344). Some of the
staircases and grates were contemporary, but most of
the internal fittings were of the 1820–30 period.
(451) Terrace, Nos. 4–24 (even) (Plate 156), consists of eleven four-storey houses with shops on the
ground floor. The frontages on this side of the street
were originally set further forward, and an Act for
widening the street was obtained in June 1840. Agreement for rebuilding was reached with the owners early
in 1841 (YCA, B2) and on 9 August the same year it
was reported to the Council that the improvement had
been completed. It does not seem possible that the new
houses could have been built so quickly but presumably
the old buildings had been demolished and the new
street line established. The houses were probably all
designed the same year and built soon afterwards.
No. 4 has a narrow frontage, one bay wide, a central
transverse staircase, and is distinctly lower in height than the
other houses. No. 6, also of one-bay width, was designed by
J. B. and W. Atkinson. The architects' drawings, dated March
1841 (Messrs. Brierley, Leckenby, Keighley and Groom) show
that it was designed as a public house for Robert Brogden Esq.
of Tockwith, though it is not identified as such on the 1852
OS map. Nos. 8–10 have a three-bay elevation, with a large
moulded band just below the third-floor windows. The other
houses have very plain fronts, with windows at uniform
levels; they are of painted brick except for No. 20 which is
rendered. Nos. 22, 24 are bounded at the rear by St. Michael's
churchyard and have a much more restricted site, little more
than one room deep. They occupy ground that was also
originally part of the churchyard until built over in 1337 with
houses to provide rents for the endowment of a chantry at the
altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The wide street cut through in an arc from Pavement to
Peasholme Green in 1955 was at first to be called Stonebow Lane after the lane on its site, which ran N.E. from
Fossgate to Hungate. This lane, first mentioned in 1276
and called Whitefriar Lane in 1471, adjoined the N. wall
and gateway of the Carmelite Friary, moved to this
area from outside the city walls in 1295. It was named
from 'le Staynebowe', 'the stone arch'. Whether this
arch was a Roman structure, perhaps part of a vaulted
sewer, a post-Roman bridge, or even the arched basement of a house, is unknown. At Lincoln the name refers
to the S. gateway of the city.