An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 4, Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1975.
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(11) The King's Manor (Frontispiece, Plates 53–76) stands E. and S.E. of the abbey church of St. Mary; it represents the mediaeval abbot's house adapted and enlarged as the headquarters of the Council of the North, and now forms a part of the University of York.
The historical part of the text which follows is largely based on the account of the King's Manor by H. M. Colvin which will appear in volume iv of the History of the King's Works. The parts of the building are identified by letters A to K which are shown on the plan in the pocket at the end of the book. For the sake of clarity the buildings are described as though they lay on an E.-W. axis corresponding to the liturgical E.-W. of the abbey.
The Abbot's House. The first house on this site was almost certainly built c. 1270 for Simon de Warwick, Abbot of St. Mary's in 1258–96. Late 13th-century plinth mouldings, similar to those of the abbey church, still exist in enough places to suggest that the house was U-shaped and of the same extent as the later mediaeval rebuilding. The surviving 13th-century work is of white magnesian limestone ashlar and is confined to the lower storey; it does not appear on the E. elevation. It is likely that this represents a stone-built lower storey which had timber-framing above, as at St. Anthony's Hall, York, a building of the 15th century where the timber-framing was all replaced by brick in the 18th century, and in the Hospitium of the abbey. The quantity of reused heavy timbers to be found in parts of the flooring may be further evidence of such construction.
The house as it now exists is mostly a rebuilding of the late 15th century. The work, usually assigned to Abbot William Sever (1485–1502), was begun by his predecessor Abbot Thomas Boothe to whom a Crown licence was given on 30 September 1483 to retain Richard Che(r)yholme, bricklayer, and his four servants as long as it should please him (BM Harleian MS. 433, f. 119v). Cheryholme had been admitted to the freedom of the City of York as a 'tyler' in 1481/2 (SS, xcvi, 204); Cherryholme is a place near Drax, by Selby, and the centre of a brick-making district. The building work was continued by Abbot Sever until his translation to the bishopric of Durham in 1502 when he promised to pay workmen who were still owed money for work done during his abbacy (YCA, Memorandum Book B/Y, f. 173b). The walling of the new work was all of brick above a stone plinth. The windows were framed in terracotta under brick labels and relieving arches (Plate 59), probably the earliest use of terracotta in England. The late 15th-century house faced inwards to the three-sided courtyard open to the W. (Plate 57). Contemporary floors and roofs remain in the side ranges (Plate 63), the roofs being originally ceiled but without attics; the roof of the main range met the roof of the cross-wings with hips, not gables.
Dissolution. The Council in the North. The Abbey of St. Mary's, York, was formally surrendered on 29 November 1539 (Lamp;P Hy VIII, xiv, ii, 213, no. 603) and on the 17 December 1539 the Council of the North wrote to Cromwell asking him to thank the king for allowing them to use the house 'which of late was called St. Mary Abby without the City of York' (Lamp;P Hy VIII, xiv, ii, 258, no. 698). At first little would need to be done to the abbot's house except repairs.
The accounts of Leonard Beckwith, receiver of the revenues of the lands of the dissolved monasteries in Yorkshire, show that in 1539–40 £58. 3s. 9d. were spent 'on divers buildings within the site of the monastery of St. Mary's York now called the King's Manor, which are reserved for the King's councillors in the North ... as appears by a book of particulars made by the Bishop of Llandaff and other members of the Council' (PRO, LR 6/121/2).
More extensive alterations were called for in 1541 when Henry VIII visited York in company with Queen Katherine Howard and lived here for twelve days (Drake, 128; Knight, 366). Beckwith's account for 1540–1 shows that £8. 10s. 2d. was spent on 'dighting and cleansing' the Manor before the King's arrival, but the main outlay was entrusted to Clement Throckmorton, an official of the Court of Augmentations. It was he who was responsible for 'repairing and beautifying' such houses 'as the king intends to resort unto in his progress', including York, Leconfield and Hull. For this purpose he received at least £833. 6s. 8d. of which £400 is specifically stated to have been for works at 'St. Mary's Manor' (PRO, Lamp;P Hy VIII, xvii, 135–6; LR 6/121/2). Two windows with hollow-chamfered members and set in reused ashlar may be of this date.
A survey made shortly before the death of Henry VIII in 1547 shows that many of the abbey conventual buildings still remained; it describes the church as roofless and lists as 'uncovered' most of the former monastic buildings. The abbot's house is not mentioned by name but may be represented by a block of habitable rooms listed as 'the hall, the chapell, the great chamber, the chamber over the great chamber, two litill chambers, a privie kitchen, two chambers over it, all under one roof covered with leade' and measuring 34 yards long and 14 yards broad. It is difficult to reconcile this with the present house, but the main E. range is 103 ft. long inside and the width across this range and the porch is about 42 ft. Here three fothers of lead were needed to repair the roof. One of the few buildings to be listed 'in good state' was the gatehouse by St. Olave's church, together with a chamber in or adjoining it occupied by Robert Chaloner, a member of the Council. A range of timber-framed stables 60 feet long and 24 feet wide is noted as having been 'newe amended by my Lord President's commandment' (PRO, E. 101/501/17).
It has always been supposed that Henry VIII ordered a palace to be built between the abbot's house and the river and that it was ruined a few years later (Davies, 4, 5). Foundations that could belong to this building have been found in excavation (Wellbeloved, St. Mary's Abbey, 9, 11, 14), but the architectural features of the outer W. range, K, usually supposed to be built at this time, suggest that c. 1600–20 is the correct date for it.
In November 1549 the Privy Council directed the under-treasurer of the Mint at York to issue £30 to be spent on repairs by the Earl of Shrewsbury (a member of the Council in the North) and authorised the expenditure of a further £30 'in cace it shall appere unto the said Erle that the said £30 is not sufficient' (PRO, APC, ii, 363). The money was to be paid to John Harbert, appointed Keeper of the Manor in 1543 (Lamp;P Hy VIII, xviii, i, 546).
In 1550 the Augmentations prepared to pull down the S. aisle of the abbey church, the dorter and the refectory, and were barely prevented from laying their hands on the Manor itself. As it was, 'the chief Wyndowe of the Kings Mats owne bed chamber was damaged' and 'such spoyle and defacing [was] made in divers parts of his highnes said palace, that hit wold greve any man to see it' (College of Arms, Talbot Papers B 216. Letter dated April 1551). A similar protest must have been addressed to the Privy Council, for on the 15 April 1551 that body gave directions for a letter to be written to 'Mr Chancellor of th'Augmentations that the Kinge's Pallaice at York be no further defaced' (PRO, APC, iii, 261).
When in 1562 the possibility of a meeting between Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots was being explored, the Lord President (the Earl of Rutland) told William Cecil that the palace was not fit for the purpose 'as it has been so defaced that only one large chamber remains'. Some new building had been begun 'as will appear by the plat thereof sent by the bearer' (CSP Foreign 1562, nos. 215 and 218), and between 1561 and 1563 the Earl of Rutland received £380 for the work (PRO, Receivers' Accounts Yorkshire, SC6 Elizabeth I/ 1740–1). This new building, E (Plate 67), continues the line of the main range of the mediaeval house to the N. and is the earliest surviving addition.
That new buildings were being added perhaps as early as c. 1560 is recorded elsewhere, for on the 8 September 1570 Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex (President 1568–72), wrote to the Council: 'By order of Her Majesty I caused £200 to be received of the receiver of Yorkshire for finishing buildings begun by the Earl of Rutland [Henry Manners, 2nd Earl, President 1560/1–1563] and the Archbishop of York [Archbishop Thomas Young, President 1563–8], when Presidents, at Her Majesty's house in York, and have caused the money to be so employed. Understanding from the Council that the £200 is disbursed, that money is still due to certain workmen, and that a gallery has yet to be tiled, and with two other chambers ceiled in the roofs,— which will finish the whole work begun, and unless done before winter, the vault which is over the gallery will be in danger of falling, as the rain has already begun to pierce it. [This vault was probably in plaster.] I beseech your warrant to Sir Thomas Gargrave, Receiver of Yorkshire, and others, to take account of the £200, pay the overplus due, see what remains to be finished and disburse the premises, either of the revenues of Yorkshire or of the fines of the rebels, which being done with small charge now, Her Majesty shall have a convenient house for her President, and sufficient for a lodging for herself, if occasion shall draw her into those parts. If it not be presently done, the cost already bestowed will be lost, the like will not hereafter be done without a far greater sum, and the house will remain unfit for any nobleman that holds that place. ... £200 or £300 at most will pay all that due and finish the rest; £150 is already due' (CSP Dom. Add. 1566–79, 318, no. 6). On the 10 September 1570 the Earl of Sussex told Sir William Cecil that he had written to the Council (ibid., 319, no. 8). Between November 1568 and April 1570 he had spent over £400 on the house (PRO, E 101/501/16) and had been authorised to take 100 oaks from the Forest of Galtres.
The works were completed between November 1568 and April 1570 with John Hilton as 'clerk surveyor' (PRO, E 101/501/16). In April 1569 Sussex pleaded in vain for a warrant for a further 100 oaks. The Queen's Highness he was told 'layeth away her owne Buildings, by reason of the grate charges', and would not be pleased if any but essential repairs were carried out at her house in York (letter from the Marquis of Winchester to the Earl of Sussex printed by L. Howard, A Collection of Letters of Many Princes, great Personages and Statesmen (1753), 216–17). Eventually the Council allowed a further outlay of £260 from the fines imposed on the rebels of 1569, and the work was completed, but Sussex was still out of pocket to the extent of £89 (PRO, E 101/501/16; SP 46/14, ff. 1180–1).
In addition to the new building the mediaeval house was largely refenestrated at this time, the characteristic window having hollow-chamfered brick mullions, transom and reveals, plastered to simulate stone. The windows which Radcliffe put in on the first floor facing the court have labels joined to form a continuous string but this does not reach to the ends of the side ranges (Plate 56). The end of the string coincides with the position of a wall which closed the W. side of the court, as is shown on a drawing by Place. This wall can hardly have reached up as high as the top of the upper windows but some projecting feature on this line must be presumed to have provided a termination for the string. The enclosing wall survived till 1822 (Hargrove, iii, 578–9; A. Smith's plan in Baines' Directory, ii (1823)) but it does not appear on the plan of the YPS excavations of 1827–8. The central part of the mediaeval house was probably altered when it was refenestrated, for there is plaster of this date in the present roof space above the ceiling. At this time also a porch was built in the N.E. corner of the courtyard with re-use of sections of 13th-century plinth (Plate 57).
Earl of Huntingdon. There is little record of building work in the time of Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon (President 1572–95), but he formed a Council Chamber (Plate 64) on the first floor, partly in the W. end of the N. range of the mediaeval house (C on plan) and partly over the adjoining mediaeval kitchen (D) into which he inserted the present floor. A frieze in the Council Chamber (Plate 65) contains Huntingdon's own bull's head crest within a Garter (granted 1570) and the Bear and Ragged Staff badge for his wife, Catherine (Dudley) (GEC, Complete Peerage, vi (1926), 657). The bay window to the room is probably also of this period. The room had been divided by 1682 but it was opened up again later. The use of the upper part of the mediaeval kitchen to form part of the Council Chamber did not mean that the kitchen could not continue in use, for it still had a fireplace with a flue.
Huntingdon also erected a building along the S. precinct wall of St. Mary's Abbey, for on the 22 June 1580 it was 'Agreed that my L Psident shall have a license to set Butteries upon the moat without Bothome barr, in the occupacon of John Farley, nere the mannor, and he is to pay therfore yearlie ...' (YCA House Book, B 27, 243) and on the 15 July 1580 it was agreed that the Lord President should have a lease for 100 years of 'a parcell of the moate of the Walles of this Cittie nighe unto Bothome barr, to set four pillowes upon, nighe adjoyninge to a newe building in the Mannor garth, and he to pay for the same yearlie xijd' (YCR viii, YASRS cxix (1953), 36). In the undercroft of the S. range (J) one jamb of a window, set in a wall which bears no relationship to the present building, is presumably a relic of Huntingdon's building. Speed's map of 1610 shows a range along the abbey wall. William Foster, Free of York in 1570/1 (SS, cii, 13) was described in 1577 as the Lord President's mason; he may have been in charge of Huntingdon's works.
Lord Sheffield. James I, on his first visit to York in 1603, is said to have ordered the house to be embellished (Drake, 574). On the 3 September 1609, Edmund, Lord Sheffield (President 1603–19), applied to the Exchequer for 500 marks a year for the repair of the King's Manor and Sheriff Hutton Castle (CSP Dom. 1603–1610, 534, no. 72, 541, no. 5), and the Lord Treasurer asked for an estimate. The estimate, duly presented on the 17 December 1609 (ibid., 573, no. 71; Davies, 18–19), is important for it details the buildings already existing: in the following extracts an attempt is made to identify the various sites. Work is recommended to the great chamber, the dining and drawing chambers, the seven chambers above them and the passages to the chambers and half paces [the central and S. ranges of the mediaeval house (A, B) and, if this be so, it is important to note that that main rooms were on the ground floor]; the north galleries with four chambers at the east end and vaults and parlours under them [probably the N. range of 1570 (E)], the galleries next to the cloister, with four chambers at the E. end and five parlours beneath [probably the N. mediaeval range (C)]; the passages and stairs between the two galleries [not identified]; the old Hall kitchen and paistry, etc. six rooms [the W. end of the N. mediaeval range (C)]; the larders with three chambers over them, the granary, bakehouse and stables [probably removed]; the new kitchen and the building of a new Hall [the S. range (J)]; the parlours and chamber at the north end of the tennis court and the parlour and chambers next the garden [probably removed] (cf. YAJ, xxxvi, pt. 143 (1944), 374–8); and the gatehouse roofs and eight parlours and chambers [the main abbey gatehouse, which stood intact until 1705].
The total estimate amounted to £758. 19s. 4d. and on 28 June 1610 it was approved by Simon Basill, the Surveyor of the King's Works (CSP Dom. 1603–1610, 573, no. 71), but not until the 4 July 1616 did Sheffield receive a grant of £1000 towards the expenses (CSP Dom. 1611–1618, 379, no. 4). In 1616/17 Sheffield received £3500 for work (Receivers' Accounts Yorkshire). Craftsmen concerned were Thomas Brinsley, mason, George Wilson, free of York 1598, carpenter, Thomas Sell, bricklayer, and John Tayler, tyler.
Buildings erected for Lord Sheffield include three with a characteristic moulded plinth; these are the inner N. range (F) doubling the width of the range of 1570, the central N. block (G) (Plate 53) and the outer W. range (K). The new kitchen referred to in the estimate above was not newly built by Lord Sheffield but was so called to distinguish it from the old kitchen, and the tiles, laths, nails and lead required make it clear that it was to be re-roofed. The building of a new hall must have been a more drastic reconstruction; it included £50 for stone and £50 under workmanship for rough work, windows and chimneys. It would appear to have been a remodelling of Lord Huntingdon's S. range but not extending so far W. as the present dining hall, according to a plan dated 1682 in William Salt Library, Stafford (Dartmouth MSS. D 1778/iii/02). Sheffield was also responsible for linking his new hall to the original N. range by a single-storey gallery which now forms the lower story of the central range (H, Plate 69); the stone frieze now at first-floor level must originally have been at the base of the parapet and a similar frieze is seen in 17th-century drawings at the head of a lofty bow window on the W. side of Sheffield's outer W. range. It is probable that Lord Sheffield also provided the two elaborate carved stone doorcases, now both on the E. elevation but one of which was described by Hargrove (iii, 578–9) as facing the courtyard. To Sheffield also can be attributed various fireplaces with jewel ornament (Plate 66). He remodelled the mediaeval house, altering the floor levels in the central block and improving the outside to present a pleasant façade to the garden for the visit of James I in 1617. There is only one mediaeval truss left, and plaster at the top of the walls within the roof space provides proof of Sheffield's alterations, which could only have been possible after the provision of a new hall.
Earl of Strafford. The last great building period in the King's Manor was during the time of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford (1628–41). On the 31 October 1628 at about 10 a.m. a fierce wind blew down seven chimney shafts on the roof of the King's Manor and the eldest son of the Vice-President, Sir Edward Osborne was killed (Benson, iii, 11).
In 1633 a letter from Wentworth to the Earl of Carlisle who was staying at the King's Manor says 'the house you will find much amended since my coming to it and £1000 more to build a gallery and a chapel in that Place where you may perceive I intend it will make it very commodious' (W. Knowles (ed.), The Earl of Strafford's Letters, i (1739), 85). In 1634 £1712. 19s. 7d. was allowed out of distraint for knighthood in the five northern counties 'circa nova edificia de le Manner House' (PRO, E 101/668/9, m3). In 1637 the J.P.'s for the North Riding reported that their area had not contributed to the Manor repairs but had supplied timber and other materials (CSP Dom. 1637, 348, no. 7; 1638–9, 99).
Charles I was in York at the King's Manor in 1633 and 1639. In a letter of August 1639 Wentworth wrote 'there is a Gloria Patri sung at St. Mary Abbey, so as the Pillars in the Kitchen now may hope to have the Honor to become the Pillars again of a Church as formerly they were' (Strafford's Letters, ii, 381). From this it appears that Wentworth intended to remodel Sheffield's hall to form a first-floor chapel over the kitchen. At the E. end he added the external staircase and the doorway with the arms of Charles I over it (Plate 68). He put new windows in the hall itself and from the W. end of the hall he provided new access to the N. range by building a second storey upon Sheffield's gallery (H, Plate 69) across the S.W. side of the court. He inserted a new doorway with his own arms over it into Sheffield's gallery, which survives to form the central feature of the range (Plate 76).
Sir Henry Savile, who was Vice-President of the Council under Wentworth, was nephew to Henry Savile, Warden of Merton College Oxford, who introduced Halifax masons to Oxford. Possibly a similar introduction by the nephew might account for some West Riding vernacular features at the Manor.
The Civil War and Later 17th century. The Council of the North was abolished in 1641, after which there were no major additions made to the Manor until the 19th century. The place was in the forefront of action during the siege of York and at least one range, the outer one to the W. (K), was half demolished.
On the 18 June 1644 both the Earl of Manchester and Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax, wrote to the Committee of both Kingdoms at Derby House to say that the previous day the Parliamentarians had sprung a mine which blew up the corner tower of the abbey precinct wall on Bootham. Manchester's Major-General had attacked the manor house and captured 100 but he had been beaten out with the loss of 300 men (CSP Dom. 1644, 246).
The Manor was surrendered on the 16 July 1644 and on the 4 August 1645 Stephen Watson and two other aldermen were asked by the Committee of H.M. Revenue sitting at Westminster to make an Inventory of goods in it (CSP Dom. 1645–1647, 42). On the 26 October 1653 the Council of State ordered Colonel Beckwith to take care of the King's Manor which had been spoiled and wasted (CSP Dom. 1653–4, 217). On the 17 June 1656 the Council of State ordered that Colonel Robert Lilburne should receive £400 for repairs, and the Lord Mayor Thomas Dickenson and Ralph Rymer were to say what repairs were necessary (CSP Dom. 1655–6, 376, nos. 14, 15). By the 7 August 1656 Robert Lilburne's promotion to Major-General obviously required his services elsewhere, and the £400 was to be paid to Humphrey Harwood of York, who was to authorise Ralph Rymer to pay the workmen for repairs (CSP Dom. 1656–7, 64, no. 14). The King's Manor was thus put in order and kept habitable during the Commonwealth.
On 14 June 1662 Humphrey Harwood was still living in the Manor (CSP Dom. Add. 1660–1685, 69). Henry Darcy, who became keeper in May 1665, obtained a warrant for £400 for repairs in 1666 (PRO, SP 44/14, f. 59; T 48/32, f. 156v); his account survives in a damaged condition (PRO, E 101/529/5). It relates to work in 'the Presence Chamber, the Withdrawing Room, the Belcony Chamber, the King's Chamber, the Matted Chamber, the Wainscot Chamber and the Councell Chamber'.
In 1667 the Manor became the official residence of John, Lord Freschville, Governor of the City of York (Drake, 574). In 1671 and 1672 Lord Freschville was seeking money for repairs, not above £100, as he was living in part of the Manor and had 30 persons in his family (CSP Dom. 1671–2, 275). In 1675 the Treasury allowed £150 for repairs; old material could be used (Cal. Treasury Books 1672–5, 335, 840).
An important drawing by Jacob Richards (William Salt Library, Stafford, Dartmouth MSS. D 1778/iii/02) gives the plan of the Manor in some detail and is associated with 'An Accompt of His Majesties Goods now Remaineing in the Manor-house at York taken by the Honourable Sir Christopher Musgrave Knight, Lieutenant General of His Majesties Ordnance ye 19th October 1682' (for more detail see RCHM, York II, The Defences). The plan shows that the hall built for Lord Sheffield in the S. range extended no further than the S.W. corner of the front court where it met the gallery (H); Wentworth proposed to make it into a chapel, but on this plan it is called The Councill Chamber. Access to it is from the S. end of range H and from the external staircase from the court. The previous Council Chamber (the Huntingdon Room) had been divided into two smaller rooms.
The outer W. range (K) is shown joined to the central range (H) by a gallery across the inner court, which has since been removed leaving scars on the central range (Plate 70). A plan by Archer of the same period shows also a second building connecting the central and W. ranges, along the S. side of the inner court, in continuation of the Council Chamber block. Of the outer W. range Richards says it 'never was finished within, but the roof was and covered with panntiles wch. were afterwards taken off by a certain Governour and sould for his majes. use but the money he kept for his owne, and left the timber to shift for it self. Under this house is a stately arched cellar the length of it' (Plate 73).
In the late 17th century when the Manor was the Governor's residence the hips at the ends of the mediaeval building were replaced by tumbled gables (Plate 55) and the central block on the N. side (G, Plate 53) was heightened, perhaps in 1682 when Sir John Reresby, Governor of York, spent about £200 on work at the Manor (J. Cartwright (ed.), Memoirs of Sir John Reresby (1875), 374, 378, 386–7). On the 27 October 1687 the Treasury asked John Fisher, the Deputy Surveyor General of Crown Lands, for details of the Manor so that it could be released to Francis Lawson, one of the King's chaplains, for 31 years. He was to pay 20 nobles a year to the housekeeper in place of the King. Fisher gave his report on the house and 13 acres of land and pointed out that Sir John Reresby regarded it as a perquisite of his Governorship (Cal. Treasury Books, VIII, 1685–9, iii, 1565/6).
On the 24 November the Treasury gave a warrant to the Clerk of the Pipe for the lease for 31 years to Francis Lawson (son of Sir John Lawson of Brough), one of His Majesty's chaplains, of the King's Manor with outhouses, stables, barns and 13 acres, now or late in the tenure of Sir John Reresby Bt., Governor of York (Cal. Treasury Books, VIII, 1685–9, iii, 1602). Lawson converted the Manor into a 'Popish School' and used the Hall (the Councill Chamber on Richards' plan) as a chapel.
When Father Lawson had departed, Ralph Rymer asked for the lease of the Manor at 10s. a year as granted to Father Lawson, and it was referred to William Harbord, Surveyor General of Crown Lands (Cal. Treasury Books, ix, 1689–92, i, 165). On the 8 June 1690 the lease was granted to Rymer by William Harbord by warrant, as Lawson had now fled the kingdom. However the house was ruinous and there is a reference to Robert Waller as housekeeper (Cal. Treasury Books, IX, 1689–92, ii, 711–12, 749; iii, 1416). Rymer held it until 1691/2 but on the 19 February 1691/2 the Treasury asked the Surveyor General to report as a preliminary to making over the lease to Robert Waller (ibid., iv, 1502). The lease was granted to Waller on the 7 March 1691/2 (ibid., 1532).
On the 18 May 1699 Jane Marritt, widow, petitioned for help as Robert Waller and his heirs had demolished that part of the King's Manor in which she lived (Cal. Treasury Papers 1697–1701, ii, no. lxi (35), 299); the demolition could only relate to the removal of the roof of the outer W. range (K).
18th century. On the 3 July 1718 Sir Tancred Robinson asked for an extension of the term granted to Robert Waller (Cal. Treasury Books, XXXII, 1718, ii, 434), and on the 17 July the lease was granted for 26 years from the 16 March 1722 (ibid., 466). A drawing dated 19 June 1726 shows that Sir Tancred occupied the N. range (E) and its annexe (F) and also had some floor space elsewhere. Francis Place, the artist, lived in the N. part of the front range (A), Mr. Lumley and his school occupied the N. mediaeval wing (C) and (D) and adjacent buildings, and the remainder was tenanted by Mr. Owram and Mr. Barker (Leeds City Library, Newby Hall Records, N.N. 2384 A/2). Ralph Thoresby brought his daughters to Mr. Lumley's boarding school in 1712.
Other drawings in the same series (A1, A3, A4) show that Sir Tancred was considering a project to develop the land to the S.W; the main designs comprised four large blocks, each consisting of conjoined symmetrically designed houses placed round a courtyard open to the river and with trees between it and the water. The design could be by the unknown architect who built similar blocks in Lendal and Micklegate. Sir Tancred Robinson Bart. was the second son of Sir William Robinson, for whom Colen Campbell built Baldersby, and Robinson's local architect there, William Etty, probably built the Red House, Duncombe Place, for Sir William in York.
Sir Tancred Robinson modernised the N. range (E) with hung-sash windows, panelling and fireplaces, and the staircase there is of his date. He probably formed the connection between ranges F and G, for he owned rooms on both sides of the yard; it was certainly there by 1770 (PRO, MPE 575).
The Banqueting Hall, which had been Lawson's chapel in the late 17th century, was 'by a strange reverse of circumstances converted into an Assembly Room and was also used by the High Sheriffs of the County, during the assizes and races, for the entertainment of their friends' (Hargrove, iii, 580–1). The assemblies began in 1710 and were well attended in 1713 (VCH. York, 245). The drawing of 1726 shows the Hall enlarged to its present size.
19th century. In the early 19th century the ornate door surround provided in the time of Lord Sheffield was still on the inside of the first court, the main doorway to the Banqueting Hall was blocked, and the gallery between it and the Council Chamber was occupied by Mr. Wolstenholme, carver and gilder (Hargrove, iii, 580–1),
In March 1812 the York Diocesan Society and National School took over the S.W. part of the Manor (Hargrove, iii, 580–1) on lease from the Crown lessee, Lord de Grey. The Manor National School was opened in January 1813 and buildings on the S. side of the back court were partly reconstructed to form a typical school of this period. In 1818 there were 440 boys. Further accommodation was secured in 1835 and in the late 19th century school buildings in red brick with stone dressings were erected above the vault of the outer W. range (K) by J. B. & W. Atkinson. In 1922 the school was moved to Marygate (VCH, York, 449–50) and the Blind School, already in the other part of the Manor, occupied its premises. In 1851 the vault of the W. range had a garden terrace over it (OS).
In 1833 the Yorkshire School for the Blind was founded and in 1835 the lease of the King's Manor, less the National School, was acquired for them and the school remained there until 1956 (VCH, York, 459–60). For a long time a statue of Wilberforce, the founder of the school, stood in the entrance; the sculptor was Samuel Joseph, 1791–1850 (Gunnis, 222).
While the Blind School was in possession a new Headmaster's house was built in 1899, standing to the E. between the old manor buildings and the City Art Gallery, to the designs of Walter Brierley. It is in Jacobean style, treated with much sensibility. In 1958 the City of York acquired the King's Manor (VCH, York, 531). In 1963–4 it was restored, modernised and extended for the University of York by William Birch & Sons Ltd. of York under the direction of the architects Feilden & Mawson of Norwich in association with Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners.
Architectural Description. The Mediaeval House has an E. elevation (Frontispiece, Plate 54), representing the E. side of the hall block, A, and the ends of two cross-wings, B, C; it is of c. 1480, but much altered. Above a stone plinth the walling is of brick with remains of a diaper pattern; it finishes at the N. end with a diagonal buttress. The positions of original windows of c. 1480 are indicated by the surviving brick relieving arches; the windows were constructed in terracotta (cf. Plate 59) of which there are remains at the extreme S. end in a small window which lit a garderobe and in the surviving fragments of small one and two-light windows by the S. chimney, which lit a staircase. Alterations to windows in the late 16th century can be identified by the remaining fragments of the plaster which was applied to the brickwork to simulate stone dressings. The upper S. window, of stone and of five transomed lights, may be as early as 1540 but other 16th-century work is probably of c. 1570. New work of the 17th century includes the whole of the S. chimney, the upper part of the N. chimney, the stone parapet and, c. 1670, the formation of gables at each end of the roof, replacing the former hips. The S. doorway, newly opened in the 17th century, has an elaborate stone surround bearing the initials IR for James I and, above, a large heraldic panel with initials CR for Charles I. Over the Royal Arms there was formerly a crown, and the niche above probably contained a bust. The N. doorway (Plate 74) is an original opening of c. 1480 but has a stone surround of c. 1610 brought from the W. elevation and reset; the S. side of it is partly restored. All the existing ground-floor windows are of the first half of the 19th century but later than Whittock's drawing of 1829. Some of the upper windows are of the 17th century; some were restored or modified in the 19th century. Two to N. of the central chimney are covered with Roman cement.
The S. elevation of the S. cross-wing, B (Plate 55), was very largely refaced c. 1900 in advance of the original wall face. One of the original terracotta windows of c. 1480 remains complete, under a brick arch similar to those on the E. front (Plate 59); it has three transomed lights with segmental heads. To the E. the gable of 1670 is finished with tumbled brickwork with two oval windows in the gable. The jambs of a 17th-century window, now blocked, remain below. All the other windows are modern. In the middle of the elevation is a small gabled projection, probably of early 18th-century date, in which is reset a fragment of a 17th-century carved stone frieze. In front of the W. part of the elevation the base of a fragment of the abbey precinct wall remains, standing only one course above the ground.
The W. end of the S. cross-wing is almost freestanding (Plate 68); the lower part is of limestone ashlar with a moulded 13th-century plinth in situ and contains a hollow-chamfered three-light window of the 17th century. The walling above is of brick with stone dressings rising to a gable which has been heightened, above a modern first-floor window of five transomed lights. The end wall, with the 13th-century plinth, continues S. outside the range, having previously formed the side of a small projection of which the other walls have been destroyed.
The main court was formerly divided into two parts by a wall joining the W. ends of the two wings of the mediaeval building. The E. part of the court, enclosed on three sides by buildings of 1480 formed a plain rectangle into which a gabled projection was built in the N.E. corner c. 1590, the lower part forming a porch in front of the screens passage as then existing (Plate 57). The walling of the mediaeval building is mainly of brick of c. 1480 but includes areas of stonework some of which, on the ground floor, may represent walling of the late 13th century but none has the moulded 13th-century plinth; stonework in the upper storey is reused from the 13th-century building. The lower part of the porch is of stone and on the S. side it has a 13th-century plinth but this is reset. Incomplete fragments of diaper pattern in the walls of the main range indicate that the brickwork is much disturbed and rebuilt. Few traces of mediaeval openings remain: on the W. side of the hall range are the arched heads of two first-floor openings which may have led to an external gallery; stone corbels for carrying the roof of such a gallery remain; in the N. wing on the ground floor are two reset brick niches with arched heads and on the first floor the second window from the E. is set under a 15th-century relieving arch (Plate 57).
The main doorway in the main range is quite modern and is set further N. than its predecessor. In the S. wing (Plate 56) the W. doorway is entirely modern, that near the middle of the range contains some old stonework and is flanked by a pair of windows which may be of the 16th century. In the N. range the doorway has a 17th-century head and is set in a small porch. The remaining ground-floor openings in the three principal ranges are all 19th-century or modern. In the projecting porch the openings are all of c. 1590, but one doorway is restored and one blocked. In the S. wing an upper window of five transomed lights set between patches of stonework may be of the mid 16th century. In the main range and the E. part of the S. wing a string-course over the upper windows is of c. 1570 and, by its changes in level, indicates the positions of windows at that time. They had brick jambs plastered to simulate stonework and this plaster can be seen flanking the second window from the E. end in the S. wing, which is restored but unaltered, and the N. window in the main range, where the opening is partly blocked by brickwork flanking an 18th-century window. The other upper windows were all renewed in stone in the 17th century. In the N. wing three two-light windows on the upper floor to the E. are all framed in 17th-century stonework but also retain fragments of plaster on the adjacent brickwork. The stonework of the central window appears to have been originally made for a doorway. A fourth window, further W., has four transomed lights.
The N. side of the N. wing, C, is now mostly masked by later buildings. During repair work in 1962 it was seen that this wall, of c. 1480, stands on the base of a 13th-century wall with its footings carried round two projecting chimneystacks corresponding to the 15th-century stacks still existing. Between the stacks is a garderobe projection built out beyond the face of the 13th-century footings, and a bay window, both part of the 15th-century building. The bay window, now partly masked, is of ashlar with four cinquefoil-headed lights at first-floor level (Plate 59). On the first floor and covered by later building is a blocked window framed in terracotta similar to that shown in Plate 59.
The mediaeval kitchen, D, projects N. from the N. wing (Plate 58). The walls to the lower storey are of ashlar, partly with the remains of a 13th-century plinth, and above is 15th-century brickwork with stone quoins. In the N. wall a five-light window to the ground floor framed in ovolo-moulded stonework was inserted in the late 16th or early 17th century, replacing an earlier opening, and on the first floor a transomed window of c. 1610, also ovolo-moulded, cuts through plasterwork surviving from the jambs of a window of c. 1570. On the W. a ground-floor fireplace and its chimney have been removed, the upper part being made good in old brickwork, the lower part, now containing a doorway, in brickwork of the 19th century. Further S. is an ovolo-moulded three-light window of the late 16th century now partly converted to a doorway, flanked by masses of masonry which support a rectangular, gabled bay above with a window of four ovolo-moulded transomed lights in the main face and single-light windows in the sides, all probably of c. 1580 (Plate 58). The bay would then have formed a central feature in a free-standing W. elevation.
Interior of Mediaeval House. The mediaeval building was of two storeys but it has been partly converted to three storeys, the first floor of the hall range having been lowered and a second floor constructed in the 17th century. In the Hall Range, A, the present entrance hall was formed by c. 1610 and now contains a modern oak staircase with pine balusters probably including some of c. 1700 reused. At the N. end the original screens passage leads to the former porch. On the first floor there are remains of the timber-framed cross walls at each end of the range, from which it can be seen that the first floor has been lowered about 2½ ft. The present ceiling cuts across the heads of the 17th-century windows. In the W. wall are exposed the head and jambs of one of the blocked 15th-century openings visible outside (Plate 61). In the S. room is an elaborately decorated plaster ceiling of the early 17th century brought from No. 6 North Street and re-erected in 1963 (York III, Plate 186).
The top storey, extending partly into the roof, does not run the full length of the range; the four bays at the S. end are unused. At the N. end the upper part of the 15th-century timber-framed cross wall is exposed (Plate 60); it has a moulded head beam and plain vertical studs which at the W. end are stopped to allow for a former opening no doubt associated with a spiral staircase which came up at this point. The roof is carried on simple queen-strut trusses of late 17th-century date erected when the hall roof was extended across the wings to end in gables, replacing the mediaeval hips.
The South Cross-wing, B, of c. 1480, comprised four rooms on the ground floor. The E. room, largely refitted in the 19th century, has a deep recess in the S. wall representing a mediaeval garderobe. The fireplace has a surround of c. 1760 with rococo ornament enclosing an iron grate of c. 1820 in gothic style (Plate 66). The middle part of the wing now contains a library formed out of two rooms; the E. end has simple chamfered intersecting ceiling beams and the large W. part has moulded intersecting beams. To the W. is a timber-framed partition. At the W. end is a small room with a single chamfered beam. The whole of the upper floor now forms one large reading room, now open to the roof, but was originally sub-divided, and the divisions were rearranged in the 16th century. In the S. wall is an opening to an original garderobe. There are three fireplaces: that to E. is of the late 15th century and has a segmental arched head in moulded brick (Plate 66); it was blocked in the course of 16th-century alterations when the other fireplaces were inserted but has been reopened; the middle fireplace has moulded jambs of reused stone and a flat lintel (Plate 66); the third fireplace, of c. 1540–50, has chamfered stone jambs and a segmental arched brick head. To the N. the timber-framing of the partition across the end of the hall range is exposed (Plate 62). The roof (Plate 63) is carried on eight simple king-post trusses with moulded tie-beams morticed for ceiling joists; most of the timbers are of c. 1480 but with some new members. The ridge-purlin has been removed.
The North Cross-wing, C, has on the ground floor a large room at the E. end with the 15th-century ceiling divided into square panels by moulded beams with mason's mitres at the intersections (Plate 60); a wider beam near the W. end originally had a partition under it. In the N. wall is a fireplace with a stone surround enriched with jewel ornament of c. 1610 (Plate 66). Next W. was a small compartment of one bay, with chamfered ceiling beams; it must have contained a staircase, and a doorway from it to W. led to a garderobe. In the next room to W. is a ceiling of two bays of intersecting chamfered beams but the room has been slightly enlarged. In the S. wall, between modern windows, is part of a 17th-century doorway (Plate 72). None of the partitions further W. are in original positions and the ceilings and ceiling beams in the W. part of the range are all of c. 1580. In the W. wall of the range is a doorway of c. 1610 to the added building beyond; it has moulded stone jambs and flattened four-centred head with sunk spandrels (Plate 61). The former kitchen (Plate 61), projecting to N., has a ceiling of c. 1580. In the E. wall is a large fireplace recess; the chamfered stone jamb to S. may be of late 13th-century date but the arched head is probably of the 15th century. The N. jamb has been reconstructed in modern times. A brick arch to S. may represent an oven. In the W. wall are recesses one of which was originally another fireplace; the chimney has been removed as described under the exterior above.
On the first floor the E. room has the ceiling divided into square panels by moulded beams of the late 15th century. Towards the W. end of the room partitions have been removed and the smaller compartment formed by them must have contained a staircase giving access to garderobes projecting from the N. wall. The last bay and a half at the W. end also have the ceiling carried on late 15th-century beams but of different design and the wall-plates are embattled. The fireplace in the N. wall is adjacent to the position of a mediaeval window now blocked; further W. are the remains of the four-centred brick head of the entrance to a garderobe. In the S. wall remains of the timber-framing of the partition wall to the hall range are exposed, and further W. is the brick arched head of a former doorway to a spiral staircase.
The W. part of the range together with the upper part of the kitchen wing, D, together form the Huntingdon Room (Plate 64), L-shaped on plan with a large bay opening out in the middle of the W. side. Around the walls of the room is a plaster frieze containing three motifs (Plate 65): a pomegranate between two wyverns, the crest of Hastings, a bull's head erased gorged with a ducal coronet between two H's all within a garter under an earl's coronet, for Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, President of the Council of the North 1572–95, created Knight of the Garter 1570, and a bear and ragged staff for Catherine his wife, daughter of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. In the E. wall of the N. part of the room is a magnificent fireplace with segmental head formed of carved stone voussoirs and ornamented pilaster jambs (Plate 65). The E. end of the S. part of the room is lined with early 17th-century panelling perhaps reused; a recess E. of the fireplace represents a mediaeval bay window. The ceiling in this part of the room shows the continuation of the beam system in the adjoining room to the E. On the window glass are various schoolgirls' scratchings going back to 1745.
The roof is carried on king-post trusses; towards the E. end the last king-post has an elaborate head cut to receive the timbers of the hall range and the cross-wing, meeting at right angles (Plate 63). The later 17th-century roof covers this junction at a higher level.
Inside the porch projection between the hall range and the N. cross-wing the two main floors and the semi-attic have been converted to offices; the room on the first floor has an original moulded timber lintel over the window opening; in the top room the tie-beam and collar-beam of a roof truss are exposed, together with the undersides of the rafters. The room is lit on the W. by a modern dormer window below which are the remains of a window, now blocked.
The North Range, E (Plate 67). The line of the main hall range of the mediaeval house is continued to N., beyond the cross-wing, by a range which forms the first post-dissolution addition. It is of 16th-century date; the S. end was probably started by the Earl of Rutland in 1560 and continued by Archbishop Young after 1563, and the N. part was probably erected c. 1570 for Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex. It is of two storeys built in reused ashlar, presumably from the abbey, and brick. Stone-built dormer windows were added at the end of the 16th century. The E. wall is without plinth or stringcourses, reflecting the fact that in the 16th century this was still the back of the house. On the ground floor towards the S. two original windows with later mullions flank a blocked doorway. The other windows to the main storeys are all of the early 18th century and have hung sashes; they are generally rather narrower than the 16th-century windows they replace, but there are remains of an original window, now blocked, on the upper floor. On the N. end is a large semi-octagonal bay window of two storeys (Plate 53), projecting from a stone wall with chamfered plinth and moulded strings between the storeys, and with a stuccoed gable. On the ground floor the side lights of the bay have been blocked and the mullions have been taken from other lights to allow for the insertion of hungsash windows. In the upper storey the windows are unaltered. The W. elevation of the range is largely masked by later building; it had two projecting chimneys. Inside, in the S. room is the projection of a mediaeval chimney of the adjoining cross-wing. In the W. wall is an original fireplace, now blocked. In the middle of the range is a spacious staircase of c. 1725 with turned newels and balusters (Plate 72). An original window of c. 1570 remains in the W. wall under the stairs. The N. room, running into the bay window, is lined with 18th-century panelling and panelled pilasters flank the fireplace and overmantel. The fireplace is framed by a simple mid 18th-century moulding with a later mantelshelf above. Behind the panelling the moulded jamb of a blocked window is made up with moulded stonework of c. 1300.
On the first floor the S. room is lined with early 17th-century panelling. Behind the panelling the window openings have been narrowed by the addition of brickwork within the original stone splays. The N. wall is built largely of reused 13th-century stone and retains above the head of the present doorway the depressed four-centred head of an original doorway. The fireplace has a decorated surround of c. 1800. The room N. of the staircase is lined with 18th-century panelling. In the N. end room is an original fireplace with chamfered four-centred head and chamfered jambs. The original roof remains; it is of seven bays with simple tie-beam trusses and lap-jointed purlins passing through the principals.
The Second North Range, F. was added along the W. side of the main North range, probably c. 1610 (Plate 53). It is of two storeys with original attics. The walls are of stone with a moulded plinth and on the W. side rise to small gables over dormer windows. The W. wall abuts against a brick-built garderobe of the mediaeval N. cross-wing. The windows have ovolo-moulded stone frames and mullions.
Recesses in the S.W. corner of the S. rooms represent the garderobes of the adjoining mediaeval range. Brick vaults over the garderobes were removed in 1962, two storeys of the garderobes corresponding to the first floor of the building of 1610. A 17th-century staircase here has been taken away. Between the rooms on the first floor are doorways with moulded stone jambs and four-centred heads. In the attics is a stone fireplace with chamfered four-centred head. The roof is carried on collar-beam trusses with lapped purlins passing through the principals.
The Central North Block, G (Plate 53), built in the angle between the mediaeval N. cross-wing and its kitchen, is a structure of three main storeys, of which the lower part, built in coursed masonry, is of c. 1610. The upper storeys, mainly of brick, are of the late 17th century. The upper part of the N. elevation is divided into three bays by brick pilasters; above are two brick gables, rebuilt but following the late 17th-century design. The windows all have ovolo-moulded or chamfered stone frames and mullions; some are early 17th-century and some are of the second half of the century. On the N. front the central window on the first floor is set under a segmental arch. The rooms inside have been modernised but at the S. end are some remains of the mediaeval bay window; modern attics have been formed in the roof.
The Central Range, H (Plate 69), separates the E. and W. courtyards and at the N. end returns to meet the W. end of the mediaeval N. cross-wing (Plate 70). It was originally designed c. 1610 as a single-storey gallery with a two-storey return, to give access from Lord Sheffield's new hall to the Council Chamber devised by Lord Huntingdon and now known as the Huntingdon Room. The frieze between the storeys which forms a marked feature of the E. elevation was originally surmounted only by a stone parapet except in the return at the N. end which was always of two storeys. An upper storey was added to the range by Lord Wentworth in 1633 and an elaborate new doorway surmounted by a shield-of-arms of Wentworth is of the same date (Plate 76). The W. courtyard was formerly sub-divided, as shown by the broken lines on the plan, and another building abutted against the W. side of the central range (Plate 70).
The E. front of the central range has original windows of c. 1610 and 1633, all with ovolo-moulded members. The elaborately decorated doorway contemporary with the first-floor walling is surmounted by a panel with achievement of arms of Wentworth quartering Woodhouse, Hooton, Neville and Newmarch. Other doorways, where original, have depressed four-centred arched heads. On the W. side a gable towards the N. represents the end of Sheffield's two-storeyed return and the ashlar facing continues for one bay further to the S.; part of the walling is very disturbed and openings are blocked where the building projecting into the second courtyard has been taken away (Plate 71).
Inside, the ground-floor gallery has been sub-divided. At the N. end an enriched semicircular-headed doorway (Plates 74, 75) gives access to a stairhall. The staircase is of stone (Plate 62) and was constructed c. 1633 blocking a large window in the N. wall. In the same wall is a 12th-century stone carved with pelleted interlace. A blocked doorway of Lord Sheffield's date in the upper part of the stairhall indicates a change in floor levels. The upper gallery is sub-divided so that the S. end is now open to the dining hall. A blocked archway in the W. wall indicates a former projection removed; an offset in the walls indicates the top of the original parapets. From the upper part of the stairhall a modern doorway leads to the ante-room to the Huntingdon Room. At its side the original doorway, now blocked, has a moulded depressed four-centred head. The ante-room has a fireplace enriched with jewel ornament similar to that on the ground floor further N.E., shown in Plate 66. At the E. end a grand doorway to the former Council Chamber, the Huntingdon Room, has a moulded four-centred head under a stone entablature with a pediment flanked by obelisks (Plates 74, 75).
The South Range, J (Plates 68, 70, 71), forms the S. side of part of the E. court and of the whole of the W. court, with the middle range, which divides the courts, abutting it. It is of late 16th-century origin, but has been largely rebuilt in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It comprises a first-floor porch to the hall at the E. end approached by an external stairway of the 19th century, a first-floor hall and its kitchen below built for Lord Sheffield c. 1610 replacing a building of Lord Huntingdon, an extension of the hall probably made at the beginning of the 18th century for the Assembly Room, a 19th-century Board School, and, at the W. end, a gatehouse. The N.E. corner of the porch is joined to the S.W. corner of the mediaeval house by a short length of wall with a 13th-century plinth described above.
The porch block, of three storeys, is built mainly of ashlar with some 17th-century brick in the upper part and a modern timber-framed gable to the E. A large buttress added against the E. end is near but not on the line of the abbey precinct wall. Windows are of the 17th century and modern but there is evidence of disturbance and rearrangement; a blocked window in the E. wall is represented externally by a concrete lintel but on the inside a two-light timber frame of the 18th century remains exposed. The first floor of the block, which forms an entrance lobby to the hall, is approached from the court by a modern external stone stairway leading to a round-headed doorway flanked by tapered pilasters enriched with strapwork with entablature above and, in a moulded frame with a pediment, an achievement of Stuart royal arms, all very weathered. It is probably of c. 1635, erected by Wentworth (Plate 68).
Lord Sheffield's hall block is of two storeys, the upper storey being much taller than the lower, and now contains a dining hall on the upper floor and kitchens below. It is built of reused limestone ashlar and on the S. side it appears as five bays, but the W. bay, separated from the rest by a straight joint in the masonry, is an extension probably made at the beginning of the 18th century. The windows on the S. side are all modern on the ground floor; on the first floor are transomed windows almost completely restored but retaining a few pieces of old stone in the jambs. The elevation to the E. court has on the ground floor two large semicircular arches closed by modern windows and walling. Above are two windows of four transomed lights. Facing the W. court the extension of the hall block has a small chamfered plinth which continues W. to the gatehouse. The windows to this bay are modern and at mezzanine level are traces of a former opening now blocked.
Next W. of the hall block is a lower two-storey building reconstructed as a Board School in c. 1820–30. The N. wall is continuous with that of the hall extension with a continuous plinth as already described, but the S. wall sets forward and has a plinth finished to a very different section. The upper part of the S. wall is all 19th-century work and in the ground floor are modern windows and a modern doorway; straight joints suggest the position of two earlier doorways. Facing the court, the lower part of the N. wall shows evidence of disturbance; it contains a blocked doorway and three windows of the 17th century but with modern heads, perhaps shortened. The whole of the upper part is of the 19th century with tall mullioned and transomed windows rising into small gables projecting above the eaves.
The Board School building is continued to W. by a narrower building with the N. wall continuing in the same line as before but with the S. wall recessed. On the N. side there is a slight change in the character of the masonry in the upper floor but no clear joint. The windows are much restored and modern. At the W. end the plinth returns into the gatehall, the jamb of the gate being formed by what was a free-standing corner of the building. The gatehouse projects boldly on the S. side and the S. gateway has been formed in place of a 17th-century window the head of which remains above the arch of the gateway. Both the arches to the gatehall rise above the level of the first floor inside and low windows have been introduced in the head of the N. archway. Above the S. arch is a restored 17th-century window. The W. jamb of the N. archway is built up against a fragment of a lofty 16th-century building in which there is the moulded jamb of a gateway, with hinge-pins remaining, and the splay of a first-floor window.
Interior. In the modern kitchen under the hall, the walls are faced with stone, mostly mediaeval and reused. The E. end is divided by a length of late 16th-century walling which finishes at the W. end with an ovolo-moulded window jamb. This suggests that originally these were rooms some 12 ft. wide, with an open loggia formed in front of them when the hall above was built. In the S. wall, between the windows, is a big 17th-century fireplace with a four-centred arched head. In the N. wall a modern doorway to the central range is a reconstruction of an older opening. On the first floor the hall now extends into the W. bay, and also includes a section of the central range. In the S. wall of the Hall a large fireplace has been restored with a modern arched head. In the middle of the hall the ceiling is carried up into an octagonal cupola within the roof, of early 18th-century date.
The lower floor of the Board School building is approached from the kitchens by a doorway with four-centred head which has a blocked window beside it, so placed as to suggest that this was the E. end wall of a building antedating the extension of the hall block. A corresponding doorway in the E. wall of the gatehouse is of different design but also with a four-centred head. It is of 16th-century date, probably reset. In the W. wall of the gatehouse are original windows antedating the conversion to a gatehouse, now blocked. The rest of the range has been thoroughly modernised.
The outer West Range, K, stands in part on the site of the chapter house of St. Mary's Abbey; a fragment of rough walling near the N. end of the E. front may represent the E. wall of the chapter house. The range was erected for Lord Sheffield c. 1610; it included a vaulted basement, which still survives (Plate 73), containing a buttery and cellar, and lofty rooms above, lit on the W. side by semicircular bay windows. The upper storey was damaged in the siege of 1644 and removed in the 18th century. A drawing by F. Place (c. 1680) shows only part of the W. wall standing with a big bay window surmounted by an entablature in which the frieze matches that on the E. side of the central range. Parts of a similar entablature from a second bay window are incorporated into the walling of St. Mary's Tower as rebuilt after the siege. School buildings were erected over the basement in the late 19th century and still remain over the projection at the N. end. Over the rest of the basement new buildings for the University of York were erected in 1962 to the designs of B. M. Feilden.
The W. side of the building is completely masked by the Yorkshire Museum. On the E. side the stone wall of the 17th-century building stands some 7 ft. above ground level. It is of reused mediaeval masonry and has windows and a doorway in the plinth, the moulded capping of the plinth being stepped up over the doorway; the windows are mostly original and of two lights with ovolo-moulded stone frames and mullions. There is a similar window now blocked in the S. end. When the top of the vault was exposed during the building work of 1962 it was seen to include much reused material of the late 12th century; some of the carved voussoirs illustrated in Plates 38, 39 were found here. Inside, the basement is divided to give one long room each side of a central square compartment. This central part is covered by a brick vault but the two long rooms have segmental barrel vaults of good ashlar. A doorway at the S. end of the N. room is of the early 14th century and is reused from the abbey cloisters (Plate 74).