An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1981.
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Swinegate runs parallel to Petergate from Grape Lane to Church Street, but the name, first recorded in 1276 as 'Swyngaill', 'the lane where swine were kept', originally applied to the present streets of Little Stonegate and Back Swinegate. Since c. 1541 it has been transferred to the length of Patrick Pool N.W. of Church Street. The only noteworthy building is the Elim Tabernacle, built in 1910 for the Central Mission.
(494) House, Nos. 28, 30, of two storeys and attics, was built in the early 19th century and by 1837 was the Lord Nelson p.h. (YG, 25 Feb. 1837). It was a small building with a five-bay front and had one room on each side of the central entrance and stair hall. Demolished 1972.
(496) House, No. 33, of three storeys in brick, was built in the second quarter of the 18th century, incorporating an early 17th-century timber-framed doubleranged building of at least two bays. It was modified in the second quarter of the 19th century, when the front doorway and window surrounds were renewed, and again in modern times, when the ground floor was converted to a garage.
The double-gabled front elevation is rendered, with simulated stone joints and with a moulded string-course at second-floor level. The 18th-century ground plan had an entrance hall, a staircase to one side, and two rooms with fireplaces back to back, but the whole chimney-stack has been removed. Fragments of timber framing are visible in the front rooms on the second floor. With the exception of the upper part of the staircase, nearly all original fittings have been removed. The staircase, which rises about a rectangular well with quarter landings, has turned balusters, an open string up to the first floor and a close string above.
(497) No. 39 is a modern building containing fragments of timber framing on the side wall facing Three Cranes Lane, representing the first floor of a building of 15th or 16th-century date. Partly dismantled in 1973.
(498) House, No. 1, and Friars Terrace, Nos. 2–8, of two storeys, were built in the early 19th century. No. 1 is doublefronted, Nos. 2–8 single-fronted. All have fluted columns flanking the doorways. Nos. 2–7 have shallow two-storeyed bow windows. No. 8 has a bow window at the side overlooking the river.
(499) Summerhouse, No. 9, was built in the second quarter of the 18th century in the S.W. angle of Davy Tower (York II, 158–9), and extended c. 1830. It is square, of brick over a stone basement, with a doorway and window in the E. wall, and had a pyramidal roof with ball-finial (shown in N. Drake, The New Walk, 1756). The S. wall of the extension closely copies the summer-house, and has a reset length of the original coved cornice. Internally the summer-house retains its original fittings: a chimney-piece with pulvinated frieze, window seats, a dado rail with sunk panelling above and a moulded and enriched cornice.
Tower Street, from Castlegate to the end of Skeldergate Bridge, curves around the base of the motte supporting Clifford's Tower on the W. It preserves in a greatly widened form the course of a narrow lane between the ditch at the base of the motte and the E. boundary wall of the Franciscan Friary, leading to Castlegate Postern. This was known as Castlegate Postern Lane by 1725 or as 'the lane to the Castle Mills', later as Castle Lane, and by 1820 as Tower Street. The new prison wall of 1822– 35 with its great gatehouse W. of the motte, demolished in 1936, ran along the E. side of the street. Clifford Street was pierced through in 1880 from Nessgate to the bend in Tower Street and in 1881 the approach to Skeldergate Bridge was opened at its S.E. end, crossing St. George's Field.
(500) Houses, four, Nos. 11–14, of three storeys, were built in the first half of the 19th century, Nos. 11, 12 forming a symmetrical pair. Each house has a modern shop front, and one front and one back room on each floor.
Walmgate, running S.E. for 600 yds. from Foss Bridge to Walmgate Bar, is first recorded c. 1080 as 'Walbegate', perhaps from a personal name 'Walba'. The area E. of the Foss was for some time not regarded as part of the city and remained outside its defences. Murage was granted in 1267 'for the enclosing of the street called Walmegate adjoining the city' but, although Walmgate Bar, first mentioned in 1155, has 12th-century stone arches, the walls protecting this suburb were still being erected in 1345 and were not completed by the addition of strong towers at either end until c. 1505. The Roman road, S.W. of the fortress and followed approximately by Castlegate, is thought to have crossed the area from W. to E. and then continued on a line close to that of Lawrence Street. There is little evidence for Roman occupation in the Walmgate area other than two wharves beside the Foss and two burials. Finds of the Anglo-Scandinavian period are also few, but the numerous churches founded by 1200 along Walmgate and Fishergate (six within and seven outside the walls) indicate extensive settlement on this bank of the Foss. Of the four churches beside Walmgate, St. Denys (6) and St. Margaret (9) still remain. St. Peter-le-Willows (W. of Willow Street near the N. end) was demolished c. 1550, and St. Mary, first mentioned c. 1150 and united to St. Margaret in 1308, was closed in the 14th century. It was reached by a lane from Walmgate and perhaps served that part of St. Margaret's parish S. of the street from a similar position to St. Peter further E. Town houses of the Percy and Neville families and those timber-framed buildings which survived into the 19th century, such as the Haberdashers' Hall (Plate 3), indicate the mediaeval importance of the street.
Intensive occupation by Irish immigrants between 1840 and 1850 turned Walmgate into a crowded and unhealthy slum, housing over a quarter of the city's population, most of them living in great poverty, and with an infant death rate in 1888 of 337 per thousand. To cater for their needs, both spiritual and physical, St. George's Roman Catholic church (7) was opened in 1850 and there were fifteen public houses along the street in 1852, twenty in 1901, now reduced to four. The Victoria Iron Foundry, a brewery and the Caroline Place linen manufactory provided some employment among the crowded lanes and alleys. The mediaeval lanes off Walmgate, Bakeners Lane and Church Lane near St. Margaret's church, the common lane to the Foss, mentioned in 1344, and Pavers Lane near St. Denys were soon built up and accompanied by a huddle of narrow courts and alleys, sometimes named from the rural past, like Long Close Lane and Willow Street, or from national figures, like Peel Street, but more frequently from proprietors or nearby buildings, as Hurst's Yard or Malt Shovel Yard. Most of these have now been demolished. Post-war slum clearance and the building of council flats since 1950 have left few traces of mediaeval or even of pre 20th-century Walmgate other than some timber-framed houses and the two surviving churches.
(501) House, No. 4, of three storeys, was built in the second quarter of the 19th century. The front has been much altered, with a modern shop front and rendering above, and the original interior arrangement has also been destroyed. An opening through the S.E. side leads to a range of four (formerly five) dwellings, also of three storeys and of the same period as No. 4; they replace an earlier row on the same site.
(502) House, No. 6, was rebuilt in the late 18th century on an L-shaped plan interlocking with an early 18th-century wing which was part of No. 8. It was one of two messuages acquired in 1779 by Joseph Hick, blacksmith, and Martin and James Crofts, plumbers and glaziers, and had a blacksmith's shop, with a granary above, behind it (YCA, E94, ff. 211b–212). The property was let to Thomas Todd, tallow-chandler, and later to Thomas Goodell, peruke-maker, who then bought it in 1797 (YCA, E95, ff. 187b–188). It is now merged with No. 8 to form one industrial complex.
(503) House, No. 8, large and of the early to mid 18th century, was probably originally two dwellings, one of which in 1797 was occupied by Mr. John Ash. In 1830 it was acquired by William Plows, stonemason, (see York IV, lv) who had previously occupied part of the premises.
The front of the building seems to have been remodelled, with new sashes and a new eaves cornice, in 1767; this date appears on a rainwater head. The lower part is now a shop front. The back is irregular with projecting wings, one of which overlaps No. 6. The easternmost is mainly of the 19th century. Inside, two original staircases remain.
(505) Five Lions, p.h., No. 24, is a two-storey building of the late 18th century; it was originally L-shaped on plan but the re-entrant angle has been filled in. A carriageway to the rear was opened through the building in the 19th century and the rest of the front elevation has been modernised on the ground floor; above are five hung-sash windows. The interior has been altered and refitted. Facing the yard behind is a late 18th-century stable range, originally of one and two storeys but now heightened to two storeys throughout.
(506) House, Nos. 26, 28, of two storeys, was built probably in 1799, the date on a rainwater head. The plan was probably L-shaped, comprising three rooms, but the re-entrant angle has been filled in. It is now used as two small shops.
(509) House, No. 32, is of three storeys. It was originally a two-storey, timber-framed building of two bays, built in the 15th century, a few of the main timbers of this period remaining. A third storey was added in the following century. In c. 1840 the house was completely refronted and in modern times it has been converted to commercial use; the back wall has been removed and the building extended to provide modern showrooms.
(510) House, No. 34, was built perhaps c. 1700, on a simple rectangular plan. In the first quarter of the 18th century it was extended at the back, the extension being roofed at right angles to the original house and finishing with a gable. This gable wall is now partly concealed but on the first floor are remains of a symmetrical arrangement of a wide window between two narrow ones, all under elliptical brick arches. The ground floor is now converted to a shop.
(511) House, No. 40, of brick and three-storeyed, was built in the early 19th century; it is now in commercial use. The plan provided one room at the front and one at the back, with a chimney-stack between them. The staircase to the first floor is at the back of the house, that to the second floor at the side of the chimney.
(512) Houses, Nos. 42–50 (even), were built probably c. 1830 and comprised a terrace of six narrow three-storey dwellings, of which two now form No. 42, with a carriageway through the bottom storey. All now have shops on the ground floor and many of the windows above have been altered. Each house had one front and one back room, with a staircase placed either against a party wall or transversely between the two rooms.
(513) Houses, 52–58 (even), form a three-storey terrace of the early 19th century standing on part of the site of Percy's Inn, the mediaeval town house of the Earls of Northumberland. Each house has, or had, one front and one back room, with an entrance passage widening at the back to take a staircase with plain square balusters and lit at the top by a round-headed window. On the ground floor there are now shops, and a carriageway leading to Dixon's Yard and The Manor House.
(514) The Manor House, built c. 1830, is a plain brick building of two storeys, one room deep and now three rooms long but formerly longer (1852 OS map; YG, 19 April 1856). It stood, with a small garden, in the grounds of the Iron Foundry of Gibson and Walker and was the dwelling-house of John Walker (York Historian, 1 (1976), 37–9).
(515) House, Nos. 64, 66, now two shops separated by a carriageway with flats above, was built as one three-storey dwelling shortly before 1850. The first floor indicates a plan of three front and three back rooms with principal and secondary staircases, one at each end of a central passage.
(516) House, Nos. 68, 70 (Fig. 150), was a substantial, well-fitted dwelling of the early 18th century. It incorporated in a partition wall, now removed, some timber framing from an earlier building. Two shops were formed in the ground floor in the late 19th century and these gave way to one new shop c. 1965, but the original domestic plan and fittings remain in the back part and upstairs.
The house is of two storeys with attics and cellar. The front has five windows across the upper floor, set under segmental arches, above which the wall sets forward slightly. A rainwater head on the front is dated 1783. The house is planned with two large rooms at the front and two smaller rooms with an openwell staircase between them at the back. The staircase is approached through a panelled and pilastered archway and has turned newels and balusters and panelled ends to the stops (Plate 191). Opposite the balustrade is a panelled dado with fluted pilasters opposite the newels. The staircase is lit by a large round-headed window, flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters. Above is an enriched ceiling cornice. The principal room on the first floor is lined with bolection-moulded panelling in two heights, with dado rail and cornice (Plate 171); the upper panels are alternately rectangular and round-headed. The modern fireplace is flanked by Ionic pilasters and to one side is a round-headed niche with display shelves. The E. back room was refitted in the mid 18th century; above the dado, panels are simulated by mouldings planted over plain boarding. The fireplace has an original eared surround and the overmantel is flanked by foliated scrolls under a broken pediment; the designs are based on Batty Langley's The City and Country Builder's and Workman's Treasury of Design (1745) (Plate 177).
(517) Warehouse, behind No. 72, built of brick with a pantiled roof, is three storeys high and lit by segmental-headed windows. The long E. elevation, facing an alley known as Black Bull Lane in 1851, is of 19th-century brickwork in English garden wall bond above a few courses of narrow 18th-century brickwork.
(518) House, No. 5, was built c. 1830, probably as a public house; in 1850 it was known as The Three Cups (OS) but was recently occupied as a private house. It is of two storeys; the walls are of brick with hung-sash windows and the roof is covered with pantiles. The frontage to Walmgate is narrow; there is a longer frontage to Merchantgate with a central doorway. A low wing projects S.W. and has been extended. Inside, a central room is entirely enclosed between the entrance lobby, the two main rooms and, on the fourth side, the staircase.
(519) Red Lion, p.h., Merchantgate (Plate 118; Fig. 151), is an L-shaped building of two storeys, timber-framed but with the lower storey rebuilt in brick. The N.E. wing was built in the 15th century and one-and-a-half bays remain, apparently part of a first-floor hall with a lower storey below. A closed truss survives complete at the N.W. end and part of an open truss to S.E. The building may originally have continued further N.W. The S.E. part of the wing was rebuilt in the late 16th or early 17th century, and an attic has been formed in the top of the hall by the insertion of a floor about 3½ ft. below the tie-beams. The S.W. wing, also of two storeys but much lower, was built in two stages in the early 17th century. The whole building has been very much altered.
The 15th-century framing has heavy curved braces rising from main posts to wall-plates. The N.W. tie-beam, nearly 2 ft. deep, is boldly cambered and carries a crown-post to support a collar-purlin under a collar-rafter roof (Fig. 6e). The second truss has had all the middle part of the tie-beam and the crown-post above removed, to make usable attic space. The later parts of the building have studs of slender scantling and long straight braces, under roofs of claspedpurlin construction.
(520) House, No. 9, was built in the late 18th century. In 1850 it was The Black Horse p.h. and now contains a shop. It is a long narrow building of three storeys with its main frontage to Merchantgate. On plan two unequal rooms are disposed one on each side of the entrance hall and stairs.
(521) House, No. 11 (Fig. 152), built in the mid 18th century, is of three storeys. At the front the ground floor has been converted to a shop; the upper part is built of common brick with red brick dressings and a bold timber cornice at the eaves. Inside, the staircase is placed transversely between the shop at the front and a room at the back; it has square newels, close string, and turned balusters.
(524) House, No. 17, comprises a three-storey front block of early 19th-century date, roofed parallel to the street, and a mid 18th-century back part, of two storeys and attics, roofed at right angles to the front. Timber framing in the party wall between Nos. 17 and 19 belongs to an earlier two-storey structure on the site, probably of the 16th century and a survival from the extensive buildings belonging to Alderman Holme in 1542 on the site of Nos. 15–25. By 1561 these had been split into two properties. The front part of No. 17 has a shop on the ground floor and a single large room, 34 ft. long, on the first floor. In the back part a mid 18th-century staircase with open string and turned balusters rises to the first floor only.
(525) House, No. 19, of two storeys, was built c. 1700 incorporating on the W. side part of a timber-framed wall probably of the 16th century. The front was rebuilt in the late 19th century. On plan the house has front and back rooms separated by a massive chimney-stack and to one side an entrance lobby and staircase, contained under a separate small gable. The staircase has square newels, close string and turned balusters (Fig. 11l). In the roof the common rafters are stiffened by occasional collars clasping purlins.
(526) House, No. 21, of two storeys, has a late 19th-century front wall continuous with that of No. 19. The house behind was built probably in the early 18th century but the back half has been demolished.
(527) House, No. 23, refronted with Nos. 19 and 21 and also of two storeys, is of 18th-century date but much altered. It was formerly the Duke of York p.h. Behind was a courtyard surrounded by buildings of which one, of late 17th-century date, survives. It is a two-storey structure of brick which has been extensively altered but retains triangular and segmental pediments in brick over some of the former openings (Plate 185; Fig. 8a).
(528) House, No. 25 (Fig. 153), of two storeys and attics, was built in the late 17th century under a single wide roof gabled at front and back. The front gable is now trimmed with 19th-century barge-boards. Above a 19th-century shop front the windows are set under elliptical arches with recessed brickwork in the tympana (Fig. 8b). At the back the storeys are marked by platbands; the ground and first-floor windows have been altered but parts of similar elliptical arches remain. Over the attic window is a curved pediment in brick (Plate 185).
The plan suggests that the front was originally designed to contain a shop, with access to the domestic quarters opening off a through-passage into a stair hall in the middle of the building. The staircase rises round an open well with substantial square newels, moulded close strings and bulbous turned balusters. A fireplace on the first floor has a bolection-moulded surround.
(529) House, Nos. 35, 37, in the angle between Walmgate and Dennis Street, was built as a two-storey timber-framed structure perhaps in the 16th century and a timber-framed wing was added to the S.W. soon after. In c. 1740 the front was rebuilt in brick and the interior remodelled. Early in the 19th century a wing was added behind the S.E. end and facing Dennis Street. Late in the same century the side of the original house facing Dennis Street was rebuilt and the front remodelled with shop windows. No. 37 was later gutted to form an electricity sub-station.
Of the original timber framing only a few posts and beams are visible; in the S.W. wing the corner-posts are enlarged to carry the cross-beams; the walls were close-studded without jetties. An 18th-century staircase in the central entrance hall has been rearranged.
(530) House, Nos. 41, 43, 45 (Fig. 154), of two storeys, were originally timber-framed but were refronted in brick in the late 18th century. No. 41 was built in the 15th or 16th century as a two-storey block of at least three bays, with its gable-end to the street. Later alteration and rebuilding removed much of the framing and the whole of the roof. Nos. 43 and 45 were built in the 14th century as an open hall roofed parallel to the street, with a cross-wing at right angles; in the late 16th century the hall was divided into two storeys, a chimney-stack inserted and an extension built at the back under a wide-spreading roof at right angles to the hall roof. It was later divided into two tenements. The whole was demolished in 1966.
Much of the original framing of the hall survived in the back S. wall: the hall was of two unequal bays with a window in each bay extending above and below a middle rail and divided by three diagonally-set mullions, 4 in. wide. Of the central truss only the lower part of the S. post remained; it had a mortice for a large brace coming down to within 2½ ft. of the floor and another mortice for a horizontal member just above it. A roof truss of crown-post construction remained at the E. end (Plate 135). A post carrying the middle rail must have supported a truss in the demolished cross-wing. There was no evidence for studding below the middle rail, indicating that the hall was open to the ground floor of the cross-wing. Demolished.
(533) Houses and Shops, Nos. 65–69a (odd), were erected, probably as business premises, c. 1840. They form a uniform two-storey range with a continuous band joining the first-floor window-sills. The present shop fronts are not original.
(534) House, No. 73. The front part, of three storeys, is of early 19th-century date but intersecting ceiling beams, now cased over, suggest that it may be a reconstruction of an earlier timber-framed building. The back part, of two storeys and attics, has walls of 18th-century brick and may represent a continuation of the original timber-framed structure.
(535) House and Shop, No. 75, of two storeys, were built in the first half of the 19th century. The shop front occupies half the frontage, with a small bay window next to it and a passageway to the back beyond.
(536) House, No. 77 (Plate 126; Fig. 155), is a two-storey timber-framed structure, partly rebuilt in brick. The W. part, with gable-end to the street, was built in the 15th century, the E. part in the late 16th century. There are modern additions at the back.
The W. end is jettied above the rebuilt lower storey and the timber framing is exposed in the upper part. There are down ward braces to the corner-posts. The tie-beam has been reshaped to give a steep camber and it carries a crown-post with enlarged head under a collar tapered at each end. There is no collar-purlin but there is a collar to each pair of rafters in the roof behind. The structure is of two bays and some of the original framing remains in the upper part of the E. and W. walls.
The E. part is in two bays, jettied to the street, with ogee braces to the posts in the upper storey. The upper floor is carried on exposed chamfered beams, the arrangement of which suggests that the ground floor originally comprised one room at the E. end and a passage at the W., adjoining the earlier structure. In the roof the rafters are supported by two purlins each side; a central queen-strut truss provides a collar to carry the upper purlins, and raking struts to the lower purlins (Fig. 7r).
(537) Bowes Morrell House, No. 111 (Plate 118; Figs. 156, 157), was built c. 1400 as a timber-framed house on an L-shaped plan. It had an open hall some 20 ft. wide but only 10½ ft. long. The lower part of the hall was open to the ground floor of a two-storey range built at right angles, the width of the hall being equal to the length of two of the three bays which formed the two-storey range. There is some evidence that there was a structure continuing the line of the hall to the W. but with no internal communication with the hall. In the 16th century a timber-framed addition was built in the re-entrant angle and projecting S. In the late 17th century the original two-storey range was extended S. in brick. The building was restored in 1932 and, more drastically, in 1966.
In the original building the main framing is exposed. The E. wing is jettied at the N. end. From most of the main posts curved braces support middle rails and wall-plates, but the corner-posts over the jetty are stiffened by braces from the adjacent horizontal beams, and there are downward braces also to the post between hall and E. wing, which starts at first-floor level to leave the opening between the hall and ground floor of the wing completely clear. Each of the cross-beams carrying the upper floor in the wing is enlarged at one end but not at the other, and the joists are tenoned to one beam, halved to another and run over the top of a third. The roofs are of crown-post construction (Plate 129); over the hall there are, in addition, side-purlins carried by struts which cross the braces to the crown-posts and also supported by curved braces from the struts (Plate 129). Similar struts appear in the N. end truss of the E. wing but without side-purlins. In the hall the upper floor is carried on 18th-century joists but there is evidence for an earlier inserted floor in mortices in the E. wall. Many of the timbers in the E. wing show good carpenters' assembly marks.
The S.W. addition, of the 16th century, is of two bays; most of the timber framing has been renewed. The brick extension has a plat-band at first-floor level and a tumbled gable to the S. The roof is carried on simple tie-beam trusses with purlins tenoned to the principal rafters.
(538) House, No. 129, was built in the late 16th century as a small two-storey dwelling with one room on each floor. The walls, originally timber-framed, were rebuilt in brick in the 18th and 19th centuries and a lean-to kitchen was added at the back. The house was of three bays with purlins clasped between the collars and principals of the four trusses. Demolished 1960.
(539) Houses, Nos. 141, 143, of two storeys with 18th-century brick walls, contained fragments of timber framing perhaps of the 14th century. The original building consisted of three unequal bays of 8½ ft., 12 ft. and 14½ ft. respectively, and may have been longer. Mortices on the S. side suggested a S. wing. The building was at least partly divided into two storeys; one truss was closed in the lower storey only, one in the upper storey only. As mortices for floor joists in one cross-beam were not matched by mortices in the next, it appears that joists may have been secured by tenons at one place and by bearing on top of a cross-beam at another, as at No. 111 above. The original roof had entirely disappeared but mortices in a tie-beam suggested crown-post construction. Recorded during demolition in 1959.
Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate, the short street connecting Colliergate with Pavement, is first mentioned in 1505 as 'Whitnourwhatnourgate' and later as 'Whitney Whatneygate', a name probably of derisive origin rather than having any connection with the whipping of dogs or vagrants. The alternative name of Salvey Rents or Salvegate was used in some 17th and 18th-century documents. The street was widened c. 1750 by the removal of houses built against the E. end of St. Crux church.