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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Other Public Buildings
(41) Lady Hewley's Hospital, St. Saviourgate (Plate 152), comprising Warden's House and a separate range of nine dwellings and chapel, was built in 1840 to the design of J. P. Pritchett, to replace a hospital founded in 1700 by Sarah, widow of Sir John Hewley, in Tanner Row. The two-storey buildings, with ashlar walls and slated roofs, are in a Tudor style. In the end of the Warden's House is a reset carved tablet with lozenge-of-arms of Hewley impaling Woolrych and inscription recording the original foundation (Plate 182).
(42) Dorothy Wilson's Hospital, No. 2 Walmgate (Plate 153; Fig. 54), established under the will of Dorothy Wilson who died in 1717, was originally accommodated in her own house on this site. The premises were rebuilt in 1765 and again in 1812 following the rebuilding of the adjacent Foss Bridge. The hospital provided for ten poor women and also included a schoolroom for twenty poor boys. A schoolmaster's house, erected in 1805, stands just behind the hospital. The school was closed in 1895. The hospital was modernised in 1958.
The building is of brick with white painted dressings, of three storeys under a slated roof. The S.W. front to the street is five bays wide, the centre part projecting slightly. The central doorway and adjacent windows are set in arched recesses; above the doorway, in an arched recess, is an inscription recording the laying of the foundation stone in 1812. At second-floor level is a heavy moulded cornice, and reset in the top storey is a stone panel from the original building recording the endowment of the hospital and schoolhouse by Dorothy Wilson, spinster; the year of her death is incorrectly shown on the panel (Plate 182). To N.W. the three-bay side elevation directly overlooks the Foss. The internal finish is very simple, only the Committee Room on the first floor having a ceiling cornice. The staircase is modern.
(43) Winterscale's Hospital, Walmgate, founded in the early 18th century, incorporated remains of a three-bay timber-framed building parallel to the street, possibly of the 15th century, re-roofed in the early 17th century. The framed building was of two storeys without a jetty and the roof was of clasped-purlin construction. Demolished 1957.
(44) Mansion House (Plates 93–95; Fig. 55), built as the residence of the Lord Mayor of York, occupies the site of the mediaeval Common Hall gateway and St. Christopher's chapel. It is of three storeys with attics and basement, and built of stone and brick, partly stuccoed, with stone dressings. The roof is slated. Proposals for its erection had been discussed for some time before the appointment of a building committee in 1724 (T. P. Cooper in AASRP, xl (1931), 271–92; VCH, York, 543–4) which unsuccessfully sought possession of the Red House, Duncombe Place (156), before ordering work to commence in 1725. The building was sufficiently advanced for meetings to be held in it in 1726, but it was not ready for the Lord Mayor to reside in until 1730, and the State Room, then called the Great Room, was not fitted out until 1732–3. The building committee at first paid craftsmen directly, and consequently few are known by name before 1729. The original railings, however, appear to have been made by John Beadale, smith, who was granted his freedom in 1726 for 'making the Iron work at the new house at the Common Hall', i.e. the Mansion House (YCA, B42, f. 76v). Significant later payments are to Henry Thirsk for four Corinthian capitals, and to Christopher Banks for '1172/3 yards of Bellection work with Raised Pannells', both in 1729. Work in the State Room in 1732–3 was supervised by Francis Bickerton and carried out by John Terry, carpenter, and Richard Nelthorpe, plasterer. The City's and the King's arms there were carved by Mr. Harvy, presumably Daniel Harvey. The architect of the building is unknown, and its attribution to Lord Burlington is without foundation. The front elevation may well have been inspired by that of the Queen's Gallery at Somerset House (Plate 93), illustrated by Colen Campbell in Vitruvius Britannicus, 1 (1715). The internal arrangement of the building is described in detail by Hargrove (425–31).
The front elevation (Plate 93) is of five bays. The ground floor is rusticated and arcaded; the N. arch is open to a throughcarriageway, and the central bay contains the entrance doorway. In the other three bays, large round-headed windows, made in 1783, replace the original smaller square-headed windows illustrated by Drake (330). On the upper storeys the three central bays are defined by Ionic pilasters under a pediment; the entablature continues, with a small set-back, over the end bays which are bounded by rusticated quoins. The first-floor windows have eared architraves and pediments, alternately segmental and triangular. The die of the pedestal under the central window formerly bore the inscription 'Haec maenia surgunt— in honorem civium Eboracensium 1726. Samuele Clarke Majore' (Drake, ibid.). The second-floor windows are square, with moulded architraves. Within the pediment, which rises through a blind parapet, is a shield-of-arms of the City. The present late 19th-century area railings are of a different design from the original set which now, with later additions, separate the forecourt of the King's Manor from Exhibition Square.
The treatment of the N. elevation, which is cement-rendered with an E. end returned in similar character to the front elevation, dates from 1884 when an adjoining building was demolished (YCA, BB21, f. 227). The S. side is masked by an adjoining building. The rear elevation is of plain brickwork with plat-bands. The windows have red brick dressings and gauged flat arches, but the staircase is lit by a tall round-headed window.
Interior. The entrance hall (Plate 94) is floored with black and white diagonal paving and has a panelled dado and enriched ceiling cornice. An archway with flanking Corinthian pilasters and putti heads in the spandrels of the arch leads to the stair hall behind. To S., the Drawing Room to the front and Dining Room to the rear, both lined with panelling rising in two heights to a moulded cornice, now form one room separated by a wide archway. The fireplaces have early 19th-century marble surrounds. To N. are three rooms intended for the use of the porter, butler and housekeeper, the latter two separated by the secondary staircase. This, now hidden by modern screening which intrudes into the main stair hall, was renewed above the ground floor in 1865, but the basement flights retain close strings, square newels and balusters in the form of columns over shaped pedestals.
The main staircase (Plate 94; Fig. 11r) is of false cantilever construction, with turned balusters opposite a panelled dado. The stair window has pilastered jambs and moulded round head, and is flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters rising to the enriched ceiling cornice. On the first-floor landing the doorways to N. and S. have simple Regency surrounds. The central doorway to the State Room is flanked by paired Corinthian pilasters and has pilastered jambs and moulded round-arched head with putti heads on the key-block and in the spandrels. The State Room (Plate 95) occupies the whole of the upper part of the front of the house. The walls are panelled, and each long wall is divided by Corinthian pilasters rising to an enriched entablature above which the attic storey is divided by plain pilasters. Paired pilasters flank the fireplaces in the two end walls, above which the entablature rises to a pediment. The fireplaces have simple moulded marble surrounds and overmantels; above, at the N. end, is an achievement of Royal Arms, and at the S. end a cartouche of arms of the City over crossed sword and mace surmounted by a cap of maintenance (Plate 197). The ceiling is coved and divided into geometric panels by raised ribs with guilloche ornament. The central doorway in the W. wall is flanked by Corinthian columns forming a shallow porch with a small musicians' gallery above. The frieze over the doorway bears a female head between cornucopias. The panels of the doors are painted with arabesques, which are all that remain of a scheme of decoration executed in the late 19th century and said to be the work of Richard Jack of York. Full-length portraits of royal and civic dignitaries now conceal some panelling.
Behind the State Room are two rooms, the larger of which has a white marble fireplace (Plate 179), said to have come from the Adelphi buildings in London. The attic floor, divided into bedrooms in 1830, has been modernised.
Civic Plate, Insignia, Etc.
Swords: (1) The Emperor Sigismund's Sword (Plate 64), given to hang over the Emperor's stall in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, on his installation as a Knight of the Garter in 1416; at his death in 1437 it became a perquisite of the Dean and Canons of Windsor and in 1439 was given to the City of York by Henry Hanslap, a canon of Windsor and of Howden; redecorated in 1586, new-gilt in 1605–6, and repaired in 1781, 1872 and 1971. 52 in. long, blade 391/8 in. long, hilt with faceted pommel and gilt latten quillons; two-edged blade of diamond section bears Lombardic I and crown as maker's mark; upper part blued and gilt with arms of Elizabeth I (quarterings reversed) and of City of York, and inscribed SiGiSMVNDi IMPERAT DAT M C EB 1439 ORNAT HENRI MAY MAIOR 1586; red velvet-covered scabbard with six silver-gilt dragons, the latter probably of 1586, the velvet renewed.
(2) The Bowes Sword, given to the city in 1549 by Sir Martin Bowes; repaired and restored 1605–6 by Christopher Harrington; sword regilt, scabbard regilt and velvet renewed 1971. 48¼ in. long, blade 365/8 in. long; rock crystal pommel and silver-gilt quillons engraved with strapwork and set on one side with semi-precious stones; two-edged blade with later bluing and blued terminal arabesques, the fuller engraved on a gilt ground down both sides: SYR MARTYN BOWES KNYGHT BORNE WITHIN THIS CITIE OF YORKE AND MAIOR OF THE CITIE OF LONDON 1545 FOR A REMEMBRANCE / GAVE THIS SWORDE TO THE MAIOR AND COMMVNALTIE OF THIS SAID HONORABLE CITIE. Red velvet-covered scabbard with gold braid and silver-gilt decoration, part original, part 17th-century; two crystal discs on chape, one covering city arms, the other blank.
(3) Small sword and scabbard; steel hilt pierced and chiselled overall with scrolls and trophies; leather scabbard, the mounts en suite with hilt, and retaining its chains and frog; sword 383/8 in. long, blade 32 in. long; c. 1750–60. (4) Small sword and scabbard, painted black for mourning; steel hilt set with moulded studs; leather scabbard with brass mounts; sword 335/8 in. long, blade 26¾ in. long; c. 1790. (5) Small sword and scabbard, painted black for mourning; close copy of (4) but hilt of brass; overall length 35 in.; 19th-century. (6) Small sword and scabbard; steel hilt chiselled overall and set with faceted studs; leather scabbard with mounts en suite with hilt; sword 383/8 in. long, blade 315/8 in. long; 19th-century.
Great Mace (Plate 92): silver-gilt; dating from 1647, made by Claudius Tirill, who was paid £70. 18s.; the date and his initials chased on head. In 1660 it was ordered that the king's arms be set on top of the great mace and the commonwealth arms blotted out (YCA, B37, 8 May 1660); the plate with royal arms bears maker's mark WH. 44 in. long; head surmounted by royal crown above plate chased with achievement-of-arms of Charles II; body chased with panels of emblematic figures, Justice, Charity, Fortitude and Faith, above gadrooned knop between curling leaves; plain shaft with central knop chased with arms of York, crowned portcullis, badge of Prince of Wales, cross of St. George, royal crest and York rose; terminal knop similar to that below head and with fleur-de-lys finial.
Cap of Maintenance: of red velvet with gold decoration and button with gold thread on one side; very worn; said to be of 1580.
Chains: (1) of Lord Mayor; gold; of three graduated chains of wirework, composed of interlaced pear-shaped double links alternating with spherical spiral links; gift of Sir Robert Watter in 1612 (Lord Mayor 1591, 1603; see St. Crux Parish Room (4), Monument (4)); mid 16th-century. (2) Of Lady Mayoress; gold; of six graduated strands of plain circular links, the shortest with added loop of 1812; gift of Marmaduke Rawdon, 1670.
Livery Collars and Badges: three, of silver, each comprising links in form of lions passant guardant with double pendant of a large and a small shield of the city arms, and pendant lion passant guardant; (a) of Sword-bearer, chain of 33 links; (b) of Mace-bearer, chain of 30 links, smaller shield engraved IH Jan 1822; (c) of Staff-bearer, chain of 34 links, small shield engraved A.G.; chains and two small shields 1565–6 (Oman); larger shields 17th-century.
Staffs: (1) of Lady Mayoress; 36½ in. long; of mottled hardwood with plain silver ferrule at either end, one engraved with city arms, the other with inscription recording gift by Richard Towne in 1726. (2) Of Porter; with ebony shaft; silver head engraved with city arms and with inscriptions 1679–1721.
Seals, all silver: (1) Double (Plate 92), seal and counterseal 2 7/16 in. diam. with three pierced lugs to ensure exact fitting; on seal, crenellated tower enclosed by wall with three turrets to front with round-headed openings, legend: SIGILLVM CIVIVM EBORACI; on counterseal, St. Peter between two angels, legend: S(ANCTI) B(EAT)I PETRI PRINCIPIS APOSTOLOR(VM); 13th-century. (2) Oval, with ivory baluster handle; matrix 1¼ by 1 1/10 in. with ornate shield-of-arms of city and legend: SIGNACVLVM EBORACENSIVM; c. 1720. (3a, b) Statute Merchant; (a) of 'king', 1¾ in. diam. with king's bust between two castles, lower part of bust charged with lion passant guardant; legend: S(IGILLVM) EDW(ARDI) REG(IS) ANGL(IE) AD RECOGN(ICIONEM) DEBITOR(VM) APVD EBORACVM; rear loop, dexter castle cut out and made to pivot on rear mount; (b) of clerk, 13/16 in. diam. with demi-figure of St. Peter holding book and key, to sinister a small castle; legend: EBORACVS; provided under Statute of Acton Burnell (1283) for sealing recognizances of debtors. (4) Ring, attached to (3b) by silver chain, 13/16 in. internal diam., with three bezels attached: (a) round with lion rampant; (b) and (c) shaped shields each charged with a griffin's head erased; 16th-century.
The Plate, all with London or York mark, many with engraved donors' inscriptions: (1) Centre-piece, silver (Plate 64), comprising oval stand supporting domed canopy surmounted by figure of Fame; beneath canopy, figure of Justice on pedestal bearing city arms; by W. Pitts and J. Preedy, London 1796. (2) Chamber-pot, silver, by Marmaduke Best, York 1670; engraved with arms of city and donor, Marmaduke Rawdon, 1672. (3, 4) Posset cups with covers, pair, silver, by Seth Lofthouse, London 1702; gadrooned and engraved with city arms; gift of John Peckitt, Lord Mayor, 1702, renewing earlier gift of Leonard Besson (Lord Mayor 1614 and 1626). (5) Cup, gold (Plate 64), by Marmaduke Best, York 1671; on circular corded foot with baluster stem and foliage decoration; engraved with arms of city and donor, Marmaduke Rawdon, 1672. (6) Standing cup with cover, silver gilt (Plate 64), by IB, London 1679; on circular foot with baluster stem and foliage decoration; bowl engraved with arms of city and donor, John Turner, 1679; regilt by great grandson, Charles Turner, 1772. (7) Standing cup, silver, with scrolled handles and cover; decorated with vine motifs, animals and infant bacchanals; perhaps by George Cowles, London 1765; presented 1935. (8) Standing cup, vase-shaped, and cover, silver gilt, by William Holmes, London 1788; decoration includes city arms within wreath; inscription records original gift in 1789 to Peter Johnson, Recorder. (9) Cup, vase-shaped, and cover, silver gilt, with vine decoration, London 1831; maker's mark overstruck with that of Barber, Cattle and North of York; presented 1944. (10) Ewer and dish, silver, London 1648; maker's mark of star over orb; ewer 9½ in. high, with beaker-shaped body; dish 19½ in. diam.; each engraved with city arms and inscription recording gift by James Hutchinson (Lord Mayor 1634; died 20 July 1647). (11, 12) Monteiths, pair, silver; one by Seth Lofthouse, London 1699, given by George Prickett, 1699, engraved with shields-of-arms now worn and unidentifiable; the other a replica by John Kidder, London 1786, renewing gift of William Pickering, 1722, and engraved with arms of city and donor; also pair of punch ladles with plain circular bowls, engraved EBOR, and ebony handles, by Stephen Adams, London 1786. (13, 14) Tankards and covers, pair, silver; one by John Plummer, the other by Marmaduke Best, York 1673; each with thumb-piece and three feet in shape of lions couchant; engraved with arms of city and donor, Thomas Bawtry, 1673. (15) Tea urn, silver, vase-shaped, with landscape medallion and figures, by Walter Tweedie, London 1780; engraved with city arms and inscription recording gift by John Carr, 1796. (16) Tureen, silver, two-handled, by Henry Chawner, London 1788; medallion engraved with city arms; gift of Peter Johnson, Recorder, 1789. (17) Tureen, silver, similar to (16), by Peter Podie, London 1796; medallions engraved with city arms and inscription recording gift by John Carr, 1796.
(L. Jewitt and W. H. St. John Hope, The Corporation Plate and Insignia of Office of the Cities and Corporate Towns of England and Wales, ii (1895), 445–78; C. Oman, 'Civic Plate and Insignia of the City of York', The Connoisseur, October and November 1967; York Corporation Plate: An Historic Collection, reprinted from the Yorkshire Herald (1909); Christie Manson and Woods, Inventory 1963 (includes table plate and post-1850 items not listed above)).
(45) Assembly Rooms, Blake Street (Plates 96–99; Fig. 57), were built to provide accommodation for dancing and other social activities. The subscribers first asked William Wakefield for a design, but on his death approached Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington. The building was begun in 1730, first used in August 1732, but not entirely completed until 1735. The craftsmen employed were the bricklayers James Disney, William Potter, George Burton and Quintin Snare, the masons Leonard Smith, William Bateson and William Ellis, the joiners and carpenters John Howgill, William Etty, John Terry and Matthew Raison, the smiths William Boddy and William Silcock, and the plumber Thomas Allanson. The decorative plasterwork in the Great Assembly Room and the ceilings in the Lesser Assembly Room and Recess were executed by John Bagnall. The plasterwork in the Circular Room is by Quintin Snare and William Potter. Some stone carving, including the stone doorcases, was done by Henry Thirsk, and wood carving by Bernard Dickinson. Iron casement windows for the Great Assembly Room clerestorey were made by George Allanson, the sash windows for the tripartite lunettes on the front and side elevations by John Howgill. Chandeliers were bought from Mr. Watson of London.
The building has not been left unaltered. After a fire in 1773, alterations designed by Sir John O'Corall were made in the Lesser Assembly Room, and the craftsmen included Mr. Blaksley, carver and gilder, and Mr. Henderson, plasterer. The steps in front of the portico were replaced by an internal set in 1791, and a new facade designed by J. P. Pritchett was built in 1828. In 1859, a plan to ease circulation submitted by J. B. and W. Atkinson involved pulling down the side walls between the Great Assembly Room and two side rooms, one of which was also trebled in size. In 1885, to a plan by Mr. Demaine, a footpath was created through the portico by cutting away the podium around the columns. The building was purchased by York Corporation in 1925, who began repairs when they took full control in 1939, and more fully restored it in 1951. (YCA, York Assembly Rooms Minute Books and Account Book; R. Wittkower, 'Burlington and his Work in York' in W. A. Singleton (ed.), Studies in Architectural History, 1 (1954), 47–66.)
The Assembly Rooms, probably the earliest neoclassical building in Europe, proved to be one of the most influential pieces of architecture of the early 18th century. The design is based on Palladio's interpretation of Roman architecture, rather than the Italian architect's own buildings. The Great Assembly Room is based on his reconstruction of an 'Egyptian Hall' (Plate 98), and the suite of rooms around it, as well as the facade, on those of Roman houses and baths. The design was published in 1736 (Drake, 338.1–3) (Plate 96) and in Vitruvius Britannicus iv (Woolfe and Gandon (1767), 78–81); the plan in the former (Fig. 56) is closer to the original as built.
Architectural Description. Burlington's facade of a segmental portico with flanking bays was replaced by the present facade in 1828 (Plate 96). The original portico was of stone, the remainder of the building of brick, stuccoed on the facade, with a stuccoed timber-framed clerestorey to the Great Assembly Room. Except along the S.E. side, where there is a pentice roof, the roofs are carried on king-post trusses, later heightened on the N.W. side. They were first covered with flat tiles, but the low pitch prompted the replacement of some with Dutch glazed pantiles as early as 1732; they now have slates.
Internally, newel stairs to the vaults under the front, and to the roof, opened from within the original portico, but when this was replaced access doors were opened from the Vestibule. The Vestibule, which has apsidal ends and opposed doors, stands between the North and South Front Rooms which have vaulted apses between a pair of round-headed niches. All three rooms have identical moulded cornices, and both Front Rooms retain the floors of 'Bremen Flaggs . . . with margins of Yelland (Elland) Flaggs' ordered for them in 1733. The S. room has a stone chimney-piece with eared architrave and a cornice supported by brackets (Plate 99) similar to that in the Cube Room, but the cupboards in the niches and plaster roundels over one door are 19th-century. In the N.W. corner of the N. room, which was used for refreshments, a doorway led to a servants' room designed by Burlington and built 1735–8 (I. H. Goodall in YGS, Annual Report 1970, 22–38).
The Circular Room, with four round-headed niches and a marble chimney-piece with pulvinated frieze, has a moulded and enriched entablature above which the domed ceiling rises to an octagonal lantern. A wall-painting was executed in 1951. The Lesser Assembly Room, as built, had a narrow opening to the Great Assembly Room, opposed doors at each end, two chimney-pieces (Plate 99) which formed the pattern for that in the Circular Room, and a ceiling with central panel identical to that in the Recess opposite. The outer wall had a tripartite lunette between pairs of round-headed windows. In 1773, the central door to the Cube Room was replaced by an arrangement based on the 'Palladian' motif, with doors to each side of a taller, round-headed recess and plaster roundels depicting mythological scenes (Plate 97). This latter recess was intended to house an organ, and above it and the roundels are swags incorporating musical instruments. A roundel over the door to the Circular Room formerly had similar swags and additional chains of husks supported by anthemia to each side. A roof-light was inserted in 1849, and in 1859 the side wall to the Great Assembly Room was opened out. At the same time an inserted lower ceiling with coved cornice hid the original ceiling and caused the partial blocking of the four round-headed side windows. A door was subsequently cut through the outside wall, and in 1951 all windows except the tripartite lunette were blocked. The Cube Room, originally designed to be sub-divided, has a stone chimney-piece (Plate 99) which is an enriched version of that in the S. Front Room, a dado rail and cornice. The coved ceiling with skylight is an afterthought. It was not ordered until 1734, and the wall-plates have housings for a former central tie-beam.
The Kitchen, Recess and Offices, built down the S.E. side of the building, have been altered beyond recognition. The Kitchen had four square windows lit from a light-well, but the Offices were top-lit. The Recess, lit by a tripartite lunette, had a moulded and dentilled ceiling (Plate 168) and a music gallery between the columns. In 1859 it was trebled in length, its side wall opened out to the Great Assembly Room, and a lower ceiling with cornice of four fasciae, but incorporating the original Recess ceiling, inserted. The Kitchen was later converted into a cloakroom, and the Offices were totally rebuilt in 1951.
The Great Assembly Room (Plate 98) has a peristyle of Corinthian columns with entablature above which rises a clerestorey with Composite pilasters defining bays containing windows and festoons. The columns are of stone with a plaster skim and moulded plaster capitals. The surrounding aisle, with alternate rectangular and semicircular niches set in the side wall above a band, has a moulded entablature similar to that over the columns, but this is now hidden by an inserted ceiling of 1859. The clerestorey has an entablature, but the ceiling was always plain, despite the rococo detailing of Charles Lindley's engraving published in 1759. In 1751 the seats in the aisles were brought flush with the columns, and in 1755 the mouldings and scallop shells carved by John Staveley, painted and gilded by Samuel Carpenter, and shown by Lindley, were added to them. A 'door of communication' was opened to the Festival Concert Room (46) to the S.W. after the construction of the latter in 1824–5, and the side walls were altered in 1859.
The doorcases in the Assembly Rooms (Plate 99) are all of the same basic type, including a pulvinated frieze, but some are plain, others enriched. Those between the intercommunicating front rooms are plain and of stone; two of the enriched type with multiple-ribboned friezes in the Circular Room are of wood. The remainder have cross-ribboned friezes and are also of wood, except for those between the Vestibule and Great Assembly Room, which are of stone. The royal arms of Queen Victoria are set in the clerestorey of the Great Assembly Room. For the rest, most of the Georgian fittings are gifts made in 1951.
(46) Museum Chambers, formerly the Festival Concert Room, stood on the S.E. side of Museum Street and immediately S.W. of the Assembly Rooms (45). It was built because the Assembly Rooms were found to be too small in the Yorkshire Arts Festival of 1823. The site was bought in 1824 and the building opened in 1825, the architects being P. Atkinson jnr. and R. H. Sharp; the cost, including the ground, was £9,400 (New Guide, 114–5). Five sheets of architects' original drawings, dated July 1824 and endorsed by craftsmen Thos. Rayson, Jnr., Isaac Mason, J. Rt. Mountain and James Addison, survive (Brierley, Leckenby, Keighley and Groom). The concert room (95 ft. by 60 ft. and 45 ft. high) was capable of seating 1,700 persons. It had brick walls, 2 ft. thick, which were very plain externally because, being much hemmed in by other buildings, there were virtually no visible elevations. Inside, the orchestra was at the N.W. end, in front of a shallow apse, and at the S.E. end was a gallery on iron columns; the architects' drawings show a decorative treatment of wall pilasters in lath and plaster all round the room. Folding doors communicated directly with the Assembly Rooms and there was an entry from Museum Street (then Little Lendal) through an existing house, which was adapted for the use of performers. This house was demolished in 1859–62, when the street was widened, and replaced by a new building containing suites of rooms, with a facade in polychromatic brick with stone dressings. In the 20th century the concert room was gutted and offices were built within it around a light-well; at the same time an extra storey was added to the range on the street frontage. Demolished 1974.
(47) Theatre Royal, on the E. side of St. Leonard's Place, is mostly of the late 19th century but incorporates fragments of St. Leonard's Hospital (40) and remains of theatre buildings of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The first theatre on the site was built in 1744 over a 12th-century undercroft but was altered or rebuilt in 1763–5 by Joseph Baker, the manager and lessee; it was then entered from Duncombe Place and had a pit backed by a tier of boxes and two galleries (VCH, York, 533–4). It became the Theatre Royal by royal patent in 1769 when Tate Wilkinson was manager. In 1822 the interior was altered and a new entry to the gallery was made from Mint Yard. When St. Leonard's Place was created in 1834–5, the W. elevation of the theatre, which faced directly onto the new street, was improved to designs by John Harper, who added details in the Elizabethan style and built a stone arcade to provide shelter for the new main entrance on that side. Alterations were made internally in 1866 and 1875, and in c. 1880 the N. and E. elevations were rebuilt or faced in sandstone in Gothic style; the W. arcade was removed to Fulford Road (York IV, Monument (31), 53). The interior was again altered in 1901, when most of the surviving 12th-century undercroft of the hospital was destroyed. An addition containing a new entrance and foyers was built on the N. side in 1967. The only old wall now visible is the S. elevation, which is of 18th and 19th-century brick and has two hung-sash windows, but more 18th-century walls probably survive encased by later work.
Attached to the S. side of the theatre is a three-storey house, formerly occupied by the manager and now used as theatre offices. It was built in the late 18th century, incorporating the remains of a 13th-century stone building which had formed part of St. Leonard's Hospital and had been altered c. 1700. The three-bay S. elevation, of common brick, has hung-sash windows with red brick dressings and flat arches, a timber eaves cornice, and a tiled, hipped roof. Inside, there is a late 18th-century staircase leading up to the first floor and, between first and second floors, a staircase of c. 1700 with bulbous balusters.
(48) De Grey Rooms, St. Leonard's Place (Plate 100; Fig. 58), were built by subscription in 1841–2 to the design of G. T. Andrews (YG, 13 Nov. 1841). The impetus for the erection of the building was given by the Earl de Grey and officers of the Yorkshire Hussars who required suitable accommodation for their annual mess, and it was intended for purposes for which the Assembly Rooms (45) and Festival Concert Room (46) were unsuitable because of size. It was used for concerts, balls, public entertainments and meetings (Sheahan and Whellan, 1, 623).
The building, bounded to the side and rear by a curving lane which formerly gave access to the rear of De Grey House (394), is principally of two storeys over a basement. It is brickbuilt, except for part of the rear elevation which has a weather-boarded timber frame. The cement-rendered front elevation is of seven bays, the central five being emphasised and more elaborately decorated, with a through-carriageway in the N. bay. It has cast-iron area railings, lamp standards and first-floor balconies.
The prospectus specified a suite 'comprising a large room, commodious reception and other rooms, spacious kitchens and cellars, and requisite offices' (YG, 2 Oct. 1841). The basement has storage rooms and at the rear a two-storeyed kitchen formerly with a cast-iron range supplied by the iron foundry of William Walker at York. The ground-floor rooms have been altered, but on the first floor the tall main hall has much enriched plasterwork and a panelled ceiling with central clerestorey lighting. Doors lead from it to a lower apsidalended front room, to rooms and a service staircase to the rear and side, and to the main staircase which has cast-iron vine-scroll balusters.
(49) The Minster Song School (Plate 150), originally St. Peter's School, was built for the Dean and Chapter on part of the site of the Old Deanery, to designs by C. Watson and J. P. Pritchett (YML, M/P Y/St P 1133/5). It was begun in 1830 and completed by 1833 (New Guide, 94). In 1844 St. Peter's School moved to the buildings of the Proprietary School at Clifton (York IV, Monument (29)), and a school of design acquired the building in Minster Yard in 1848. In 1852 it was known as the Government School of Design and later as York School of Art which moved to Exhibition Square in 1890 (York IV, (13) 45b). Pritchett's building became the Minster Song School in 1903 (VCH, York, 341).
The school, of a single storey, was built in a Tudor Gothic style in ashlar. It had a simple rectangular ground plan (85 ft. by 24 ft. overall), with the Hall in the main range (40 ft. by 20 ft.) and a vestibule entrance set to the front of it, between projecting cross-wings to either end (30 ft. by 20 ft.). In the late 19th century, or when the Minster Song School took possession in 1903, floors were inserted in the cross-wings and a gallery was constructed along the N. side of the Hall to link the two upper floor compartments; a staircase was also formed in the E. cross-wing. Two large openings to each end of the Hall were mostly blocked, though smaller doorways were incorporated in all but that to S.W. More recently, a floor was inserted in the Hall and the crosswings were sub-divided. The former small structure to the rear at the E. end, built as a Library and a Master's Room, was converted to other uses, the latter room becoming a kitchen. Cellars below the E. cross-wing incorporate mediaeval stone walling.
The N. front elevation is symmetrical (Plate 150), with cross-wings lit by large windows of five cinquefoil-headed lights in Tudor style. The other elevations, also in ashlar, have mullioned windows. Internally, there are elaborate softwood roof trusses with short curved braces to the tie-beams, supported by enriched corbels with fleurs-de-lys, Tudor roses, crossed keys for St. Peter, and grotesque heads. The blocked openings to the Hall have stone four-centred arches, with hollow chamfers continuous with the jambs.
(50) Foss Bridge (Plate 116), linking Fossgate and Walmgate, was rebuilt in 1811 to the design of Peter Atkinson junior under the Act of Parliament which also authorised the rebuilding of Ouse Bridge (York iii, 49). It is of fine gritstone and has a single segmental arch between rusticated pilasters and balustraded parapets. The site has been that of a bridge since at least the 12th century, and the present bridge replaces one largely or entirely rebuilt in the early 15th century which once bore a chapel of St. Anne, houses and shops, and was used as a fish market.
(51) King's Staith, the stone quay which forms the left bank of the Ouse immediately S. of Ouse Bridge, is on the site of a quay 'newly constructed in the water of Use between the bridge and the inn of the Friars Minor' for which quayage was granted between 1366 and 1380. Further grants in 1388 and 1393 were to strengthen the new quay with stone and lime (CPR). Repairs were carried out in 1453 under the supervision of Robert Couper, the city mason (Raine, 223). In 1774 the Staith, which was out of repair, was raised and new paved (Hargrove, ii, 210). When the new Ouse Bridge was built King's Staith was also rebuilt, and was also completed in 1820. The river wall consists mainly of brown gritstone, but incorporates a layer of magnesian limestone. The staith widens from steps leading down from Ouse Bridge at the N. extremity, with a short length of wall at the S. returning to South Esplanade which is indented for a ramp to the water. This is probably the site of the Pudding Holes, mentioned from 1475 onwards, where clothes and animal giblets were washed. Most of the staith is cobbled. A magnesian limestone retaining wall on the boundary of No. 1 Low Ousegate incorporates 13th-century shaped stone brackets.
(52) River Walls, on the N.E. bank of the River Ouse between the Guildhall and Ouse Bridge, are mainly of mediaeval magnesian limestone with brickwork of the 18th century and later above. At the rear of the Yorkshire Herald works, Nos. 13 to 17 Coney Street, a coursed masonry wall incorporates blocked arched openings, a fragmentary stone buttress, and a three-centred brick arch. This last was the opening of a lane to the river, being one of two common lanes known as St. Martin's Lane (p. 122). A late 19th-century three-storey brick building on the site of a block at the rear of the former George Hotel (142) is built on a stone wall with a round-headed brick arched opening in the position of a former archway from the inn courtyard to the river bank. A recess with a modern brick threearched head in the stone base of the river wall between No. 43 Coney Street and No. 2 Spurriergate, now forming one building, may represent the original opening of a common lane at the Swine Landing (Raine, 147–9).
Parish Boundary Marks
Of a number of inscribed stones and metal plates surviving on parish boundaries and indicated as Br. Stone or B.S. on the 1852 OS map but a few retain their lettering intact. Only those with legible inscriptions are listed here. They are probably 18th-century unless otherwise stated.
(53) On wall fronting St. Andrewgate, formerly part of No. 10, magnesian limestone tablet inscribed 'St Andrs Psh'.
(54) On N.E. side of St. Crux burial ground (18), stone tablet inscribed 'ST. CRUX PARISH'.
(55) On S.E. elevation of No. 6 Duncombe Place (155), stone tablet inscribed 'St MB', for St. Michael-le-Belfrey.
(56) On W. wall of St. Anthony's Hall (39), a worn stone lettered 'Pr' has been superseded by a metal plaque inscribed 'ST SAVIOUR'S PARISH. 1842'. On the E. wall is a similar plaque.
(57) On S.W. wall of Centenary Chapel, St. Saviourgate (24), a similar plaque.
(58) On No. 23 Lendal (251), stone plaque inscribed 'St. W.', for St. Wilfrid.
(59) On No. 11 Blake Street (71), a similar plaque inscribed 'St. W'.