(20) Ouse Bridge (Plates 142, 143), crossing the River
Ouse from Bridge Street to Low Ousegate, is an early
19th-century structure of brown limestone. It was
probably at this crossing that a timber bridge collapsed
under the weight of the multitude that welcomed
St. William in 1154, precipitating 200 people into the
river (W. H. Dixon and J. Raine, Fasti Eboracenses (1863),
225–6). A stone bridge must have been built in the
second half of the 12th century as on it there was built
a chapel of which there are 12th-century remains in
the Yorkshire Museum. The chapel on Ouse Bridge
is mentioned in 1223 (York Memorandum Book, SS, cxxv,
68) and by 1228 it had been rededicated to St. William
(CPR, 1225–32, 175) who had been canonised in the
previous year. Archbishop Walter de Gray appealed
for money to repair the bridge in 1233 (Archbishop
Gray's Register, SS, lvi, 60–1) and further sums of
money for repairs are documented in 1307, 1407 and
1493 (YCA, G.I; CCR, 1405–9, 214; TE iv, 39).
St. William's Chapel stood on the N. side of the
bridge, at the Bridge Street end; W. of it was the City
Council Chamber, to which there was access from the
chapel, and associated gaols known as the 'kidcotes'.
Houses and shops, for which several 15th-century leases
survive, were built on the bridge, as well as a stone
cross (YCA, Memo. Book B/Y, f. 39v.) and an almshouse or Maison Dieu for women (York Memorandum
Book, SS, cxxv, 291–2; Raine, 207–25). In the winter of
1564–5 two arches of the bridge and twelve of the houses
upon it were destroyed by floods. Leonard Craven,
carpenter, undertook in 1565 to complete a 'gytty'
or caisson to allow masons to put down new foundations
(YCR, vi, 100). Martin Bowes, Lord Mayor of London,
sent Thomas Harper, who had worked on London
Bridge, to advise the Corporation (YCR, vi, 103) and a
single arch spanning 81 ft. was designed to replace the
two spans destroyed. Christopher Walmesley was
appointed mason for the rebuilding. John Todd,
carpenter, made the centring (YCR, vi, 113, 121) and
Walmesley was assisted by 'Walmesley Junior' and
Whithead (ibid., 120), masons; squared stone was
delivered by William Oldred, mason (ibid., 113).
Further stone was taken from Foss Bridge Chapel,
Holy Trinity Priory, St. George's Chapel by Castle
Mills and the 'Bichedoughter Tower' of the walls by
the Old Baile, and was requested from the Archbishop
either from St. Mary's Abbey or the former Archbishop's
Palace (YCR, vi, 73, 114, 115). The main work was
probably completed in 1566, but further repairs were
executed by Walmesley until 1572 (YCR, vi, 120, 139;
vii, 8, 49).
In 1745 it was agreed 'to pull down the little houses on
the top of Ouse Bridge'; houses were being removed
until 1793 (YCA, M.17), and balustrades were erected.
In 1795 a committee reported on the state of the bridge,
recommending that it should be rebuilt, if possible in
iron, and that it should be 35 ft. wide within the parapets (YCA, M.17). A competition for widening the
bridge, utilising the existing arches, was held in 1809
and the results announced in the York Courant of 25
September. The first premium of £100 was awarded
to Peter Atkinson (II), architect and City Steward,
the second of £60 to John Rawsthorne, and the third
of £40 to Charles Watson. Subscription lists were
drawn up, and an Act of Parliament passed to authorise
the work. Thomas Harrison (1744–1829) of Chester, in
a 'Report on the Present State of Ouse Bridge' in the
York Courant (5 March 1810), recommended the complete rebuilding of the bridge, as the existing structure
was in such a state of disrepair. Atkinson produced new
designs, with three spans instead of five (Plates 143, 144),
and on 10 December 1810, the first stone was laid.
Debts of £30,000 were soon incurred, and the scheme
was suspended. On 7 June 1815 a second Act, for an
enlarged and amended scheme, became law, and
provided that the County should help with the cost.
Atkinson remained architect, David Russell was Clerk
of Works, and the contract was let to Messrs. (Abraham)
Craven. The bridge was built in two halves, longitudinally, to permit the retention of the old bridge until free
passage was obtainable across the new. The centre arch
was to have a span of 75 ft., and the two side arches,
spans of 64 ft. each. The first half of the bridge was
opened on 1 January 1818, and the second half completed in summer 1820; tolls were abolished on 18 June
1829 (VCH, York, 515–18).
The bridge (Plate 142) is in three spans of segmental arches
with heavily rusticated masonry. The rustication is continued
on the under side of the arches and a straight joint shows the
junction of the two builds. On either side of the river on the S.
side are stairways to the tow-paths; a small building has been
removed from the S.E. angle of the bridge. The fabric has
been much patched, and the lamp standards are modern. A
contemporary newspaper cutting records the inscription on a
brass plate deposited in a cavity of the new bridge:
The FIRST STONE of This BRIDGE was laid December 10th in
the Year MDCCCX And in the Reign of GEORGE the THIRD
by The Rt. Hon. GEO. PEACOCK Lord Mayor. PETER ATKINSON
St. William's Chapel (Plate 145) was demolished in 1810
but some of its masonry survives in the Yorkshire Museum,
and the clock from it is now in Scunthorpe Museum. A
chapel was standing in 1223 and was rebuilt, incorporating
parts of the earlier structure, after 1228 when letters of protection were granted for David, collecting money for the
Ouse Bridge and the Chapel of St. William of York (CPR,
1225–32, 175). The chapel was built above a cellar, which in
1376 was leased to John de Shirburn (York Memorandum Book,
SS, cxx, 5). The cellar had one round or segmental-headed
window flanked by two rectangular windows in its E. wall
(Halfpenny, Plate 22). A watercolour of 1776 (Gott Collection,
Wakefield Museum, iii. 12) and a view by Cave (Plate 23)
show a small door fronting the street to E. of the main door
to the chapel, though this is not shown on the plan of c. 1800
(Evelyn Photographic Collection, No. 51). It may have led to a
staircase to the lower level. In 1547 it was agreed to take down
the steeple and all the lead from the chapel, and re-roof it with
stone. All the fittings were to be sold, with the exception of
the clock and bells (YCR, v, 39) but the Marian reaction
led to refurnishing. In 1554 repairs to the glass windows and
altars were ordered, and payments made to Edmond Walkyngton and (William?) Fornes, glaziers, and John Wedderell,
locksmith, for mending the broken glass windows in the chapel;
to Thomas Yaits, tiler, for repairs to the walls about the windows; and to (Richard) Graves and (Thomas) Grethede,
carvers, for eight new pillars to the 'parclose' (YCR, v, 100;
Raine, 216). In 1578, Queen Elizabeth's arms were set above the
chapel door to show that the building was being used as a law
court (YCR, vii, 175). Alterations were ordered in 1585 to
chambers in the chapel used for the detention of prisoners
(YCR, viii, 99–100). The chapel was demolished in 1810 during
the rebuilding of the bridge but drawings were made during
its demolition (Cave, Plates 23–7; original drawings in York
City Art Galley, Evelyn Collection, PD 1325–8).
Monumental fragments survive in the Yorkshire Museum:
(i) Two voussoirs (No. 482). A chain moulding with two
rows of small pellets around each link, with three-leafed plants
in triangular panels. This formed part of the middle of three
orders of a round-headed porch to the chapel, known from
1749 'Drawings of Saxon Churches' in the Society of Antiquaries, F14 and F17, Halfpenny, Plate 23, and Cave, Plate 25.
(ii) Two voussoirs (No. 504). Similar to 482.
(iii) Four voussoirs (Nos. 430, 431, 432, and 433).
(iv) Remains of a round-headed arcade (No. 434, sixteen
stones forming two and a half arches), and a moulded string-course (Nos. 435–8) (Plate 145). The arches are decorated with
chevron ornament on the face and soffit. No. 435 is the returned
end of the string. The source was in the W. wall of the chapel,
to right of the pointed-arch doorway which gave access to the
Common Hall (Cave, Plates 26 and 27).
(v) A carved stone, apparently a reworked voussoir (Plate
141). It exhibits both diagonal tooling and claw tooling, and
so was probably part of a 12th-century arch reused in the 13th-century rebuilding. The carving, in low relief, does not seem
to relate to its earlier use as a voussoir, and is incomplete.
The upper register represents the Annunciation and the lower
the Flight into Egypt. The latter includes a building with
piercings possibly representing tracery, in which case the carving is unlikely to be earlier than the 13th century; this is borne
out by the claw tooling on the stone. Identification rests on a
detailed sketch with full notes made in 1825 by the Rev. J.
Skinner (BM, Add. MS. 33684, ff. 30v., 33).
Clock (now in Scunthorpe Museum) (Plate 146). A clock
at the chapel on Ouse Bridge is mentioned between entries
of 1390 and 1399 (York Memorandum Book, SS, cxx, 223).
This is presumably the same as the clock of the Corporation
on Ouse Bridge of 1428 (op. cit., p. 183). The earliest specific
mention of a clock with a dial is in 1666 (YCA, Chamberlains'
Accounts 26, f. 17). This is the surviving clock, made in 1658
by William Edwards of London (YCA, House Book B. 37,
f. 111v.; Chamberlains' Accounts 1658, f. 17). The clock tower
appears in many views. The clock was altered 'unto a long
pendulum' in 1703 (House Book B. 40, f. 156v.). It was taken
down in 1809 (House Book B. 47, f. 356) and sold for 25
guineas to the parish of St. Michael Spurriergate. The bell
was sold to George Thomas Richardson, brazier, for a shilling
per pound (op. cit., f. 353). The clock was acquired from
Barrow-on-Humber church by Scunthorpe Museum and
Art Gallery in c. 1954. The bell mechanism does not form part
of the 1658 clock. On the clock is a metal plate (Plate 146)
|Robert Horner 1658 Maior||Aldermen|
|Sir Thomas Dickinson|
Gulielmus Edwardus Cambriae Britaniae me fecit
(21) Holgate Bridge (58795133) crosses Holgate
Beck, on Holgate Road. The N. side is probably part of a
bridge built in 1824 (Sheahan and Whellan, 1, 663);
the S. side is modern. The N. side (c. 1824), pierced by a
round arch of ashlar with a projecting keystone, has
moulded architraves and a heavy ashlar parapet. The
remainder of the elevation, and the soffit of the arch, is
of brick. At the W. end of the N. parapet is a piece of
magnesian limestone, reused, inscribed 'H. M.' probably
for Henry Masterman, Lord of the Manor of Acomb
and Holgate (d. 1769).
(22) Scarborough Bridge (59615205) is a combined
rail and pedestrian bridge of two spans across the River
Ouse to W. of Lendal Bridge. It was built in 1845 for the
York to Scarborough railway line (Blythe and Moore's
Stranger's Guide (1846), 56); a contemporary description
occurs in an account of the opening (Yorks. Gazette,
12 July 1845). It was reconstructed in 1874, when all the
original ironwork was replaced by new girders and the
foot-way was moved from the centre to the E. side of the
bridge. The earlier arrangement is on record (OS 1852).
The main alterations can be deduced by comparison
with an early photograph (NMR, CC61/12) and a watercolour in York Railway Museum (No. 60).
The two spans are carried on a central pier, battered
on all four sides, and abutments, all of gritstone ashlar.
Both abutments were pierced by barrel-vaulted archways, with moulded architrave, key-block, and a
string running across the piers at impost level. The S.
archway is now blocked, and appears as a round-headed
recess. The curved retaining wall to the embankment
has been cut back, and is now free-standing in front of
the pedestrian way. A square-headed opening to the S.
of the S. pier, roofed with flat slabs, dates from 1874.
The N. archway is intact, although the passage floor
has been raised. Straight joints in the N. wall of the
passage indicate the blocked entrances to the two flights
of steps, which rose to a common landing, from which a
single flight returned to the pedestrian way along the
centre of the bridge. The pier and abutments have
moulded parapets above a bold cornice. This upper
portion of masonry has been heightened by the insertion
of an additional string and a deep flat band of masonry
above the level of the keystones. The original ironwork
has been replaced but the seatings for the main struts,
four to each side of a span, remain.
(23) Knavesmire Racecourse Grandstand, built in
1755–6 and originally of two storeys, was removed
from its original site before 1925 (Benson, iii, fig. 21),
and the lower storey only has been rebuilt in the Paddock. The first recorded race at York was in 1530 (VCH,
York, 159). In 1708–9 regular racing began on land provided by Sir William Robinson at Clifton and Rawcliffe
Ings. In 1730 the Wardens of Micklegate Stray
were ordered to chain the Knavesmire, and the following spring the Pasture Masters were told to spend £100
on levelling, spreading and rolling the ground. The first
meeting there was in summer 1731 (YCA, B.42, f. 136).
The prime mover in the project for the grandstand on
the Knavesmire was the Marquess of Rockingham
(1730–82), and there is a survey of York racecourse in
his estate papers (R. B. Wragg, 'The Stand House on
the Knavesmire', York Georgian Soc. Report, 1965–6, 4).
On 7 December 1753 an application to erect a stand was
made to the City, a lease of the ground was granted,
and in 1754 subscriptions were requested by advertisement. Designs were submitted by Sir Thomas Robinson,
James Paine and John Carr. Carr's design was chosen,
and work began on the site in 1755. The architect's fees
were £160 10s., and the Clerk of Works, Thomas Terry,
received £20 for 2 years' supervision. John Carr
provided 20 tons of Elland slate for £10, and most of
the stone came from Hooton Roberts near Rotherham,
a quarry owned by Rockingham, who himself paid £10
to Joseph Wood for clearing the quarry head, and probably gave a large amount of the stone. Richard Raisin
was the carpenter and the plasterer was Richard Ward.
The Grandstand cost £1,896 and in addition the Marquess of Rockingham paid £415 out of his own pocket,
to cover outstanding tradesmen's bills, to George
Thompson, who had administered the finances.
The front elevation forms an arcade of nine bays:
the central and end bays are faced with rusticated stonework and project slightly to form three pavilions, the
central one surmounted by a pediment; the intermediate
bays are of brick with stone bases and imposts. A stone
cornice runs the length of the building, above which is a
balustrade interrupted by solid stonework over the
piers and over the pediment. The rusticated stone arches
are repeated in the end elevations. The whole of the
brickwork is modern.
An engraving, dated 12 August 1755, by Fourdrinier,
and a perspective of 1759 by Carr's assistant William
Lindley, show above the surviving ground floor a
symmetrical lofty first floor of seven bays. Round-headed
windows with small panes set in round-headed recesses,
of a design used also in Castlegate House, flank a
central Venetian window. At the top is a bold balustrade
like that below, and in the centre over the Venetian
window is a large rectangular block of masonry
decorated with swags and festoons beneath a rococo
cartouche. Its condition in 1818 has been described
(Hargrove, iii, 515):—'The Ground Floor of the stand
comprises several convenient rooms and offices for a
resident, and for the entertainment of company, who
may be accommodated with any kind of refreshment.
On the Second Floor is a very commodious and handsome room, with a balustrade projection in front, more
than 200 feet in length and supported by a rustic arcade
15 feet high, and commanding a fine view of the whole
course. The top or roof of the building is leaded and
constructed peculiarly for the accommodation of
(24) Middleton's Hospital, Skeldergate, was founded by Mrs. Ann Middleton, widow of Peter Middleton
(Sheriff in 1618), in 1659 (Drake, 266). This building,
which stood on ground leased from the Vicars Choral
(York Minster Library, Vicars Choral Plans), was taken
down, and the present hospital built by the Corporation
of York (as Trustees for the Charity) in 1827–9 (Allen,
1, 331; YCA, M.17/A, 8 June 1827) on the freehold
portion of the site, further back. The architect was
Peter Atkinson, the builder Mr. Dalton and the joiner
The building has two storeys built of stock brick in Flemish
bond with stone dressings to the front. (Plate 151; Fig. 44).
It is in seven bays of which the central three break forward
under a pediment. At the eaves is a moulded gutter carried on
modillions which are continued across the pediment. The
central entrance has a stone architrave and a cornice supported
by brackets; above is a round-headed niche with moulded
architrave and stone blocks flanking the base, carved with
honeysuckle issuing from volutes in bas-relief. Within the
niche is a painted stone figure of the foundress in mid 17th-century Puritan costume, probably from the earlier almshouse.
To each side are hung-sash windows with rubbed brick arches.
At the back is a small central porch which has been extended.
The accommodation consists of eleven rooms on each floor,
six along the front and five rooms and a staircase at the back.
(25) St. Catherine's Hospital, No. 45 Holgate Road,
replaces an earlier almshouse which fronted The Mount
in the centre of the site now occupied by Nos. 116–28.
This older building is prominent in all the earlier
prospects of York from The Mount (Plate 2) and had
itself been built in 1652 on the site of a mediaeval
foundation variously described as a lazar-house and a
xenodochium or place of hospitality for poor travellers
(Drake, 246; Hargrove, ii, 508–10; Davies, 105). The
close of land in which the old almshouse stood was
acquired by Leonard and John (afterwards Sir John)
Simpson, who in 1833 petitioned the Corporation to be
allowed to transfer the hospital to a new site on Holgate
Lane, now Holgate Road, at the rear of the property,
in order that they might develop the valuable frontage.
They had obtained designs for the new building from
the architect George T. Andrews. After taking legal
advice the City agreed to the proposal and the hospital
was built in 1834–5; on 7 May 1835 it was stated that 'the
new building... is in all respects more commodious
than the Old Hospital—the inmates shall be peremptorily
required to remove within fourteen days from this time'
(YCA, K.82; M.17/A, B). In fact completion seems to have
been delayed until 22 August 1835.
Fig. 44. (24) Middleton's Hospital, Skeldergate.
The building is of a single storey, in brick with ashlar
dressings in the Tudor style, with square-headed two-light
mullioned windows; the roof is of Welsh slate. The centre of
the almshouse is recessed at front and rear, between two side
wings each containing a front and a back room. Demolished
(26) Mosley's School, Cambridge Street, now a
fireplace factory, was founded in 1844, and its buildings
erected shortly afterwards; at first it was called Holgate
Classical and Commercial Seminary, but was usually
known as Mosley's School. 'It provided an efficient
commercial education for the sons of business and
professional men' and closed soon after 1901 (Knight,
The building consists of a large hall on the S.W. side and a
low annexe to N.E. divided into two rooms. The walls are of
broad red brick, and the windows have stone heads; the roofs
are covered with slates. The N.E. front is of four bays defined
by buttresses with sloping stone heads and above them is a
moulded stone string and plain parapet. The S.E. bay is blank,
the next two have large recesses with four-centred heads and
chamfered reveals, and the end bay has a blocked doorway
with similar features. There are gables at both ends with stone
finials and copings prolonged to a lower slope above the
The S.E. end has a later opening cut into the bottom of a
three-light window with a square stone head, chamfered
reveals and a high transom, flanked by similar two-light
windows, beneath a single-light window at the head. The
N.W. end has similar windows to the S.E. gable. The S.W.
wall is plain except for brick pilaster buttresses and has no
openings. The main hall is of four bays: in the N.E. wall are
four two-light clearstory windows from the annexe, and below
are a series of plastered recesses with chamfered reveals. Under
the second roof truss from S.E. is a doorway with a four-centred head. Each truss has principals and collar, with braces
to wall pieces below, and king post and struts above, strengthened by iron ties. Purlins, braces and collars are all chamfered,
and wall pieces and braces rest on stone corbels. The walls are
plastered in imitation of stonework. The hall formerly had
a basement. Some huge turned legs and heavy deal rails remain
of the supports for the tiered seating, which sloped down from
S.W. to N.E. Demolished 1968.
(27) The Queen's Staith forms the W. bank of the
Ouse to S. of Ouse Bridge. It was built in 1660 by
Christopher Topham, Lord Mayor of York, was
repaired in 1676 and enlarged in 1678 (Drake, 282); it
was rebuilt early in the 19th century. The revetting wall
is of yellowish limestone ashlar and the pavement is of
(28) Old Railway Station stands within the City
Walls to N.W. of Toft Green and Tanner Row and was
opened on 4 January 1841. The site had held important
Roman buildings (York 1, (34), pp. 54–7) and is known
to have been that of the King's House and Royal Free
Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene c. 1133 (Rolls of Eyre for
Yorks., Selden Soc., lvi, 1937, nos. 1142, 1143, 1147 and
pp. xxxvii–xxxviii). In 1227 Henry III granted the
chapel and a plot of land to the Dominican Friars for
their house (C. F. R. Palmer, in YAJ, vi (1881), 396 ff.),
and subsequent grants extended their precinct to upwards of 3 acres.
No remains of the Friary survive and accounts of the
excavations of 1839–40 and 1846 do not describe many
post-Roman finds. Some of the skeletons found (York I,
80) may belong to a burial ground associated with
the Friary or the chapel that preceded it, particularly
twenty-seven without coffins towards Tanner Row
(Hargrove, Yorks. Museum Misc. MSS. (typescript), 2).
A cross-head and base found under the mediaeval walls
should, like the Roman material found with them (York
1, (34g), p. 57), derive from the Friary site and are therefore to be associated with the chapel or its predecessor,
which on this evidence had probably been founded in
the 8th century.
The Cross-head (Plate 26), of light-red sandstone
18½ in. by 11 in. by 6½ in., with a flat central boss within
a circle of pellets, and a double bead around the edges
of the arms now reduced to stubs, is well carved and
may be 8th-century (YAJ, xx, pt. 78 (1908), 179; Yorks.
Museum). The base is not now identifiable in the
Museum but was described by W. Collingwood (YAJ,
loc. cit.) as not of a pre-Norman type.
After the surrender the house was sold by the crown
to William Blitheman on 24 April 1540 (LPH, xv, 296,
no. 613 (16)), and eventually passed into the hands of
Lady Sarah Hewley, to form part of the endowment
of her charity (Hargrove, ii, 182). The site had always
contained much garden; in 1380 the garden of the Friars
Preachers was mentioned and at the dissolution in 1538
1 acre was in garden and orchard. In the 17th century it
had become a nursery garden which under the management of the Telford family became the most important in the North of England (J. H. Harvey in YAJ,
xlii, pt. 167 (1969), 352–7). The business was sold in
1816 to Thomas and James Backhouse (York Courant,
6 May), who had to vacate their lease when the freehold
was sold by the Trustees to the York and North Midland
Railway in 1839. Along with the gardens the railway
acquired the house, which had been occupied successively
by members of the Telford and Backhouse families,
at the N.E. end of the precinct. From the York Corporation they obtained the House of Correction which had
been built in 1814 on the open land of Toft Green,
which lay beyond the precinct to the S.W., in the
angle of the City Walls.
Fig. 45. (28) Old Railway Station.
A railway between York and London had been considered
as early as 1835 (YCA, M.17/B) and in 1836 the
City Corporation agreed to proposals for a 'York and
North Midland Railway' and to a 'Great Northern
Railway' (YCA, Council Minutes 1). In 1837 the Finance
Committee reported on land bought by the York and
North Midland Railway in the Holgate Road area
and by 1838 the Y.N.M. wished to purchase the House
of Correction and land within Toft Green for their
station. Agreement was reached as to the necessary
breach through the city walls (YCA, Council Minutes
ii, 63) and in 1839 George Stephenson, representing
the Great North of England Company, was invited
to York to plan a joint station (Yorkshireman, 13 July
1839). The station was built by the two companies
jointly after the G.N.E. had agreed to pay £5,000
for their interest. The local company, led by their
chairman George Hudson, played the chief role in
negotiations (see YCA, Council Minutes ii, 63, above).
The (N.) archway was built in the summer of 1839.
The architect was G. T. Andrews of York, with
Thomas Cabrey, engineer to the Y.N.M., as consultant.
By May 1840 the contract for building the station was
let to Messrs. Holroyd and Walker of Sheffield (York
Courant, 14 May 1840; Yorkshireman, 16 May 1840).
The first line to be completed, in July 1840, was that
constructed by the Y.N.M. from Normanton, where it
made connections with lines to London and Leeds. A
temporary station in Queen Street was used until the
completion of the Old Station (VCH, York, 478).
Plans for a booking-office block facing Tanner Row, to
cost about £7,900, a refreshment room, and a train shed
were approved in 1840. Although the station was to be
used for passenger traffic only, the Y.N.M. was to use
the joint line for other purposes and to build a goods
depot within the walls; the G.N.E.'s depot would be
outside. The station was to have been finished by 30 Aug.
1840 (York Courant, 14 May 1840), was reported on as
nearing completion on 10 September (York Courant),
but was not opened until 4 January 1841, owing to
difficulties in building the train shed of cast iron and
glass. The iron roof was by Mr. Bingley of Leeds (Yorks.
Gazette, 9 Jan. 1841), with iron columns made by
Thompson, the York firm of iron-founders (Plates 149,
150). The platforms were extended and covered-in
shortly after the opening of the station. The G.N.E.'s
line from Darlington to York, which joined the Y.N.M.
outside the walls, was opened in 1841. In 1844 the
Y.N.M. was authorised to construct a line to Scarborough, and obtained Corporation approval to pass
under Bootham and to cross the Ouse (YCA, Council
Minutes III for 5 Aug. 1844). A request to make a
second breach in the city walls to enable the tracks from
the warehouses situated between Toft Green and the
passenger tracks to unite directly with the main line
outside the walls was granted in 1845 (Yorks. Gazette,
15 Nov.). An extension to the station was under construction by 6 December 1845 (Yorks. Gazette), probably
the extension and roofing of the platforms to the S.W.
The additional passenger traffic was provided for by
converting the G.N.E.'s coal depot to the N. of the
station into another arrival platform (Yorks. Gazette,
12 Sept. 1846), and constructing a canopy. The arrangements at York, already complicated because through
traffic was using a station built as a terminus, became
worse when the Scarborough line was built, because the
G.N.E. insisted that it should join their Newcastle line,
and not cross it independently to reach the station.
The necessary manœuvres were only possible because
traffic was light; only eighteen trains a day ran from
York in 1845. During the first two decades the expansion of traffic meant continuous alteration and extension.
A hotel was erected to the designs of G. T. Andrews in
1852 across the end of the tracks, and was opened in
February 1853. The open area behind the colonnade at
the front of the hotel has been closed with brickwork
in recent years to provide additional accommodation
in the offices for which the old hotel now serves. The
large and elaborate block of offices N.E. of the hotel was
completed in 1906 to the designs of H. Field and W.
The new station outside the City Walls was designed
by Thomas Prosser in 1867 but its construction was
delayed for some years and it was not opened till 1877.
The very impressive ironwork carrying the glass canopy
over the platforms is part of Prosser's design with some
modification by Benjamin Burley who succeeded him
as architect to the N.E.R.
Architectural Description—The station (Figs. 45, 46) is
aligned N.E. to S.W., with the main station building and
departure platform on the S.E. side, facing Tanner RowToft Green. The main building was symmetrical except for the
two-storey end blocks, which were of three and five bays
respectively (Plate 148), and 250 ft. long. The central block
of five bays, and the flanking blocks both of six bays, are three
storeys in height, of West Riding carboniferous sandstone at
ground-floor level, and of white brick with stone dressings
and cornices above. The centre block containing the main
entrance and booking office is of rusticated ashlar at ground-floor level, with five round-headed openings. The two outer
openings were originally entrances, but have been replaced
by copies of the adjacent windows (Plate 147). At either end
of the block are pilasters at every level, and two added pilaster
chimney-flues flank the central round-headed opening. The
top member of a deep masonry band above a heavy moulded
ashlar cornice on modillions acts as a continuous sill for the
second-floor windows, which have segmental arched heads
and eared architraves of ashlar. There is an ashlar cornice and
parapet, and a hipped roof of slate. The adjacent three-storey
blocks are lower and have Tuscan colonnades at ground-floor
level each of five bays carrying a simple entablature and
terminated by a projecting bay, rusticated at ground-floor
level, with a round-headed recess containing a window; the
colonnades have been altered by rebuilding the back walls to
abut the column bases, and closing the entrances from the
Booking Hall. There are moulded ashlar strings at both first
and second-floor levels, and a moulded cornice and parapet.
At the N.E. end, a third storey has been added to the two-storey end block shown in Andrews's drawing of 1858. Both
outer blocks have windows set within round-headed recesses
of fine ashlar at ground-floor level, the centre window of the
N.E. end block replacing an entrance. On the N.W. side despite alterations earlier this century and in recent years, and the
removal of most of the train shed canopy, part of the ground
floor remains unaltered. The five bays of the centre block have
round-headed arches of gauged brick, and plain ashlar sills.
All the other original windows at ground-floor level have
flat arches of gauged brick apart from four at the S.W. end.
Where exposed beneath later accretions, the first and second
floors are in Flemish-bonded white brickwork, and have sash
windows with flat arches of gauged brick, and ashlar sills.
Cast-iron fixtures on a simple ashlar band at first-floor level
secure the roof members of the train shed. There is a moulded
ashlar band at second-floor level, and a moulded ashlar cornice
The plan (Fig. 46) shows the arrangement after additions
and alterations in the 1850s. The earlier arrangement is traceable on the Ordnance Survey plan of 1852. On either side of
the Booking Office were the 1st and 2nd Class Waiting Rooms,
with toilet facilities. To the N.E. end of the range was the
Parcel Office, and at the other end a Post Office; railway
company offices occupied the upper storeys. Little of interest
survives internally apart from a staircase with cast-iron balusters
and a wooden handrail (Plate 89). The buildings on the Arrival
(N.W.) side of the station have been much altered. Least
altered is the original First Class Refreshment Room (Plate
147) with round-headed windows, and retaining its elegant
decoration in Regency style. The entrance to the bar at the
S.W. end of the room, though blocked, has simple pilasters
and entablature framing the original opening. The Second
Class Refreshment Room, the First Class Ladies Waiting Room,
the Bar and Tearoom adjoining the Refreshment Room,
have all been altered internally. The elevation to the platform
is intact, with round-headed windows in recesses, but many
of the openings have been modified. The original colonnade
at the S.W. end of the range has been reduced by 2½ bays, by
the erection of a later building. The N.W. elevation towards
the City Walls has a centre block of two storeys and seven
bays in red brick, with gauged red brick round-headed arches
to the lower windows and flat arches to the upper, all with
ashlar sills, and a simple moulded ashlar band to the first floor.
A single-storeyed building of three bays in red brick to the
S.W. is probably part of the original build, but has had a
storey added and has been extended to the S.W. The three-storeyed range in white brick at the N.E. end, of seven bays,
was built 1852–3 as part of the hotel. Only one of the eight
original turn-tables survives, at the S.W. end of the arrival
The Train Shed. Much of this remained intact until 1965.
The width between the arrival and departure platform buildings is 100 ft., and the roof of iron and glass, contrived in two
spans, covered the platforms and four tracks. In the middle
there were originally pairs of cast-iron columns 16 ft. apart
spaced at 20 ft. intervals along the entire length of the train
shed and connected longitudinally by pierced arched members.
The train shed, when completed in 1841, measured 300 ft. in
length, and ended at a point just S.W. of the four turntables,
still marked by a masonry pier at the S.W. end of the arrival
platform. The N.E. end was originally enclosed by a pierced
wall but when the hotel was built its ground floor was open
to the train shed, with the upper floors supported on iron
girders spanning between four columns. The longitudinal
arched members were altered and abut the capitals awkwardly.
A later brick wall fills in the spaces between the columns.
To S.W. of the arrival platform, where the train shed projected
beyond the station buildings, cast-iron lintels with a raised
pattern on the underside replace the arched members connecting the columns.
Four main phases can be seen in the train shed and its extensions. The cast-iron columns of phases 1 and 3 are known to be
by the York firm of ironfounders, Thompson. No nameplates
could be found on the columns of the other phases. (1) Original
Train Shed. The columns have enriched capitals and square
bases standing on high plinth blocks (Plate 149). In the spandrels of the arched connecting members are a series of diminishing circles. The surviving column to S.W. of the arrival platform is an exception, with a plain column surmounted by a
double bracket-shaped block (Plate 149). (2) South-West
Extension of Train Shed. An addition about 185 ft. long
probably of 1845, necessitated by the extension of the platforms. The caps are plain (Plate 149), and bases round, again
on high plinths. The column bases on the platform are no
longer visible, and were probably encased when the platform
level was raised. The arched spandrel panels are similar to
those of the main train shed. (3) Scarborough Platform—First
Period. Probably dating from 1845/6, covers a length of about
130 ft., adjacent to the first stage of the train shed. The caps
are plain bell-shaped, with an upper ovolo moulding instead
of the cyma used elsewhere. The bases are more bulbous than
those of the other columns, and stand on high plinths (Plate
149). The roof of this part differs from the rest in being constructed of timber. The iron columns were originally not
connected by arched members, though these were later
inserted. (4) Scarborough Platform—Second Period. Built before
1851, covered a long, narrow triangular space at the S.W. end
of the platform, adjacent to the second stage of the main train
shed. The enriched caps are similar to those of the original
train shed (Plate 149). The bases resemble those of the earlier
columns of this platform, but have low plinths (Plate 149).
The arched members have short vertical struts in the spandrels.
A fifth section of canopy, in 1851, covered the whole length
of the Scarborough platform. This was entirely demolished
before the building was recorded; it was probably of the same
date as the work of the second period of the Scarborough
platform. The ironwork of the roof (Plate 150) consists of light
trusses spanning between the arcades; the finish is of lead-covered boarding except at the ridge where there is a raised
clearstorey, glazed on top and with open louvres at the sides.
Fig. 46. (28) Old Railway Station.
The Station Approach. In 1850 a lodge and gates, seen in a
drawing by Andrews (Plate 150), at the N.E. corner of the
site gave access to Tanner Row. At a later date the cast-iron
work (Plate 150) and ashlar piers were moved to their present
position in the boundary wall of the area before the Old
(29) The Old Warehouse, Skeldergate, is of the 17th
century, built of brick, and has two storeys; the roofs
are tiled. It was built probably for wine merchants, the
ground floor being in the nature of a cellar. The plan
is a long rectangle, with a small wing near the W. end of
the S. side. A modern warehouse has been built against
the N. side. A late 19th-century bonded warehouse
adjoins the E. half of the S. elevation. At both stages of
the E. end are large openings for access of goods from
boats in the river below. Two parallel ranges, apparently
of similar design, adjoined the building on the N. until
early in this century (Fig. 47).
Fig. 47. (29) Old Warehouse, Skeldergate. Reconstruction.
The original wall of the West Elevation (Plate 152) has been
altered by the insertion of various openings at the ground
and first floors, but the curved Dutch gable with pedimental
apex and the S. brick kneeler remain. In the upper opening, of
19th-century date, is the swivel post of a hoist or derrick;
this has led to some ill-founded references to the building as
the 'Old Crane', which was in fact further down the river.
The small projecting wing (Plate 152) has a modern opening to
the ground floor, a band of two courses at first floor, a small
window with brick segmental head at second floor, and a
Dutch gable with coping of two brick courses; the E. kneeler
remains. To E. of the wing on the ground floor is a blocked
original opening with segmental arch, and above it a blocked
reconstructed opening. Internally the Ground Floor is brickvaulted throughout, with blocked openings at intervals on
both side walls; the First Floor has stone flooring, brick walls,
and a simple trussed-rafter roof. Demolished 1970.
(30) Holgate Windmill (58425148) was rebuilt in its
present form (Plate 151) between 1770 and 1792 by
George Waud senior, miller, who was stated in a surrender of the property on 26 May 1792 to have 'lately
erected' the adjacent house and 'brick built wind-mill'
(YCL, Court Rolls of Acomb and Holgate, 25 April
1793); Waud had been living in the manor from 1770.
A mill has been on the site since the 15th century; in
1432 occurs a mention of 'the windmill standing near
the hill of Holgate in the common field of the Archbishop' (York Memorandum Book, SS, cxx for 1911 (1912),
216). The mill had five sails, an unusual arrangement
first introduced at Newcastle-upon-Tyne by the
engineer John Smeaton. Although provided in the 19th
century with a steam auxiliary engine, the mill continued
to make use of the sails until they were seriously
damaged in the heavy gales of January 1930; they were
then taken down leaving only the struts, but milling
continued with electric power (Yorks. Gazette, 1 Feb.
1930). The mill ceased to work, and the building was
taken over in 1938 by York Corporation. It was repaired
as a landmark in 1939 by Messrs. Thompson and Son,
millwrights of Alford, Lincolnshire, but the intended
refitting of sails was deferred by the outbreak of war.
In 1940 the mill was sealed up and the warehouse and
outbuildings demolished (N. M. Mennim in Yorks.
Gazette, 22 July 1949; report by Rex Wailes dated 1
The tower mill is five storeys high, round in plan, of narrowish red brick, with broad mortar joints, and is painted with
black bitumen. It batters up to a waist at the level of the third
stage, and then finishes vertically with a six-course corbelled
section to carry the cap. The bricks of the battered base are set
horizontally and the wall is of constant thickness, so that
both inner and outer faces slope inwards. At ground-floor
level are two doorways, that to W. blocked with brick on the
inside. Some of the eight staggered windows have segmental
heads; the two bottom windows, which have sills, are blocked.
The round cap is covered with steel plates on wooden cap
spars or rafters, with a ball finial. Projecting main timbers
hold the surviving sail stocks which retain some iron ties in
front, and formerly carried a fantail behind. The walls are
plastered inside; the ground floor is of concrete. The boards
have been removed from the four upper floors: each floor
has two main parallel square-sectioned beams, and stop-chamfered joists, all of pine, and a heavy softwood ladder. The first
three ladders ascend the E. side. The machinery is largely intact,
but some iron supports carrying the lower bearings have been
broken off, and there are no bins nor means of feeding-in the
corn. The main drive is of iron, but the stone-nuts have a
metal frame carrying wooden cogs. One pair of millstones is
of gritstone, but the other is of French Burr stones bound with
(31) Bound Stones (59235075), by N. entrance to
Knavesmire, two: (a) of brown limestone, 21 in. by
12½ in. by 5½ in., inscribed 'The Boundary of Micklegate
Stray', with round head (18th-century) (Plate 92). The
boundary marked is that between Micklegate Stray
and ancient enclosures to N., coinciding with the former
parish boundary between St. Mary Bishophill Junior
and Holy Trinity Micklegate; (b) of magnesian limestone, 29½ in. by 12 in. by 9 in., uninscribed; both are in
badly weathered condition.
(32) Bound Stone (58085022), of magnesian limestone with segmental head, bears the inscription 'Bounds
of Bishophill' (18th-century). This stone marked the
point where the ancient parish of St. Mary Bishophill
Junior met the parish of Acomb and of Holy Trinity
Micklegate (Dringhouses detached portion); it is in
badly weathered condition.
(33) Bound Stone (59065037) of weathered limestone, 11 in. high by 7 in. by 17 in., on S.E. side of the
Tadcaster Road opposite to Hob Lane, marking the
ancient city boundary. It has been reused by the Ordnance Survey for a benchmark.
(34) Hob's Stone (58915042), on the N. side of Hob
Moor Lane 140 yards W. of the Tadcaster Road, 39 in.
by 21 in. by 15 in., consists of a heavy coffin-lid bearing
a much weathered effigy of a knight, now set upright.
On the left arm is a shield-of-arms of three water
bougets, presumably for the family of Ros (probably
early 14th-century). The original edge of the lid remains
on the right side but a recess has been cut into it, and
there are three dowel-holes in front. On the back was an
18th-century inscription already nearly defaced by 1818
(Hargrove, iii, 513, and Drake 398): 'This Statue long
Hob's name has bore, / Who was a knight in time of
yore, / And gave this Common to the poor', with the
names of the Pasture Masters who erected it in 1717,
as well as the later date '1757'. At the back of the lid is a
separate flat stone, 25 in. by 22 in., with a shallow basin
cut in it, probably used for the disinfection of money
when the plague was in York; and in the surface of the
lane to S. are two blocks of stone which may have
formed an 18th-century pedestal for Hob's Stone. No
evidence has been discovered to support the view
(Davies, 98) that the effigy came from St. Martin's,
Micklegate, or that the name Hob commemorates an
historical Robert Ros; occurrences of the place-name
elsewhere imply that it contains the element hob, a
goblin (EPNS, xiv (1937), lx, 290). The two blocks of
stone in the lane had been removed, or covered with
tarmacadam, by 1969.
(35) Mounting Block (59145058), on the footpath on
S.E. side of the Tadcaster Road, with three steps, was
formerly used as the first milestone from York, measured
from Ouse Bridge, and on the side towards the road an
iron pin, set in lead, still remains to hold a metal
inscription-plate. A similar pin set in the face towards
the city would seem to have carried an Ordnance Survey
benchmark added at the survey of 1850. The stone also
served as a bound stone, marking a re-entrant angle of
the City Boundary of 1832.
(36) Memorial Gates, Rowntree's Park (60465063),
were brought, it is said, from 'Ritchland Park, near
Windsor, Berks.', in 1954–5, by Messrs. Rowntree &
Co. Ltd. They were set up at the main entrance to
Rowntree's Park on its river frontage, as a memorial to
the War of 1939–45. They are said to date from 1715
and to have been made by Jean Tijou; they were
restored by W. Dowson of Kirbymoorside and erected
under the supervision of the York City Engineer.
It seems probable that 'Ritchland' is a mistake for Ritchings Park, near Iver, Bucks., where in 1960 only garden
features of the former mansion survived (N. Pevsner,
The Buildings of England—Buckinghamshire (1960), 177).
The wrought iron gates (Plate 45) are set between square
piers of Portland stone bearing stone cherubs and buttressed by
oblong projections surmounted by volutes. There are curving
sections of railing on each side set on brick dwarf walls coped
with stone, leading inwards to the main gates which stand
between two smaller gates for pedestrians. The ironwork
is painted black with gilt enrichments. There are no features of
identification such as monograms or heraldry.
(37) Knavesmire Wood (around 59204880) contains
an avenue of tall lime trees, nearly a ¼-mile long,
aligned between the Archbishop's Palace at Bishopthorpe and Dringhouses. The avenue appears on the
engraved maps of Francis White and Robert Cooper,
published in 1785 and 1832, but not on the atlas of
Thomas Jefferys issued in 1772. It is probable that the
planting was connected with the improvements at
Bishopthorpe evidenced in 1773–4, when the archbishop's head gardener, Thomas Halfpenny, was paid
for extensive work in the gardens and for 'clearing
prospeck to Minster', which indicates an interest in such
vistas (Borthwick Inst., cc 67885). York Corporation
in 1965–6 removed decayed timber and planted new lime
saplings as eventual replacements for the old trees.
ACOMB ROAD runs W. from Holgate Bridge across
the township of Holgate to Acomb. Development did
not take place until 1828 (see p. 123), apart from the few
houses which constituted the hamlet of Holgate.
ALBION STREET was one of the earliest redevelopments of York within the walls, projected and in part built
in 1815 (see p. 123). The ground had formed the gardens
behind John Carr's own house in Skeldergate, left to his
nephew William Carr, who sold the land in 1815 in
two lots. It seems that the main developers were George
Willoughby of Old Malton, builder, and Leonard
Overend of York, slater, but one lot was acquired by
Ralph Peacock, raff merchant (YCA, E.96, f. 243v, 249,
BAR LANE leads from Micklegate, immediately within
the Bar, to Toft Green. The 'Jolly Bacchus' public
house and a few other small houses, which formerly
fronted on its W. side, have all been demolished;
standing on the city rampart, they were Corporation
properties (YCA, M.10D).
BARKER LANE, formerly known as Gregory Lane
from the small parish church of St. Gregory which,
until c. 1585, stood on its E. side, now contains no
monuments. The lane follows the line of a Roman
street and is evidenced in documents from the early 13th
century. It led from Micklegate to the main gateway
of the Dominican Friary, built on the site of the earlier
King's House and Chapel (see TANNER ROW, with
BISHOPGATE STREET, the first section of the
Bishopthorpe Road, S.E. of the Old Baile, was so named
by 1830, when there were four houses in it. Little
further development took place until after 1850 (see
BISHOPHILL (including Victor Street). The name
Bishophill was formerly used to include the three
streets now known as Bishophill Junior, Bishophill
Senior, and Victor Street. Of these the last is certainly
identical with the mediaeval Lounlithgate, evidenced in
documents from the 12th century. Bishophill Senior was
probably Besingate, mentioned from the 13th to the 15th
centuries. The name Bishophill was originally (from
1344) that of a district, known earlier as Bichill and
probably a possession of the pre-Conquest church of
York (YAJ, xli (1966), 377–93).
In 1282 this was not a populous part of the city, as
husgable was paid only upon twelve tofts in Besingate.
In Lounlithgate were forty-one tofts but these were in
the hands of only twelve persons (YCA, c. 60). Later the
postern (Lounlith), on the site of the modern Victoria
Bar, was blocked and the whole area became a backwater. In 1632 the parish of St. Mary Bishophill Junior
was the poorest in the whole city, with twenty-six
persons receiving relief against only four paying the
Poor Rate (YCA, E.70). In the 17th century only
a small part of Bishophill was built up, but several
houses were of considerable standing, notably the great
mansion of Lord Fairfax and later of the Duke of Buckingham to N. of the churchyard of St. Mary Bishophill
Senior. The last remains of this house, known as Duke's
Hall, were cleared away in the 18th century.
From 1756 onwards the City Corporation granted
leases of plots along the N. side of Bishophill Junior W.
of the church (YCA, B.44, f. 28 etc.), and a ribbon of
small houses was built during the next 50 years (YCA,
M.10D). Serious redevelopment of the area on a speculative basis began in 1811 with the building of the first
houses of St. Mary's Row (in Victor Street), opposite
to the Rectory (42) of Bishophill Senior, probably the
earliest small 19th-century terrace houses in York
(see p. 130). The builder was probably Thomas Rayson
(YCA, E.96, f. 169). Near Bishophill Junior church a
group of properties was bought up c. 1810–20 (YCA,
E.97, f. 208) by John Tuke (1759–1841), surveyor and
land agent. He rebuilt on some sites and in other
instances resold to builders such as Ambrose Gray (E.97,
f. 242v.), who c. 1825 put up Gray's Buildings, now
demolished. The building-up of the whole area with
streets of small houses at a high density did not take
place until after 1850.
(38) Bishophill House, Nos. 11, 13, was built in the
early 18th century on an L-shaped plan with a front four
bays wide (Fig. 48). In 1740 the house was acquired by
Richard Dawson (1696–1762), a prominent merchant
and the wealthiest parishioner, who on 6 May 1740
advertised his house in Trinity Lane (128) as to let from
Michaelmas (York Courant). Dawson enlarged the house
by the addition of two further bays to the N.W. and
built the present staircase in the re-entrant angle of the
original house. He remodelled the front elevation,
framing the present entrance, and refitted much of the
interior. The house was subsequently tenanted by
Lady Gascoign and was sold in 1764 on the death of
Dawson's eldest son Thomas, a Portugal merchant of
London; it was advertised as including 'a handsome
large Drawing-Room, hung with India Paper, two
Parlours fronting a pleasant Garden, belonging to the
House...', (York Courant, 10 April 1764). The property
passed to James Fermor, esq., who in 1771 married Mrs.
Henrietta Standish, a widow, upon whom he made a
large settlement including Bishophill House (Borthwick
Inst., York Wills Reg. 128, f. 10). It was probably
when Fermor took over the house that Dawson's
addition was extended N.E. to allow the formation of a
large Saloon with a semicircular bay at the N.E. end,
and the fine plaster ceiling, so close in style to Francesco
Cortese's work of 1764–5 at Newburgh Hall, was
inserted. After Fermor's death (1783) his widow married
in 1785 William Carr, nephew of John Carr the architect
(York Courant, 18 Jan. 1785); William Carr lived in the
house during his uncle's life, but about 1811 sold the
property to John Tuke, who by 1825 had converted it
into three tenements (YCA, E.97, ff. 96, 208). This
remodelling is evidenced by the refitting of several
rooms and the alteration of windows, including the two
N.W. windows of the main front. Further alterations
were made when the house was bought by Mrs. Sarah
Preston, who was living there in 1828–30 (Directories),
but soon afterwards leased it to the Misses Lucy and
Eleanor Walker, who used it as a girls' boarding school
from 1834 or earlier until c. 1850 (Directories; Tithe Map
of 1847). In the course of the 19th century plate glass
was put in all windows; it is probable that the cornice
and roof are also of the second half of the century.
Fig. 48. (38) Bishophill House.
The Front Elevation (Plate 57), facing S.W. on Bishophill, is
of two builds, the original S.E. part being in good stock brick,
Flemish bonded, with fine brick dressings to openings, band
and quoins. The three-course plinth, with chamfered weathering was originally returned round both ends, and so was the
string course. The imposing entrance, roughly central, has
round Ionic columns to the jambs, a pulvinated frieze to the
entablature; a moulded, modillioned cornice and pediment;
and a semicircular fanlight over a heavily moulded and fielded
eight-panelled door (Plate 62). Beneath a four-course band, at
ground floor, are two sash windows with ashlar sills and flat
rubbed-brick arches. The first floor has two original window
openings with ashlar sills and stuccoed flat arches with keys;
two windows have been removed and a window has been
inserted in the blocking immediately over the entrance;
dressings of the former openings are visible. To the second
floor are four sash windows, almost square, with stone sills
and flat arches of rubbed bricks. About half-way up these
windows, the character of the brickwork changes at the level
of a timber plate one course deep. It is likely that the upper part
of the wall was rebuilt when the structure was re-roofed and the
pre-existing cornice was replaced by the present one. The front
of the second build to the N.W., in pale red stock brick in
Flemish bond, with good quality red brick dressings, has to the
ground floor two large early 19th-century sash windows,
with stone sills, carried up to the brick band and without
arches. On the first floor are two sash windows with narrow
stone sills and stuccoed arches with key-blocks, and on the
second floor smaller sash windows matching those further S.E.
The same change of brickwork and timber occurs half-way up
the second-floor windows. The eaves are supported on shaped
brackets, those to the S.E. build being in pairs, the six to the
N.W. being almost evenly spaced. The Rear Elevation has a
projection on the S.E. 3–4 ft. deep, and formerly provided
with a shallow segmental bay (OS 1852); the original wall
remains above a modern warehouse extension. In the middle
of the house, above a single-storey addition, large semicircular arches with rubbed brick voussoirs remain over the
openings for two windows lighting the staircase, one above the
other. To the N.W. a wing projects approximately 20 ft.
and has on the first floor a large semicircular bay window now
under-built; it has stucco dressings and bronze frames and
glazing bars; a similar bay on the second floor has been removed
and the wall built up flush.
Inside, the Entrance Hall has a moulded and enriched cornice
and skirting. In the S.E. wall is a doorway with moulded
entablature with dentil cornice and pulvinated frieze. To the
N.E., opening to the stair hall, is a large archway with panelled
reveals between Ionic pilasters. The room to the S., with
moulded cornice and skirting, has a reeded surround to the
doorway in the N.W. wall; in the N.E. wall is a chimneybreast between a segmental-headed recess (to S.E.) and a
blocked doorway retaining its door with six fielded panels;
the windows have reeded surrounds with plain angle pieces.
In the stair hall, which has a moulded and enriched cornice
and skirting and a floor laid with diagonally-set limestone
flags, the Staircase (Plate 82) rises to the second floor in five
flights with two landings and three half-landings, with a solid
mahogany moulded rail curving round the angles, but no
string; it has strongly cantilevered treads with recessed panels
under them and moulding on the edges, all of soft wood.
The heavy balusters have graduated bases stepped like those
at Micklegate House (81) and Nos. 134, 136 Micklegate (98).
The newel and spiral rail at the foot have been removed. The
side wall has a rising boarded dado and a moulded dado rail
and skirting. The window in the N.E. wall lighting the stair
consists of two sashes placed together which have heavy ovolo-moulded glazing bars and a moulded surround. Doorways in
the N.W. and S.E. walls of the stair hall have or had moulded
entablatures with dentil cornice and pulvinated frieze.
A large room to the W. has a moulded cornice and skirting
of c. 1820–30. On either side of the chimney-breast is a deep
segmental-headed recess. The doorway has moulded jambs
and lintel, square angle-pieces with handsome foliated paterae
(c. 1820–30), and a reused door with six panels, fielded on the
outside. The two S.W. windows have handsome moulded
surrounds and the reveals have small elegant panels with
applied moulding; there is similar panelling under each window.
To the N. the Kitchen is entered from a rear passage. On the
N.W. is a large chimney-breast containing an open fireplace
with a great segmental-headed arch, like the kitchen fireplace
at Micklegate House (81). In a recess to S.W., above a doorway,
is a window with six panes and heavy ovolo-moulded glazing
bars. Between the S.W. wall and the chimney breast is the
springer of an arch, probably cut away to insert this window.
The central Cellar, under the entrance and stair halls, has
barrel vaults of brick rising from walls with two large attached
piers. Two compartments have vaults at right angles to the
rest and two others, belonging to the earlier build, have
On the First Floor, the landing, with plain walls and a
moulded plaster cornice enriched with egg and dart and
dentils, has four doorways serving the rooms, the one in
the N.W. wall being like that on the ground floor with eared
surround and pulvinated frieze. The E. room, redecorated
with Regency fittings, has a reeded plaster cornice, with
formalised flower paterae to the angles; in the N.E. wall is a
19th-century sash window with narrow lateral sashes. In the
completely panelled N.E. wall of the S. room is a fireplace
with an overmantel with moulded and eared surround of
c. 1740. The W. room has in the N.E. wall a doorway opening to a small landing leading off the main landing and giving
access to the main saloon to the N.E. The main feature of
the Saloon is the plaster ceiling (Plates 61, 154, 155), possibly
the finest example of rococo plasterwork in York. The bay
window has bronze bars to the sashes. On the Second Floor,
over the stair well, is a moulded plaster ceiling, and the
landing has a moulded dado, skirting and doorways with
simple doorcases. One of the rooms has a simple late 19th-century cornice. (Damaged by fire. Staircase and many fittings
(39) House, No. 15, was 'new erected' for John Tuke
in 1825 (YCA, E.97, f. 208). The site was that of two
old cottages of interest as the homes of the prominent
York stonemasons Andrew Kilvington (d. 1774) and,
next door, his son George Kilvington (1760–89) (YCA,
E.94, f. 149v.; E.95, f. 11).
The street front, three-storeyed, is in Flemish bond brickwork, the bricks being of a pale colour and rough texture,
and has a timber cornice with brackets and large dentils. On
the ground floor are two windows, that to the N. somewhat
broader than the other, with simple box-framed sashes, stone
sills and slightly segmental arches of stock brick. The entrance
to S. of centre, has a plain surround with a crude cornice. In
the upper storeys are two sash windows with moulded flush
frames, segmental brick arches and plain, painted stone sills,
those to the first floor having twelve panes and those above
being shorter and nine-paned.
(40) House, No. 17, was described as a 'cottage newly
erected where an old house was' in 1755, when it was
sold to Benjamin Grosvenor, gent., by William Carr,
carpenter, and his wife Diana (YCA, E.94, f. 2; cf. ff. 6,
7v., 139v.); Carr was probably his own architect and
builder. It has two rooms to each floor, a small yard to
rear, and buildings adjoining both sides.
The street front, in Flemish bonded brickwork with red
brick quoins, window dressings and bands, has a gable with
ashlar coping. The ground floor has been considerably altered,
the original window being replaced by a casement; the
entrance is of c. 1835. At both first and second-floor levels are
three-course bands. The first-floor and second-floor windows
have segmental red brick arches, flush frames and plain
Inside, the staircase, which is original, is the only feature of
note; it has a closed string, moulded handrail, square newel
posts and turned balusters with square knops.
(41) House, No. 19, is of the early 18th century and
retains some original features. Built on part of the great
Fairfax estate, it was a town house of standing, with a
very large garden, extending from Bishophill almost to
Skeldergate. The home for many years of the famous
benefactor of York, Dr. Stephen Beckwith, M.D., who
died there on 26 December 1843, the property was sold
(Yorks. Gazette, 16 March 1844) to become the York
Female Penitentiary. In this century the Penitentiary
moved to Clifton and the site was acquired by Messrs.
Cooke as an extension to their adjacent Buckingham
works. In the 19th century an extension to N.E. and a
two-storey porch in front of the entrance were added;
the entire front elevation was probably stucco-dressed at
this time. In this century a range of industrial buildings
was constructed along the Bishophill frontage, abutting
on the S.E. front.
The stucco-dressed South-East Elevation towards the garden
was originally symmetrical, of three bays width, the centre
bay projecting by some 4 in. To N.E., on both first and second
floors, are original windows having flat arches with key-blocks. At the first floor there is a window in each of the N.E.
and S.E. sides of the porch, matching the original openings,
as do those in the N.E. extension, all windows being reglazed.
The original entrance has been brought forward to the face of
the porch. Above, is a timber modillioned cornice; the roof,
hipped to N.E. and S.W., has a central dormer. The Interior
has two rooms to each floor with a central stair well. The
Staircase (Plate 88), rising in two flights with a half-landing
between floors, has two turned balusters (Fig. 18n) to each
tread and a swept moulded handrail. Apart from the fireplace
in the first floor S.W. room, nothing of note remains. The
kitchen was originally to S.W. in the basement-cellar, having
a fireplace in the N.W. wall. Two attics within the roof space
have part of the roof construction exposed.
(42) The Old Rectory, Nos. 3, 5 Victor Street
(Plate 46), was built in the late 17th century. The first
surviving terrier (Borthwick Inst. R. III.A, xvi.I), undated
(? 1684) but signed by William Stainforth, rector 1668–
1705, probably refers to an earlier building on the site
as 'a House and Garden . . . worth about five pounds per
annum'; the next, of 1716, clearly describes the present
building, the particulars remaining substantially unchanged until 1865 (ibid., xvi. 2–18). It had been declared
unfit for residence by 1818 (Lawton, 26), and was sold by
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners soon after 1876. In the
late 19th century, the ground floor was converted to shop
premises and a carriageway passage inserted.
The front and back elevations are each divided into four
bays by brick pilasters with a projecting string-course at first-floor level. The original eaves cornice has been replaced by
hardboard. The roof is covered with pantiles. Hung-sash
windows to the front are all later than 1818 when the building
was described as having 'small windows'. Some of the segmental arches for the original windows remain at the rear.
One original window, now blocked, retains the original
timber frame and mullion.
The interior has been much altered. Terriers mention two
upper rooms only until 1764 but from 1770 refer to three;
there was also a garret in the roof which is not now accessible.
A fireplace on the first floor, probably of the late 18th century,
has a frieze enriched with applied composition of unusually
BLOSSOM STREET (Plates 7, 158, 162) shares with
THE MOUNT and MOUNT VALE a single continuous numbering and together they represent the suburban
stretch of the main Tadcaster Road without Micklegate
Bar. (For the continuation of this road see DRINGHOUSES, p. 116.) The name Blossom Street is derived
from Ploxswaingate, the street of ploughmen, a name
traceable to the early 13th century. Its great width
allowed a horse and cattle market to be held along it.
Beyond the turning of the Holgate Road the street
continues as The Mount, and subsequently as Mount
Vale, names derived from the Civil War fortification on
the summit of the hill. It was the presence of this royalist
outwork which enabled a number of old houses to
survive in Blossom Street, the only suburb without the
Bars to escape destruction in the siege of 1644. The road
was already built up in the 13th century, as husgable was
paid on twenty-nine tofts without Micklegate Bar in
1282 (YCA, c.60). By 1639 there were sixty-eight
houses (Bodleian, MS. Rawlinson c. 886, pp. 51–2).
Some of these were probably destroyed in the siege,
and there is evidence that in the early 18th century there
were many empty plots between inhabited houses.
By the middle of the century these plots were being
filled with new houses, sometimes detached, but often
abutting on the side walls of the earlier buildings on each
From an early date the street contained a large number
of inns and hostelries and it would seem that this was a
main centre of accommodation for merchants of the
lesser sort. In the second half of the 18th century the
street began to be fashionable (a little later than Bootham, at the northern exit from the city) and several
houses were built for letting to tenants of the gentle
class. Interspaced with these were small farmhouses
belonging to cowkeepers who kept cattle on their tofts
and put them out to common on the Knavesmire during
the daytime. By 1830 Blossom Street had several shops
and many of its houses were the private residences of
those in trade. The Mount was largely residential and
included the homes of several of the minor gentry.
New residential development began to fill vacant land
off the street soon after 1824 (South Parade) and both
terrace houses and detached villas were built on The
Mount from 1824 onwards. This new development
was of a high standard and catered largely for the growing professional class (see pp. 123–4, 127–9).
(43) Windmill Hotel, Nos. 14, 16 (Plate 157),
consists of a large U-shaped complex of four or five
separate builds, from the late 17th to the late 19th
centuries. The earlier works have been considerably
altered and considerable internal rebuilding and refitting was carried out in 1965. In the early 19th century
the Windmill Inn was 'a noted house' (YAYAS coll. in
York City Library, letter M. Johnson to W. A. Evelyn,
6 Nov. 1913).
Stage 1, the block at the N.E. corner, with two adjacent
gables to Blossom Street and steep-pitched roofs running
back, is of the late 17th century and consists of brick outer
walls with timber-framed internal partitions. It probably
represents an early stage of rebuilding after the damage caused
in the Civil War. The bay windows to the front, though
largely renewed, were in existence by c. 1785; the timber
barge-boards to the gables are modern. Surviving internal
features include chamfered beams, running N.–S., and rafters
of the S. gabled roof, halved and pegged together at the apex.
There are two large internal chimney-breasts, but all the fireplaces are of the late 19th or 20th century. The staircase is of
mid to late 18th-century date with turned balusters to the
bottom flight. It was probably only the structure constituted
by these two parallel ranges that formed the 'two messuages
cottages or tenements called the Windmill Inn', described in a
deed of 1735, by which the children of the late Henry Lee
conveyed the premises to the occupier, George Benson, innholder (YCA, E.93, f. 86). Henry Lee (1665–1727) belonged
to the fifth generation of a family of millers who, from 1621
to 1690, had been lessees of a windmill belonging to the City
near the top of The Mount (YCA, 1, ff. 102, 103), so that the
inn must have taken its name from the mill worked by the
Stage 2, immediately to S., with a frontage to Blossom
Street of about 21 ft., was probably originally a separate
building, perhaps erected soon after the purchase of 1735.
The roof, which is modern, has two ridges with a valley
between, parallel to Blossom Street; the narrower span, to W.,
possibly represents a later addition, but no internal brick wall is
thicker than 4½ in. A segmental bow window was put into the
front elevation in the early 19th century.
Stage 3, a square three-storey block (No. 16) adjoining and S.
of Stage 2, includes a carriageway to the hotel yard. It retains
most of its original fittings. That it was built as an addition to
the hotel is proved by the position of the staircase, accessible
only from within Stage 2. It has a closed string, square balusters
and turned newels. A long stable range behind, together with
this block and carriageway, are shown on Baine's map of
1822, when they had probably just been completed, since No.
16 was first assessed to rates in 1823 (Borthwick Inst., Rate
Books of Holy Trinity, Micklegate).
Stage 4, a long range running W. of Stage 1, is of c. 1890 but
replaces an older range (OS 1852). There were intermediate
stages of internal alteration, one of the mid 18th century
including the main staircase and dado panelling in two ground-floor rooms; several doors are of c. 1840.
(44) House, No. 19, is on the site of an older house
rebuilt in c. 1760, and in 1761 occupied by William
Thornton, clockmaker (YCA, E.94, f. 34v.); of this
house some external walling at the rear, the staircase and
some doors, remain. It was later tenanted by William
Green, esq.; in 1781 it was sold to Mrs. Ann Aspinall,
Superior of the Bar Convent (E.94, f. 235); and William
Hotham (Alderman from 1792; Lord Mayor, 1802 and
1819) was tenant from 1791 until his death on 8 August
1836 (Skaife MS.).
There was work on the house in 1791–3, but details
are not available. The architect was Thomas Atkinson;
John Prince was paid for bricks, plaster and work;
Richard Hansom was responsible for carpentry, Mr.
Croft for lead and glass, Mr. Haxby for ironwork,
Mr. Smith for painting, Mr. Rusby for slates, and Mr.
Fothergill for fixtures (Bar Convent Archives, 7 B 2(4)).
A bill presented by Richard Hansom, specifically for
this house, mentions work on the staircase, including a
centre for a Venetian window, cutting a way for the
stairs and hipping a roof over it, and various cornices
(7 B 2 (8)). In c. 1815, the front of the house was taken
down and rebuilt by Thomas Rayson (receipt dated
17 May 1821, 7 B 3(11)). A plan of the house by J. B.
and W. Atkinson, dated August 1834, was doubtless
a prelude to the alterations of 1837, to produce a
residence for the chaplain (7 B 9 and 7 B 10). Richard
Hansom provided staircase wainscotting and repaired
bannisters (7 B 9(2)); took out front windows and
refitted the sashes and shutters, removed the door-case, and provided a new front and a back staircase
(7 B 10(1) and (3)). Richard Dalton provided bricks, lime
and cement (7 B 9(5)); Matthew Walker did plumbing
and glazing (7 B 9(6)) and in particular was paid 'for 10
windows in front glazing Best, for glass 12 squares each
containing 213 feet', a description of the present windows in the lower two storeys. James Haxby provided
ironwork (7 B 9(8)); Michael Taylor stonework, such
as thresholds, sills and slips for fireplaces, and also four
fireplaces (7 B 9(15)). Perhaps the most interesting payments are to Judith Jennings for plasterwork (7 B 9(7)),
the details describing many of the cornices and features
still existing. A lithograph of Blossom Street by Monkhouse of 1846 shows the house as still of two storeys,
and indicates that a pair of windows to N, shown in the
1834 plan, had been replaced by one (probably in 1837)
and that the doorway to S. must have been moved in
1847, when the staircase was inserted at that end. In that
year G. T. Andrews added a third storey: work was
carried out by William Shaw, joiner (7 B 14(3)), and
John Ellis, bricklayer (7 B 14(5) and (6)); Henry Buckley
provided window sills, moulded string, chimney pieces
and hearth stones (7 B 14(7)); Matthew Walker did roof
work in lead; Richard Knowlson plastered; and John
Henry Cattley put best Bangor slates on the roof with
copper nails. The house may have been divided at this
time and the S. end combined with No. 21, newly built
(1845), the new staircase being provided to give access
to this complex; its iron balusters are characteristic of
G. T. Andrews's work.
The front to Blossom Street (Plate 158), of six irregularly
spaced bays, is of good quality red brick with a stone plinth,
moulded and modillioned cornice, and a Welsh slate roof,
hipped to S. At ground floor, the doorways each have two
engaged, fluted columns with moulded caps and bases,
supporting an entablature with plain frieze and moulded
cornice; over the doors are radial fanlights. The doorway to S.
was reset in 1847 and is not aligned with the windows above.
The sash windows have flat rubbed brick arches and stone sills,
and six windows at first floor are similar. Although the second
storey was an addition of 1847, the brick and windows match
up well with those below, but the windows are not quite so
tall. No. 21 has a single window to each storey and is entered
from No. 19.
The back of No. 19 shows the different builds clearly, the
18th-century work being in red brick and the additions of
1847 in large buff brick. To N., running through two storeys,
are two red brick pilasters (c. 1760), between which is an infill
of later brick with sash windows (1847). Against the second
bay is a modern annexe, blocking a round-headed stair light
at first floor. A projecting third bay, of late 18th-century
brick, is lit at each floor by a large sash window with slightly
segmental arch and thin stone sill. At the top of the first floor
is a coping of stone flags on projecting blocks, representing
the top of the house of c. 1760; in the recessed part, a lower
band produces the effect of a parapet. The second floor is all
of large brick of 1847. A fourth bay, slightly recessed and
refaced from top to bottom in 1847, has at ground floor a
doorway, cloaked by a one-storey annexe, with a sash window
to S., both of c. 1760, reused. To S., again, a fifth bay, brought
forward in 1847 to align with the back of No. 21, contains a
large round-headed stair window with hung sashes and small
The interior fittings include doors and doorcases of c. 1760
and a staircase of the same date with cut string and turned
balusters with plain umbrella-shaped knops spiralling at the
bottom over a heavy newel similar in form to the balusters.
Many of the fittings are of 1837, exemplified by a doorway in
the stair hall (Plate 68). The S. staircase, of 1847, has cast-iron
(45) House, Nos. 22, 24, 26, was built in 1789 by John
Horner, a wine merchant from Liverpool, as a pair of
dwellings of unequal size pierced by a central carriageway leading to a warehouse (No. 24) behind. Horner
occupied the smaller house (No. 22) and advertised the
other for letting (York Herald, 27 Feb. 1790); it was taken
by Joseph Newmarch, wine and spirit merchant.
Horner died in 1791 (ibid., 12 Feb. 1791). In 1795 the
property was described as 'a large, genteel, well-built
Freehold Dwelling-house, with spacious cellars and
convenient out-buildings (No. 26) . . . with a commodious warehouse and wine-vaults under the same (No.
24), a yard, stabling for three horses, and a very good
garden, well stored with a variety of choice fruit-trees'.
No. 22, the smaller house, was similarly described
except for the omission of the word 'large' (York Herald,
14 March 1795). Mrs. Horner remained in No. 22 and
Newmarch in No. 26 until 1798. Later occupiers of
No. 22 included, in 1808–26, the widowed Lady Mary
Stapleton, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Abingdon; and
of No. 26, the architect Charles Watson. Watson moved
from Wakefield to York at the end of 1807 (York
Courant, 18 Jan. 1808) and resided and carried on practice
in the house until 1821, when he was succeeded by
James Pigott Pritchett (1789–1868), taken into partnership on 1 January 1813 (ibid., 4 Jan. 1813). The practice
was carried on from Blossom Street until the partnership
was dissolved in 1831, when Pritchett moved his office
to Lendal (Yorks. Gazette, 1 Jan. 1831). Thomas Cabry,
engineer of the York and North Midland Railway,
lived in No. 26 in 1841–4 and was succeeded from 1845
to 1848 by Joseph Rowntree (1801–59), founder of the
famous firm; later occupiers were the Rev. Robert
Whytehead, rector of All Saints' North Street 1854–63,
author of A Key to the Prayer Book, and his widow
(Borthwick Inst., Rate Books of Holy Trinity, Micklegate). The whole property was conveyed in 1888 to the
North-Eastern Railway (British Railways, York, Estate
& Rating Dept., Survey Vol. 17, p. 6, No. 32) and in
1895 a rent-charge of 10s. a year payable to Holy
Trinity Micklegate by charity of Christopher Waide,
Sheriff in 1619 (d. 1623), was redeemed (ibid., No. 32A).
During the period of ownership by the N.E.R. it was
usual for No. 26 to be the residence of the York stationmaster and No. 22 that of a railway inspector. In 1934
the London & North-Eastern Railway sold the freehold to the York Railwaymen's Club, and extensive
alterations were made: the ground floor of No. 26
was formed into a single large room, and the first floor
of the whole property thrown into one. Many of the
internal fittings are, however, in Regency style and
presumably the work of either Watson or Pritchett.
The building is of special interest, both on account
of its plan with central carriageway, very unusual in
York, and because it is one of the earliest three-storey
houses outside the city wall.
Nos. 22 and 26 form a simple rectangular building of three
storeys. The E. elevation to Blossom Street is in five bays with
a timber cornice at the eaves. The windows to the upper floor
are regularly spaced, but on the ground floor those to the N.
are offset to allow for the carriageway. The timber pilasters
flanking the carriageway and the entablature above are all
modern. At the back each house has a lofty round-headed
window lighting the staircase.
(46) Houses, Nos. 32, 36 (Plates 64, 156), were built
on part of a large plot which belonged to an old house
to N. (site of the modern Nos. 28, 30), sold by Thomas
Lupton to William Smith in 1747 (YCA, E.93, f. 195);
less than 6 months later, in January 1748, Smith mortgaged the property, which then included 'three messuages two of which have been lately new erected by the
said William Smith' (ibid., f. 199). The building was
subsequently united in a single occupation and later redivided on several occasions, belonging for a considerable time to the family of Healey, merchant tobacconists.
George Healey (1734–1824), Sheriff of York in 1789–90,
and his younger brother John Healey (1751–1823)
were occupiers of the two houses for nearly 50 years
until their deaths (Borthwick Inst., Rate Books of Holy
Trinity, Micklegate). From the middle of the 19th
century onwards the occupiers were shopkeepers and
various alterations were made. When No. 38 was built,
to S., about 1822, an entrance passage to No. 36 was
provided through the later building which stood upon
part of the ancient curtilage.
The houses are roofed in two ranges: that over the front
rooms has a central gable towards the rear; the back rooms are
covered by a low-pitched lead roof belonging to the original
build. At first floor the back elevation has a central round-headed stair light with rubbed brick arch. There is a rainwater head on this side dated 1777, probably the period when
the Healeys took over the property.
Internally a staircase rises in two flights with a full landing
and half landing, with a heavy moulded rail, a turned newel
with spiral fluting, and turned balusters with alternately plain
and spirally fluted stems; other fittings include original doors
with two large fielded panels and angle hinges, and a marble
fireplace of c. 1800. Demolished 1964.
(47) House, No. 40 (Plate 156), closely resembles
Nos. 32, 36, built in 1747, and was presumably by the
same designer. The original work of this period was
an L-shaped building consisting of the front block to
the street and a projecting wing at the back. The house
belonged to Ann, widow of William Collingwood,
gent., before her remarriage to Henry Casson in 1773,
and it may have been built for Collingwood. From 1773
it was let to William Phillips Lee, esq., a wealthy
bachelor of distinguished family and friend of Laurence
Sterne, who put up £100 for the original publication of
Tristram Shandy (YAJ, XLII (1967), 103–7). After Lee's
death in 1778 the house was held for several short terms
until, in 1792, the freehold was acquired for £700 by
Thomas Swann, a prominent York banker. The property
was described as a messuage 'with Coachouse, Stables,
Outbuildings, Garden and Yard' (YCA, E.95, f. 131v.).
It was probably Thomas Swann (d. 1832) who extended
the range behind the main building and added a third
storey to it. Further extensions at the rear, and other
alterations, were carried out soon after 1850. Members
of the Swann family continued to live in the house until
1846; later occupants were Joseph Crawshaw, the railway contractor, from 1847 until his death in 1856, and
during the 1870s the Rev. John Metcalfe, rector of Holy
Trinity, Micklegate (Borthwick Inst., Rate Books
of Holy Trinity, Micklegate; Directories). In the present
century the ground floor was altered to form a
The street front, in six bays, has a projecting brick band at
first-floor level and timber eaves cornice. The doorway (Plate
64) is similar to that to No. 32. Some of the windows retain
the original sashes. The staircase, opening off the central passage
in the N. corner of the main block, has turned newel and turned
balusters, three to a tread. Demolished 1964–5.
(48) Bay Horse Inn, No. 55, contains a nucleus which
goes back at least to the 17th century, possibly to the
period of reconstruction after the Siege of York, when
the property belonged to Joseph Denton (free of York
1677). It was then perhaps a small farmhouse, with a
croft running back to Scarcroft, and by 1726 was
described as having a Kiln, Barn and Stable (YCA, E.93,
f. 30). In 1748 it belonged to Matthew Spence (1700–65),
inn-holder (ibid., f. 204) and became an inn, though there
is no evidence of its sign until 1798, when it was already
'The Bay Horse', very likely in reference to the famous
Bay Malton, which won the Gimcrack 500 guineas at
York in 1765 and even greater prizes at Newmarket
in the two subsequent years (W. Pick, The York Racing
Calendar). Among the later landlords of the house,
during the 1860s and 1870s, was George Benson, father
of George Benson (1856–1935), the York historian,
most of whose childhood was spent there (York City
Library, T. P. Cooper MSS.).
The earliest build is evidenced by a group of heavy
ceiling joists in the ground-floor bar. The original house
may have been L-shaped and it had only two floors with
attics, but was later converted to three storeys. Enlargement to the W. and the addition of a second floor, with
the existing staircase, doors, etc., at first floor, probably
belong to the conversion of the house to an inn by
Matthew Spence between 1748 and 1765. Some of the
windows were altered in the 19th century, and in the
back wall 18th-century work in 2½ in. bricks contrasts
with very large bricks of the mid 19th century. Internally,
the staircase is of the third quarter of the 18th century
and there are other fittings of the Regency period, but
much of the ground floor is modern.
(49) House, Nos. 82, 84, 86 The Mount (Plate 159),
was built late in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan.
It appears clearly on the view of York by John Haynes,
engraved in 1731, but not on any of the prospects taken
from the same point by Gregory King, William Lodge
or Francis Place between 1666 and 1678. It was probably
the messuage with an orchard, garden, yard etc., which
descended from William Pemberton, merchant grocer
of York (free of the City 1695 and Chamberlain 1699),
to his relatives the Geldart family, and was sold to
William Smith in 1750. It was then said to have been
lately in the occupation of Mr. Abercromby (YCA,
E.93, f. 244). By 1778 (York Minster Library, Terriers,
K.2) the property was owned and occupied by Mr. Ikin
(?William Aitken) and c. 1835 was taken by Robert
Davies, the Town Clerk, who in 1851 built his own large
house, Nos. 88, 90, on the garden to S. Later in the
century the house became the home of Davies's sister,
Mrs. Skaife, and her son Robert Hardisty Skaife, the
antiquary. About 1895 it was divided into separate
occupancies. Earlier in the century there had been substantial additions and alterations, including the provision
of two staircases, probably to fit the house for occupation
by members of the Davies and Skaife families. By 1847
it was described as 'two comfortable dwelling houses,
with spacious garden'.
The street front is an early 19th-century symmetrical façade
in yellow-red brick. In 1963 a modern shop front was removed
from No. 82 and the sash windows replaced with modern
casements. A second front door, to No. 86, was inserted in
1963. The steep-pitched pantiled roof has two small square
dormers, now modern reconstructions. The rear elevation
includes the stuccoed end of a 17th-century range with a
Dutch gable having a pediment at the head and curved sides.
The S. elevation has a stuccoed ground floor with three
modern windows, and a first floor of rather narrow red brick
in mixed bond, with some lines of headers, having two 19th-century sash windows in old openings to E. and a blocked
window to W. The S. gable of the front range, now masked,
has an attic window set in the blocking of a 17th-century
window with ovolo-moulded brick cornice. The gable has a
coping with, at the bottom of the W. side, a badly weathered
Classical woman's head, the hair arranged in cable fashion, of
dark gritstone and most probably Roman.
Internally the fittings are mostly of the late 18th and early
19th centuries. In the attics some late 17th-century oak rafters
and purlins of broad flat section are visible.
(50) Nunroyd, No. 109 The Mount, and No. 1
Mill Mount, form one building with an unusual front
with bay windows in three storeys (Plate 46). The N.E.
third of this front is modern. The building was originally
one house, of which the nucleus may go back to the late
17th century and first appears on the prospect of York
published in 1731 by John Haynes. This building may
be represented by the present entrance hall to No. 1
Mill Mount (to S.W.), with stone footings and a small
isolated cellar. An addition to S.E. along Mill Mount, in
slightly different brick, may have been built soon afterwards. The extent of the early work is defined by the
extra brick string-course appearing in the S.E. part of
the elevation to Mill Mount. The main part of the building was erected in the first half of the 18th century with a
symmetrical front to The Mount. By 1740 the property
was described (YCA, E.93, f. 121) as a house with a barn,
stable and cowhouses, occupied by Richard Middleton,
yeoman, who with others conveyed it to Thomas Hungate (1710–77), the eccentric herald-painter, occupier
until 1776. Hungate took up the freedom of York in
1736–7 and was Chamberlain in 1751; in 1749, on the
death of Sir Charles Hungate, bart., of Saxton, Thomas
was considered the next heir to the title but did not take
it up, 'being a man of penurious habits and of reserved
and singular manners. His friends, however, usually
styled him Sir Thomas' (Skaife MS.). Later occupants
were the Rev. Robert Stockdale, (d. 1786), vicar of
St. Mary Bishophill Junior, and the Rev. John Walker,
rector of St. Denys, who lived here in 1786–92. The rate
assessment was raised from £5 to £7 in 1798, probably
on completion of the alterations which included the
building of the polygonal bay windows which give
the house its marked individuality. The bays were in
existence by 1802, the date of a watercolour of The
Mount by Thomas White (Plate 7). In 1803–9 the tenant
was the widow of Edward Bedingfield, Mrs. Mary
Bedingfield, who moved here from No. 114 Micklegate
(94) after her husband's death. Another phase of work is
associated with the division of the house into two
moieties in 1815 (Borthwick Inst., Rate Books of Holy
Trinity, Micklegate). The first occupant of No. 109,
the N.E. moiety, from 1816 to 1821, was Richard
Allanson (Chamberlain of York, 1797), whose initials
appear on a Georgian teaspoon found wedged into a
lintel. Among later occupants of No. 109 were Leonard
Simpson, J.P. (d. 1868), brother of Sir John Simpson;
and from 1904 until his death in 1924 Alderman Norman
Green, Lord Mayor in 1911–12, who added the block
to N.E. of the older house, with a third bay window.
When a passage was driven between two cellars a heavy
rubble foundation was encountered, probably part of
the foundations of St. James's Chapel, known to have
stood near this spot.
The staircase to Nunroyd is of the 18th century, with square
newels and turned balusters. That to No. 1 Mill Mount has a
lower part of 1815 but is of the 18th century above. Some of
the other fittings are 18th-century; several of the fireplaces are
of c. 1815.
(51) House, Nos. 110, 110A The Mount, was built
early in the 18th century and appears on John Haynes's
view of York of 1731 (Plate 2) as the next house downhill from the old hospital of St. Catherine. In the last
quarter of the century it was occupied by John Simpson,
a farmer (York Minister Library, Terriers, K.2; parish
registers). Early in the 19th century the house was
altered and most of the fireplaces inserted; for about a
century it remained a residence and from 1896 to 1906
was the home of William Angus Clarke, manager of the
alpine department of James Backhouse & Co., the
nurserymen; later the ground floor was converted to
form a shop (Directories; Voters' Lists).
The colour-washed front elevation has 19th-century and
modern features but retains a three-course band beneath the
attic storey, heightened c. 1860. The rear elevation shows the
original reddish-yellow brick. Original internal fittings include
the staircase with square newel and turned balusters, and doors
with two large fielded panels and angle hinges. Demolished
BRIDGE STREET. Before the rebuilding of Ouse
Bridge in 1810–20 this short stretch of street, sometimes
called Briggate, was regarded as part of the approach
to the bridge. It was entirely redeveloped (in 1815–22)
with the new bridge and was known in the 19th century
as New Bridge Street (see p. 124).
CAMBRIDGE STREET, laid out in 1846 and completed in 1851, consisted of terrace housing for railway
employees (see p. 124).
CARR'S LANE was formerly Kirk Lane or Kirkgail
(13th century), and is a steep and narrow passage from
Bishophill Senior leading down to Skeldergate. Its
modern name goes back to the early 19th century and
appears to commemorate the famous architect John Carr,
who owned the large property at the foot of the lane
on its N. side (see ALBION STREET).
CHERRY HILL, which presumably got its name from
the adjacent Cherry Orchard referred to in a deed of
1780 (YCA, E.94, f. 220), is a narrow lane leading from
Bishopgate Street to Clementhorpe, and was undeveloped until c. 1830 (see p. 124).
CLEMENTHORPE, originally the main street of a
suburban village in the fee of the Archbishop of York,
and leading to a staith, declined greatly in importance
from the dissolution of the Nunnery (19) in 1536. By
the 18th century it contained one or two small houses,
and redevelopment, on a small scale, began only in 1823
(see p. 124).
CYGNET STREET was formerly Union Street, laid
out in 1846 as small-scale terrace housing (see p. 124).
DALE STREET was built, as small-scale terrace housing, in 1823–8; it was occupied largely by railway
employees and by minor artisans (see p. 124).
DOVE STREET was built in 1827–30 as small-scale
terrace housing and was occupied by minor artisans
and by railway employees (see p. 124).
FETTER LANE was originally Feltergail (13th century),
the lane of the felt-workers, and in 1282 it comprised
ten tofts on which husgable was paid (YCA, c.60).
On the N. side were the backs of the Micklegate tofts,
so that the houses of Fetter Lane were mostly S. of the
street. Properties in the lane fell into decay and orders
were given to rebuild two of them in 1587 (YCA, B.29,
f. 108v.). By the early 19th century Fetter Lane contained
a few small houses and the workshops of minor craftsmen.
HOLGATE ROAD was formerly Holgate Lane, leading W. from Blossom Street to the hamlet of Holgate
and there dividing to become the roads to Acomb and
Wetherby, and to Poppleton and Knaresborough. The
hamlet of Holgate, beyond the Bridge (21), contained
only about half-a-dozen houses until the 19th century.
Apart from a few small cottages on Corporation land
at the entrance to the lane, no buildings seem to have
been erected until after 1823. Lindley Murray, the
famous grammarian who occupied Holgate House (52)
from 1786 to 1826, 'being unable to walk himself . . .
contributed largely towards forming and keeping up a
walk by the side of the road' and 'a seat, on which to
rest the weary traveller, was put up by the side of this
walk, entirely at Mr. Murray's own expense' (Memoirs
of the Life and Writings of Lindley Murray, ed. Elizabeth
Frank (1826), 221 n.). By 1850 a considerable amount of
development had taken place to E. of the railway and
on the N. side of Holgate Hill (see p. 125–6).
(52) Holgate House, No. 163 (Plate 160), was built,
apparently as a speculation, by Edward Matterson,
plumber and glazier, who had acquired the site in 1770.
He disposed of the 'new erected messuage . . . with two
gardens and stables and outbuildings with the back room
called the Garden House' to John Iveson a dealer,
who went bankrupt in 1783 and the property was sold
to George Dawson, R.N. The latter intended to retire
there, but on receiving the command of the frigate
Phaeton in 1785 he sailed for the Mediterranean and the
house was sold to William Tuke, acting on behalf of his
fellow Quaker, the American lawyer and grammarian
Lindley Murray, who had been recommended to settle
near York for the sake of his health. (YCA, Acomb
Court Rolls; Memoirs of . . . Lindley Murray, ed. E.
Frank). Murray lived in the house for over 39 years
and died there on 16 January 1826. In 1859 the Backhouse family, proprietors of the famous nurseries, moved
here from No. 92 Micklegate (83); James Backhouse
(1794–1869), founder of the firm, died here. Later
occupiers were W. W. Morrell from 1882 and the
Pressly family in 1912–22. Finally the property was
acquired by the Railway and it is now (1970) British
Transport Police Headquarters.
The original house, consisting of the central block,
by the 19th century already had single storey additions
to E. and W.; there was a portico but no porch (engraving by T. Sutherland after H. Cave). Later in the first
half of the 19th century, the E. annexe was replaced by a
two-storey wing, of larger bricks but still utilising part
of the E. wall of the earlier addition; the W. addition
was extended to W., a second storey added, and a small
one-storey annexe built against its W. side. In the late
19th century the N. porch was built, the hall paved,
and one of the bay windows on the S. front very much
enlarged. A modern storey has been added to the W.
annexe, and there have been internal changes.
The N. front has an 18th-century door-case reset at the
entrance to the later porch and there are bay windows to the
ground floor only. On the S. side bay windows are carried
up through three storeys on each side of a modern porch and
of upper windows of one large light flanked by narrow side
Inside, original fittings include the staircase, with turned
balusters and fluted newel, and on the first floor two fireplaces
with pilastered surrounds (Plate 75). An 18th-century doorway
(Plate 67) is reused in a later partition. Some renovation was
carried out in the early 19th century and most of the other
fittings on the first floor belong to this period.
An original Stable, W. of the house, is of two storeys under
a pantiled roof and has bull's-eye windows in the S. front. A
Summer House in the Classical style, presumably the 'Garden
Room' of 1774, formerly stood in the garden but has been
removed to the Mount School in Dalton Terrace (Plate 56).
(53) House, Nos. 167, 167A, was built in the second
half of the 18th century on a nearly symmetrical plan.
Minor changes were made early in the 19th century
and later in that century two large bay windows were
added to the front. In modern times the house has been
divided into two.
The front, symmetrically designed in red brick, has two
large bay windows, and a porch behind which the original
entrance has fluted pilasters supporting a frieze with delicate
swags and festoons beneath a moulded and dentilled pediment.
Above are five original sash windows with flat arches, and a
moulded and modillioned eaves cornice.
Internally the fittings of the entrance hall and the staircase
are original. Most of the rooms have been refitted with fireplaces and other details of the early 19th century.