This fourth Inventory of Monuments in the City of York includes St. Mary's Abbey and the King's
Manor, several areas of mediaeval settlement just outside the walls, and other areas which have become
part of the City as 19th-century development spread over them. The walls enclosing St. Mary's Abbey
were described and illustrated in the earlier Inventory volume, York II: The Defences (1972), but the relevant
entry is repeated here to give a complete view of the whole abbey complex.
The description of St. Mary's Abbey has benefited from the researches of Dr. C. A. R. Radford and the
late Professor F. Wormald, who have thrown much light on the uses of the various parts of the abbey, and
of Professor G. Zarnecki, who has contributed to the study of the sculpture. The account of the King's
Manor owes much to the researches of Sir John Summerson and Mr. H. M. Colvin.
The Yorkshire Museum contains a collection of sculpture from various parts of York, many of the
pieces having come from buildings which no longer exist. It is not the Commission's general policy to list
the contents of museums, but the sculpture here preserved is discussed in so far as it relates to the buildings
of York, past and present. Similarly a brief indication of the extent of the topographical drawings in the
City Art Gallery has been included, being relevant to any study of the buildings of York.
In the domestic field the destruction caused by the siege of York in 1644 and later rebuilding have left no
substantial remains from a period earlier than the middle of the 17th century, and early documentary
records of the kind that contributed much to the interest of York III (1972) do not exist for the extramural
area now described. Here the early 19th-century material occupies the larger part of the Inventory, and a
number of the houses of that period which provide good examples of contemporary design and workmanship have been treated more fully than the early 19th-century houses in our previous volumes; the descriptions of the numerous smaller houses have been rigorously compressed. In the Sectional Preface to our
third volume on the City of York the design of houses was discussed at some length and many comments
then made are equally applicable to the houses in the area now covered. Descriptions of all the buildings
that have been recorded by the Commission's staff in the area have been included, even where the buildings
have since been pulled down. Demolitions have resulted in the disappearance of some whole streets, but the
map in the Inventory which shows the position of monuments is from an edition purposely chosen to
show all the monuments recorded still standing. The most important change since the date of the map has
been the bridging of the Ouse at Clifton.
In accordance with the Commission's practice no monument has been included which has not been
inspected, and the written descriptions are amplified by drawn plans and elevations. Plans and elevations
of houses are reproduced at a uniform scale of twenty-four feet to one inch; where a full key to the dating
conventions used is not given, black represents original work and white or dotted represents alterations
and additions. Some of the plans and elevations have been redrawn from the architects' original drawings.
The photographs have all been taken by the Commission's photographers and include reproductions of
some drawings which throw light on the earlier appearance of the buildings described.
I would draw attention to the fact that the record cards for the City of York may be consulted by
accredited persons who give notice of their intention to the Secretary of the Commission. Copies of
photographs may be purchased from the National Monuments Record.