Monkgate (Monuments 256–288)
Monkgate is the main approach to the city from the
N.E. The 12th-century church of St. Maurice, outside
Monk Bar, which was pulled down in the 19th century,
provides evidence that there was an extra-mural settlement here by the 12th century. None of the surviving
domestic buildings antedate the destruction that
occurred here in the Civil War.
Unless otherwise described monuments 256–288 are
of two storeys.
(256) Houses, Nos. 1, 3, were built by 1846 by
James Bowman, coal dealer and wheelwright (YCL,
Council Minutes iii, 10 August 1846; Directories).
They form a three-storey group of five bays comprising
two houses and shops with a carriageway to the rear
at the end. The front elevation has recessed vertical
strips rising through the first and second floors.
(257) House, No. 11, is probably of late 18th-century
date. The ground floor has been drastically altered in
conversion to a shop but a drawing of c. 1840 shows that
there was a central doorway with a window on each
side. The interior arrangement included a staircase
placed transversely between front and back rooms on the
S.W. side. Demolished.
(258) House, No. 15, is L-shaped on plan: a back
wing, of which part has been demolished, was built
probably in the late 17th century and contains an original
window with wooden mullion and bars; the front
range was built in the late 18th century. The house is of
two storeys. The street front is symmetrical with a
central entrance, and the plan shows the entrance hall
and staircase between two rooms. The staircase has a
close string and turned balusters; some of the rooms
retain moulded ceiling cornices, and doors with six
fielded panels. Demolished.
(259) House, No. 17, was built in the late 17th
century comprising two storeys with a single room on
each floor. The house was increased in depth in the
early 18th century to give a second room on each floor,
and refronted. Further alteration to the front at the end
of the 18th century raised the eaves line to match that of
The front is of brown brick with red dressings and has a
plat-band at the first floor. The entrance has a 19th-century
door-case. An original window, now blocked, has an ovolo-moulded wood frame and mullion and three vertical wood
bar in each light. The balusters of the 18th-century staircase
have been boxed in. Demolished.
(260) Houses, Nos. 19, 21, were built probably c.
1812, the date on a rainwater head. The houses are of
three storeys, each with two front rooms to each floor,
behind which the planning is very irregular, and a variety
of projections containing back rooms, staircases and
closets. The front door to No. 19 is recessed behind
panelled reveals and has six moulded and fielded panels.
One of the first-floor fireplaces has the sides enriched
with composition decoration.
(261) House, No. 37, of three and four storeys, was
built by Joseph Buckle just before 1848, the four-storey
part to the N.E. being a remodelling of a three-storey
house built by William Walker in 1794 (Deeds).
The street front has the upper storeys divided into two bays
by giant pilasters with stone bases and capitals, and the sills of
the upper windows are linked by stone bands. The entrance
doorway is flanked by narrow windows to form a tripartite
composition with Ionic columns (now missing) between
pilasters carrying an entablature with central pediment; it is
similar to the entrance to No. 61 Bootham (48) but the
pilasters here are not fluted. The S.W. side is divided into three
bays by brick pilaster strips without bases or capitals.
On plan the two parts of the house are very similar in idea
though different in scale. Each has a staircase placed transversely between front and back compartments; in the earlier
part to the N.E. the original staircase remains forming the
secondary staircase to the whole; in the S.W. part the front
door leads into a spacious entrance hall screened from the main
staircase by Ionic columns but this grand design has been
spoilt by the introduction of a modern partition. The handrails to the staircase are carried on elaborate cast-iron standards
(Plate 130). On the first floor, over the entrance hall, a lofty
reception room has a richly decorated plaster ceiling.
(262) House, No. 39, of three storeys, was built in
1794 by William Walker and at that time formed with
No. 37 a symmetrical pair (Deeds). The semicircular
arch over the entrance and flat arches over the front
windows are of gauged rubbed brick. The house repeats
the plan of the earlier part of No. 37; in both houses
there are large cupboards between the staircases and the
(263) Houses, Nos. 45–51 (odd), dating from 1830–40,
form a terrace and are of three storeys with basements
and attics. The doorcases have reeded half-columns.
The windows of Nos. 47–51 have decorated key
blocks and continuous sill-bands on the first floor.
(264) House, No. 53, is of the early 19th century,
but much altered. It has a pantiled roof.
Fig. 77. (261, 262) Nos. 37, 39 Monkgate.
(265) House, No. 55, (Plate 104) was probably built
by John Mason between 1809 and 1815 (YCA, E96,
ff. 126–126v; YML, Vicars Choral Lease Book No. 4,
141). It has a symmetrical front elevation of three bays;
the central doorway has recessed pilasters and a
fanlight with geometrical glazing pattern.
(266) Houses, Nos. 57, 59, a three-storey pair now
converted to a single shop on the ground floor, were
probably built between 1830 and 1840 and were certainly there by 1843 when No. 57 was occupied by John
(267) House, No. 61, of three storeys, dates from c.
1845. It has a rendered plinth and the window arches
have simulated voussoirs and decorated key blocks.
(268) Houses, Nos. 63, 65, are a pair, one or both of
which were probably built between 1812 and 1815 by
John Hart (YCA, E96, ff. 187–188v; 240v–241v).
(269) Houses, Nos. 67, 69, (Plate 104) are a pair built
between 1812 and 1814 by James Woodburn and
Joseph Dutton respectively (YCA, E96, ff. 187–188v;
225v–226). No. 69 was occupied by the architect
George Fowler Jones in 1846 and 1851 (Directories).
They have coupled doorways with reeded pilasters and
(270) Houses, Nos. 71–75 (odd), were probably built
between 1812 and 1830 (YCA, E96, ff. 187–188v; Directories). No. 71 retains its original door-case with
semicircular fanlight. Nos. 71 and 75 have pantiled
(271) The Bay Horse, p.h., No. 4, was built probably
soon after 1820 but the front was taken down and rebuilt
in 1837 by order of the City Council 'so as to form a line
with the rampart wall'. It is of three storeys and has a
symmetrical, rather archaic, front elevation of three bays
with continuous sill-bands to the first and second-floor
windows, and rusticated quoins.
(272) Icehouse, behind The Bay Horse, set into the
rampart of the City Wall, was constructed probably at
the beginning of the 19th century. It consists of a circular
domed chamber 12½ ft. in diameter, entered by a
passage 7 ft. long and formerly vaulted, all in brickwork
except for a stone cornice over the entrance.
(273) Houses, Nos. 16, 18, are a three-storey pair, of
differing heights but one build. They have pantiled
roofs. Early or mid 19th century.
(274) House, No. 24, of mid 18th-century date, is of
two storeys at the front and three at the back. On plan
the transverse staircase between front and back rooms
rises to one side of a nearly central chimney-stack with
back-to-back fireplaces. The staircase is built around an
open well, with turned balusters and moulded handrail.
The lower part has a cut string but above the first floor
there is a close string. Demolished.
(275) House, No. 28, of c. 1840, is of three storeys. It
has a doorway with reeded elliptical shafts, and a tiled
(276) House, No. 30, built probably between 1830
and 1840, is of three storeys. The door-case has reeded
pilasters and a radial fanlight within an open pediment.
(277) House, No. 36, was built in 1796–8 (Deeds;
YCA, E95, ff. 206, 207, 225) partly over a carriageway to
which the earlier arched entrance still remains. The
owner was then Thomas Tate.
The house is of three storeys and, except for the carriage
entrance, is symmetrical (Plate 97). The central doorway is
recessed under a plain gauged brick semicircular arch; over the
doorway are plain hung-sash windows but the windows to
each side of the elevation are of three unequal lights and there
are similar three-light windows at the back all under gauged
brick flat arches. At ground floor the plan is that of a simple
terrace house with staircase placed transversely between front
and back rooms; on each of the upper floors there is an additional room over the carriageway. On the first floor is a fireplace surround enriched with rosettes and festoons modelled
in plastic composition.
(278) Middleton House, No. 38, (Plate 97) was
built c. 1700, perhaps for Benjamin West, gentleman,
who died in 1711. West also owned two adjoining
tenements and all three were let (Deeds). The original
house was of two storeys, L-shaped on plan, with a
symmetrical five-bay front and finished with a Dutch
gable at each end. Subsequent owners included Isaac
Johnson, baker, and Joseph Beckett, silkweaver. A
contract for the sale of the house and of No. 40 by the
widow of John Preston in 1772 mentions two new-built
chambers, indicating the building of rooms over the
carriageway to the N.E., but these rooms, now part of
No. 38, were originally an extension of No. 40; it was
probably also Preston who added the third storey in the
third quarter of the 18th century. In 1798 the house was
bought by the Rev. Charles Wellbeloved, who in 1803
became principal of Manchester College, founded in
Manchester in 1786 as a dissenting academy. The college
was moved to York in 1803 and accommodated in
Wellbeloved's house until 1811 (VCH, York, 449).
It was presumably for the college that the house
was enlarged by additions at the back and the extension
of the N. room on the ground floor. The present arch
to the carriageway is of this date. The newly enlarged
N. room was entirely refitted, the fireplace surround
(Plate 115) and flanking cupboards being decorated by
Fig. 78. (278, 279) Nos. 38, 40 Monkgate.
On the street front original sashes with thick glazing bars
survive only in the ground-floor windows; the stucco dressing
to the surround of the front door is not original. Inside, most
of the original staircase remains (Plate 124) but the lowest
flight was refitted with lighter, twisted balusters before the
middle of the 18th century. An enriched fireplace surround of
the mid 18th century remains in a room over the carriageway
and in two other upper rooms are decorated iron firegrates by
Carron, probably c. 1803, set in surrounds of the same date.
(279) House, No. 40, stands on the site of one of the
three houses owned by Benjamin West (see No. 38
above) and was in the same ownership as No. 38
throughout most of the 18th century. The present house
(Plate 97) appears to be of the second quarter of the 18th
century but the present timber door-case to the entrance
(Plate 108) is of c. 1800 and the eaves cornice is of the
The house, of three storeys, is undistinguished on plan; it has
single front and back rooms with the staircase placed transversely between them and a small projecting wing containing
a wash-house etc. at the back. The front is of mottled brown
brick with red dressings; the first-floor windows have been
lengthened. Inside, the staircase has open strings and turned
balusters with square knops.
(280) House, No. 42, (Plate 97) was built by George
Hudson by April 1828 (YCA, E98, ff. 61v-62v; Deeds of
No. 44 Monkgate). It is of three storeys. The doorway
has fluted Doric pilasters. See Fig. 79.
(281) Maltkiln, No. 42a, now used as a store, is a
large single-storey building with brick walls, roofed in
two spans. It was described as new-built in a conveyance
of 1772. A second maltkiln behind Nos. 36 and 38 was
demolished c. 1796.
(282) House, No. 44, (Plate 97) was built probably
by Robert Edwards, yeoman, soon after he acquired the
site in 1723 (Deeds). The deeds of the property show
that there had been at least two earlier houses here, one
probably destroyed in the siege of 1644. The house was
leased between 1741 and 1747 to John Houghton, a
gentleman of some standing, and later it became the
property of Thomas Beckwith, painter and antiquary
(1731–86). In 1827 it passed to George Hudson who
drastically remodelled it; in 1828 he also acquired and
rebuilt No. 42 adjoining. According to a conveyance of
1828 No. 42 was for the use of Richard Nicholson (YCA,
E98, f. 61v, 62v), but the deeds of No. 44 speak of
Hudson using the two properties as one mansion house.
An advertisement for the sale of Hudson's house in
YG 3/4/1847 describes it as containing the following
rooms: on the ground floor, entrance hall, breakfast
room, study, kitchen, and house-keeper's, butler's and
servants' rooms; on the first floor, a suite of four
drawing rooms, dining room with butler's room, two
bedrooms and a dressing room; on the second floor,
seven bedrooms, three dressing rooms and a bathroom
with pipes for hot and cold water; accommodation for
the servants was provided in the attics and over the
servants' offices. The house was also provided with two
water closets and, outside, three coach-houses with
stabling for eight horses. George Hudson was described
in a directory of 1830 as draper; he became well-known for his activities in local politics, serving as Lord
Mayor three times, and in the promotion of railways.
He became the first chairman of the York and North
Midland Railway Company.
Fig. 79. (280, 282) Nos. 42, 44 Monkgate
The house is of three storeys and attics. The front is of 18th-century brown brick with red dressings, and is of four bays.
The entrance, with side windows between pilasters, was put in
for Hudson. The windows have modern hung sashes in
Georgian style replacing plate glass sashes of the 19th century.
The back was rebuilt by Hudson but a projecting bay and
balcony were added later in the 19th century. The interior
contains a staircase built round an open well with iron balustrades (Plate 130) of c. 1835, and the interior woodwork of the
same period is heavily moulded.
(283) Houses, Nos. 46, 48, (Plate 97) were built as a
symmetrical pair soon after the site had been bought by
Thomas Beckwith, painter, in 1768 (YCA, E94, f. 96v,
97). The upper parts of both houses have been rebuilt at
different times and heightened to range with No. 44.
The lower part of No. 46 has been converted to a
showroom and the former entrance, which mirrored
that of No. 48 with a 19th-century pilastered timber
door-case, has been destroyed. On the upper floors each
house has two hung-sash windows to each floor. On
plan the houses were generally similar to Nos. 36 and
40 (277, 279); in No. 46 the staircase has cast-iron
balusters, of two fairly simple designs alternated.
(284) Nos. 54–58 (even) are a range of three houses of
three storeys and semi-basements dating from c. 1840.
There is a carriageway through No. 58. The windows
have segmental arches.
(285) Nos. 62–66 (even) are a terrace of three-storey
houses dating from the 1840s, built possibly by John
Shaftoe, builder (Directories). The doorways have
round-headed surrounds with rusticated blocks.
(286) Houses, Nos. 68–72 (even), are a terrace
probably built between 1840 and 1850. There is a
continuous sill-band to the first-floor windows; the
stuccoed window heads have simulated voussoirs and
patterned key blocks.
(287) Houses, Nos. 74–82 (even), are a terrace dating
from c. 1845–50. There was originally a continuous sillband at the first floor; the first-floor window heads are
of stucco with simulated voussoirs.
(288) House, No. 84, built in the early 19th century,
is of four bays and has a door-case with Doric pilasters
with sunk round-headed panels in the second bay from
the S.W. end.