SE5951SE BLOSSOM STREET 1112-1/20/63 (South East side) 14/06/54 The Bar Convent and railings attached to front (Formerly Listed as: BLOSSOM STREET Nos.15, 17 AND 19 (The Bar Convent))
Convent and school of The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary; now convent and museum. Entrance range of 1786-9, fronting earlier buildings of which the Chapel block of 1766-9 remains relatively unaltered; 1790-3 outer range on north side of Court added; 1834-5 inner range on north side of Court and range north of the Chapel block added; 1844-6 Chapel block altered and Schoolroom block on corner of Nunnery Lane added. The Court was roofed c1865 and other alterations made later in C19. Parts of the building were damaged during the Second World War and some alterations were made during conversion for museum use c1985. C18 buildings by Thomas Atkinson; work of the 1830s by JB and W Atkinson, of 1840s and later by GT Andrews. MATERIALS: entrance range of red-brown brick in Flemish bond with window arches of orange brick; plinth, dressings and cornice of painted stone. 1834 range of buff brick in Flemish bond with timber bracketed eaves guttering. Schoolroom block of orange-brown brick, Blossom Street front in Flemish bond, Nunnery Lane front in English garden-wall bond; window arches are of orange brick; plinth and giant order with entablature on Blossom Street front of ashlar. All roofs are hipped and slated and have brick stacks except for lead roof to clock tower and glass roof to Court. Stone gable cross. EXTERIOR: entrance range: 3 storeys and attic; 7-bay front; 3 centre bays are pedimented and break forward slightly. Ground and first floors in centre are treated as centrepiece and set in 2-storey round-arched recess: moulded stone steps lead up to 6-panel door in rusticated surround, with plain fanlight behind decorative iron grille. Detached doorcase is of paired fluted Doric columns supporting mutule cornice and pediment. Window above is 12-pane sash in shouldered surround with balustrade below window and moulded cornice above. All other windows on ground, first and second floors are 12-pane sashes, those on second floor squatter. On ground and first floors they have sill band, on second floor painted stone sills: all have flat arches of rubbed brick. Broad raised bands to first floor and attic. Moulded cornice and pediment are modillioned and pediment has clock face in tympanum. Plain attic has 6 squat 3-pane windows. Railings braced to ground floor and forming gates across porch are of square section with tapered
finials. Rear: 3-storey 3-bay pent-roofed extension. Square clock tower in centre rises above roof and is crowned with ogee-roofed open cupola of timber columns. Schoolroom block: 2-storey 3-bay front articulated by attached giant order pilasters, raised on high podium, carrying pedimented entablature. Windows are 12-pane sashes on both floors, squatter on first floor. On ground floor, moulded sill band forms coping to podium: on first floor, sills extend full width of each bay. All windows have flat arches of rubbed brick. Left return: 3 storeys with scattered fenestration. Chamfered stone plinth and entablature are returned from Blossom Street front. Curved corner bay has inserted round-arched doorway with moulded imposts beneath keyed hoodmould and curved door of 6 moulded panels. Further left, two 4-panel door approached by steps break plinth. Windows are sashes, two of 12 panes, one of 16 panes, one 4 panes, all with stone sills; all except 4-pane window have segmental brick arches. Chapel block from garden: 2 storeys and attics; 5-bay front, right end masked by extensions housing the Lady Chapel and a staircase. Ground floor has two square-headed windows each of 4 round-headed 'Gothick' lights; first floor has three inserted lunette windows with central pivoting lights. 4-course raised brick first floor band. Lady Chapel extension has one round-arched small-pane light. Attic windows are two box dormers and one flat skylight. INTERIOR: entrance range. Ground floor: Portress' Room to left has a sleeping alcove at the rear. Great Parlour to right has original marble fireplace flanked by round headed alcoves. Schoolroom block: main rooms on both floors have one apsidal end. Ground floor room has divided ceiling formed by cased corniced beams with gaslight connection in circular surround in each ceiling bay. Court: decorative tiled floor: glazed roof carried on iron trusses supported on cast-iron columns. Clock by Henry Hindley, before 1770, connected c1790 to pediment clock on Blossom Street front. Chapel block: from ground floor, stone staircase with square section iron balusters and moulded handrail wreathed at the foot rises to chapel on first floor. Chapel has domed sanctuary, north and south transepts and 3-bay nave. Sanctuary is domed Ionic rotunda composed of 8 detached fluted columns supporting entablature with frieze enriched with vine leaf festoons, urns and posies. Dome is divided by eight ribs into bays each enclosing a garland of fruit and foliage of varying kinds, and surmounted by painted glass lantern. Transepts lead from rotunda through openings flanked by panelled pilasters with foliate corbels at the head. Beneath north transept is a square cavity said to be a Priest's hole. South transept opens into Lady Chapel lit by small dome and cupola. Nave has round-headed recesses in north and south walls, those to south glazed as lunettes. West end
organ gallery with wrought-iron balustrade is carried on four round arches springing from slender columns with foliate capitals and recessed spandrels. 'Gothick' panelled double doors at west end. Ceiling is coved above bold cornice returned from organ gallery. Fittings: altar of 1969 re-using scrolled legs with winged cherub heads and pelican in piety from C18 original; C20 reredos surmounted by C18 carved figures of Saints Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory supporting Spanish ivory crucifix. (RCHME: City of York: South-west of the Ouse: HMSO: 1972-: 40-7).
Listing NGR: SE5978451382