Building record MYO1145 - 1-3a Minster Court


Numbers, 1, 2, 2A and 3 Minster Court. An early 18th century range of clergy houses, built of brick and of two storeys. The houses were altered in the late 18th century, 1945-50 and 1968. The storehouse dates from the 18th century and was altered in the second half of the 19th century.


Grid reference Centred SE 6036 5230 (40m by 56m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (10)

Full Description

Four houses. Late C17 and early C18 remodelling of C14, C15 and C16 structures: early C19 and C20 alterations and extensions.

MATERIALS: brick, some orange-brown, mostly random bond, some in Flemish bond; most painted, some rendered; medieval masonry survives in lower parts of Nos 1 and 3; timber eaves cornices; roofs of plain tile towards Court, pantile and slate in other places, with brick stacks.

PLAN: buildings form three sides of an irregular courtyard.

EXTERIOR: 2 storeys and attics. No.1 has 3-window front towards Court, gable ended left return, lower 2-bay front with hipped roof to right: projecting flat roofed porch in re-entrant. Porch contains front door of 6 raised and fielded panels with divided overlight. To right of door is one 12-pane sash window, further right a tripartite sash: on first floor, round headed staircase sash over porch and two 12-pane sash windows with brick sills to right. Moulded first floor band. Bold modillion cornice. To left return, windows on both floors are 12-pane sashes with brick sills. 5 course raised brick first floor band; moulded eaves cornice returned to gable wall. Gabled dormers have 2x2-pane casement windows. Gable wall has one narrow 8-pane sash on first and second floors and two oculi in gable end.

Nos 2 and 2A have 4 bay front towards Court, with doors similar to No.1, both in moulded surrounds with modillion cornice hoods and flat porches on wrought-iron brackets. Doors flanked by 12-pane sashes; similar windows with brick sills on first floor, those to No.2A taller than to No.2. 3-course stepped first floor band; cogged brick eaves course. C20 parapet masks set back roof to No.2, hipped roof to No.2A, with small-pane casements in flat-topped dormers. No.3 has 2-storey 5-window front to Minster Yard with 3-bay range at rear fronting Minster Court: 2-storey extension in re-entrant. Entrance to Minster Court. Minster Yard front has 4 sash windows on ground floor, one of 20 panes, the others 12 panes, one narrow: on first floor, 2 tall unequal 15-pane sashes on both sides of narrow unequal 10-pane sash, all with painted sills. Timber eaves guttering on block brackets, returned at left end, to hipped roof. Left return has 16-pane sash and small inserted sash on ground floor: on first floor, one tall unequal 15-pane sash with brick sill. 3-course stepped brick first floor band, returned at rear and over rear range. Entrance front has two 6-panel doors, one with inset glazed panels. Over each door is a round-headed radial-glazed sash window. Attics have two flat topped dormers with 2x2-panecasement windows. Rear: on ground floor one tripartite window with 16-pane centre sash and one 16-pane sash further to right. On first floor, one tall round-headed radial-glazed sash window and 8- or 12-pane sash windows at different levels. Most windows have 1-course segmental brick arches. Single attic dormer is flat topped with 2x4-pane window. Nos 1 and 3 have Sun insurance marks on their Court fronts.

INTERIOR: No.1, RCHM record: mid C18 open string staircase with turned balusters; early C18 former kitchen fireplace and 3 other C18 fireplaces; on first floor, 2 fine plaster ceilings, one in main reception room, one over staircase. In Nos 2 and 2A, RCHM record: in No.2, ground floor room with early C17 plaster ceiling of strapwork panels enclosing doves, fleur-de-lys and other motifs; C18 and early C19 fittings including fireplaces, doors, door and window surrounds, and cornices. Over Nos 2 and 2A, RCHM record C14, C15 and C16 roofs.

No.3. Ground floor: room at rear of passage is brick vaulted cellar with bins intact. Room to left of stairs has 6-panel door backed with battened panels. Main staircase to first floor has open string, turned balusters and moulded ramped-up handrail: stairwell fitted with raised and fielded dado panelling. Staircase window has continuous round-arched architrave with fluted band beneath sill. Back stairs rise to attic, upper flights having column on vase balusters, square newels with attached half balusters and moulded handrail.

First floor: ceiling over landing has moulded cornice and moulded plaster panels, oval in centre. Passage has dado rails and frieze of flutes and paterae. Rear room has blocked fireplace in surround enriched with composition mouldings. Rooms flanking staircase have moulded skirtings and dado rails: fireplaces enriched with composition mouldings: enriched cornices, one with dentils and egg-and-dart, the other with palmette, flutes and paterae. Room towards front has cornice with applied foliage decoration to frieze and late C19 fireplace: C19 double doors of raised and fielded panelling leading to subdivided front room. Front room has frieze of flutes and paterae; panelled shutters in panelled window reveal. Attic: passage partly lined with C17 run-through panelling incorporating one door: similar door to room opposite. Roof of principal rafter construction with through purlins. Several early doors survive in the house.

(City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 158-160). Listing NGR: SE6035852310

Derived from English Heritage LB download dated: 22/08/2005

Houses, Nos. 1–3, form three sides of an open courtyard with a block, No. 1a, formerly detached, standing to the N.E. Buildings which almost completed the fourth side of the yard were demolished for the new Deanery by Pritchett, built between 1827 and 1831 and since demolished. Nos. 1 and 3, on the N.W. and S.E. sides of the courtyard respectively, incorporate mediaeval stone walling in their lower parts; other walls are all of brick, mostly of the 18th century, and many must replace timber framing. The roofs are tiled towards the court but include slate and pantiles elsewhere. The houses are generally of two storeys, except for No. 1a which is of three.

The date of mediaeval stone walls in the N.W. and S.E. wings is uncertain. The main range, N.E. of the courtyard and mostly occupied by No. 2, retains three early roofs. In the S.E. part of the range is a 15th-century hall roof of four bays. The wider N.W. end of the range, which includes a part of No. 1, has remains of a 14th-century roof running at right angles to the hall roof and behind it, to the N.W., remains of a 16th-century roof.

Evidence for alterations in the 17th century is provided by a richly-decorated early 17th-century ceiling on the ground floor below the 14th-century roof, but reconstruction was mostly carried out at the end of the 17th century and at varying dates in the 18th, with some new building.

No. 1a, to the N.E., is an 18th-century block, originally built for storage, which was enlarged after 1850 to accommodate an organ and converted into a separate dwelling between 1945 and 1950. The N.W. wing, No. 1, retains a few courses of masonry only on the N.E. elevation. It was first reconstructed in brick to a much smaller size than at present but was lengthened to the S.W. and heightened in the mid 18th century. Its main front, facing the courtyard, has a plat-band and moulded eaves cornice and large hung-sash windows.

The main range has the N.W. end set forward under a hipped roof with boldly projecting eaves much lower than the eaves of the N.W. wing. At first-floor level is a string-course. Above a projecting porch a round-headed window lights the staircase of No. 1. A tripartite window on the ground floor further S.E. is modern. The longer part of the range, to the S.E., has been divided; the N.W. part with the roof set back behind a parapet forms the main part of No. 2. The S.E. part with the roof brought forward with a hip is now No. 2a. The doorway to No. 2 with its moulded surround is 18th-century, that to No. 2a is a modern copy. The back elevation of this range is in three parts. Whitewashed brickwork to the S.E. is an 18th-century rebuilding of the wall of the 15th-century hall. It has a string-course at the first floor, a round-headed window lighting the staircase to No. 2 and other windows, mostly modern. Further N.W. the wall is set forward, unpainted, with a plat-band and irregularly-spaced hung-sash windows. The roof above is of the 16th century. Further N.W. again is an early 18th-century wall, set back and meeting the corner of No. 1a.

The S.E. wing, Nos. 3 and 3a, consists of a long range overlapping the end of the main range and doubled in width at its S.W. end. A projection between the main body of the wing and the end widening is modern. In this wing the principal rooms are on the first floor, giving a S.W. end elevation with five lofty hung-sash windows above four squat windows. The S.E. elevation has a mediaeval stone base interrupted by four low windows; the main windows are above. The staircase window is round-headed; other windows have three-centred heads.

Interior. In the N.W. wing, No. 1, the Dining Room to the S.W. has a fireplace with enriched surround of the late 18th century. To the N.E. was the kitchen with a large fireplace between two arched recesses. Projecting further N.E. in the end of the main range but forming part of No. 1 is a small room with early 18th-century fireplace surround and flanking niche. The staircase to No. 1, also in the main range, is of the mid 18th century and has open strings, turned balusters and handrail swept round the bottom newel-post. The ceiling over the staircase is decorated with scrolled foliage and ribands. On the first floor the Saloon or Music Room occupies the later S.W. end; it has an elaborate decorated ceiling and a richly-carved wooden fireplace surround.

In the main range, No. 2 has a large entrance hall with a late 18th-century cornice. Arched openings lead to a service passage and to the staircase, which rises in two flights at right angles to one another between two walls, and has on one side a balustrade of the second half of the 18th century and on the other a swept dado. The room to the N.W. of the entrance hall contains a fine early 17th-century plaster ceiling. The kitchen contains a large three-centred arched fireplace, flanked by round-headed recesses, as did the original kitchen of No. 1, and similar recesses flank a modern fireplace in the ground-floor Drawing Room to the S.W. of the main staircase in No. 3. Fittings throughout are mainly 18th-century and consist of simple fireplace surrounds, fielded panel doors and moulded architraves, but the large room to S.E. of the entrance hall, and the bedroom above it, both of which have been sub-divided, contain good early 19th-century cornices and window surrounds.

The much-altered early 14th-century roof in the N.W. end has passing braces halved over a collar. One truss survives of the early 16th-century roof to the N.E. It has a cambered tie-beam, kerb-principals supporting side-purlins, and a cambered collar. In the S.E. part of the range much of the roof of a four-bay open hall, of mid to late 15th-century date, is visible above the inserted attic floor. There are three open trusses, and a closed truss at the S.E. end. The open trusses of arch-brace construction are moulded, with moulded side and collar-purlins, and have carved foliage bosses. The closed truss has symmetrical closely-spaced diagonal timbers from the tie to the collar and crown-post.

In the S.E. wing, No. 3, the main staircase is of the early 18th century. The Study, to the S.W. of the main staircase, was remodelled in the early 19th century; the fireplace has composition ornament and the cornice is enriched with palmettes, roundels and vertical grooves. The moulded dado rail and skirting, and the panelled shutters in the window reveals, are also found in the adjacent Dining Room. Here, however, the cornice with applied foliage decoration and the heavy fireplace are late 19th-century. Two bedrooms have early 19th-century fireplaces with composition ornament.

In the attic, at the N.E. end of the wing, the corridor at the head of the secondary stairs is lined with run-through panelling. The Living Room contains a modern fireplace with an 18th-century moulded shelf. The roofs to the S.W. of the main staircase have principal rafters, without ridges, and with through-purlins. Mortices in the tops of the ties suggest that the original truss form has been modified.

Monument 270; City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 158-160

NMR Information

1A Minster Court is an 18th century storehouse, which was altered in the second half of the 19th century and converted to a clergy house in 1945-50.

1608337 Architectural Survey 2 MINSTER COURT, GUILDHALL

BF060849 1-3A MINSTER COURT, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued.

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

RCHME, 1981, City of York Volume V: The Central Area (Monograph). SYO65.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1981. City of York Volume V: The Central Area.

Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Jun 2 2020 2:02PM


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