Building record MYO1161 - 118-120 Micklegate


Town house built c1740, with late 18th and early 19th century alteration, late 19th century shopfront; restored 1968.


Grid reference SE 5979 5155 (point)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Town house. c1740, with late C18 and early C19 alteration; restored 1968. For Robert Bower.

MATERIALS: front of mottled brick in Flemish bond with brick dentil eaves course, orange-red brick dressings and timber doorcase; stone-coped parapet with terminal piers masks slate roof, hipped at front; brick ridge stack.

PLAN: town house plan.

EXTERIOR: 3 storeys and attic; 3-window front. Open-pedimented Doric doorcase to right, with engaged columns and door of shaped raised and fielded panels beneath radial fanlight. 12-pane sashes on ground and first floors, those on ground floor replacing late C19 shopfront; 6-pane sashes on second floor. All windows have painted stone sills and flat arches of gauged brick. Bands of raised brick at first and second floor levels. Gabled dormer in attic. Rear: 3 storeys and attic; 3-window, brick coped gable wall. 6-panel door with divided overlight to left. Windows have flat arches of gauged brick. Raised bands of brick to first and second floors: brick dentil eaves course beneath attic with 6-pane sash. Rainwater goods with fleur-de-lys clamps.

INTERIOR: cellar: cantilevered staircase rises from cellars to attic, with turned balusters, three to a tread, every third one twisted, and moulded, serpentine handrail, wreathed at foot around turned newel. Stairwell floor of marble mosaic. Ground floor: front room has dado rail, moulded raised panelling and dentil cornice. Chimneypiece with eared fire surround, enriched frieze and cornice shelf beneath scroll-pedimented overmantel incorporates painted seascape by Adam Willaerts. Fireplace flanked by matching doorcases. First floor: front room has plain dado, moulded fielded panelling, and modillion cornice. Chimneypiece with eared fire surround and replacement grate, foliate frieze with centre panel of relief-moulded mask; enriched overmantel with centre panel of moulded classical figures in border of vine guilloche, and cornice surmounted by swan-necked pediment broken by garlanded urn. Panelled shutters survive. Rear rooms are panelled. Room to right has marble fireplace with foliate arabesque frieze, cornice, and overmantel in raised eared surround. Second floor: original fireplaces and other fittings, but no panelling. (City of York: RCHME: South-west of the Ouse: HMSO: 1972-: 93-94).
Listing NGR: SE5979451551

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

House, Nos. 118, 120, was built c. 1742, by Robert Bower, who had bought the site for £170 on 28 August 1741 (YCA, E.93, f. 131) from Samuel Waud. The new house was certainly built before March 1750/1, when the tenants of the Vicars Choral in No. 116 were complaining that the 'new house of Mr. Bowers ... blinds some of their lights' (York Minster Library, SubChanter's Book 2, 489). Bower, who already owned the adjacent No. 122 (96), may have lived here for a time (York Journal, 3 Feb. 1747), but in 1757 he sold the property for £900 to Matthew Chitty St. Quintin (YCA, E.94, f. 12v.), who had been the occupier at least from 1754 (Miss I. Pressly in York Georgian Society, Report 1948–9). St. Quintin died in 1785, leaving the house to his nephew Sir William St. Quintin, 5th baronet, who advertised it for sale as 'the very neat convenient dwelling house, with stable and coach house and garden adjoining, paintings and pictures' (York Courant, 23 Aug.). The purchaser was Stephen Atkinson of Knaresborough, who lived here for a short time but in 1790 sold the property for £830 to William Taylor (E.95, f. 100v.), from whose widow it was acquired in 1806 by George Peacock, printer and proprietor of the York Courant, Lord Mayor in 1810 and in 1820, who made it his home until his death in 1836. For many years the house continued to be a private residence, but by 1872 it was occupied by Edward Sherwood, a warehouseman, and the present shop-front is of the late 19th century. In 1893 the freehold was bought by Edward Williamson, a dyer, who later pulled down the coachhouse and stable on Toft Green and built a factory there (Mrs. E. Wilson in York Georgian Society, Report 1968, 31–5).

During the later 18th century, probably after 1763 (when an act of Parliament provided that houses fronting a main street should lead the water from roof to ground in proper fall-pipes), a parapet was built above the dentilled string of the top storey, and the present door-case added to the entrance. At Peacock's death in 1836 the house was advertised as comprising 'a drawing room and dining-room, three lodging rooms, with a dressing room attached to each; two servants' sleeping rooms and four small attic rooms; and certain convenient kitchens, a butler's pantry, larder and good cellars' (Yorks. Gazette, 16 Jan.). In the early 19th century, the second floor S. bedroom and its dressing room were combined, various fireplaces modified, and the overmantel in the panelled room to S. enriched with decorative motifs, perhaps replacing a painting. The back range was probably added by 1836, and all windows, except one in the attics and a stair light, given new glazing bars. In 1948–9 the house was restored by J. Stuart Syme, becoming the York Georgian Society's headquarters until 1967. The house is now again in private ownership and in 1968 the ground floor was skilfully restored to its original character.

The front is in brickwork with fine red brick dressings, projecting brick bands, and brick cornice. The added parapet has piers to the angles. The back wall is in pale brick, with fine red brick dressings; it rises to a brick gable above a brick-on-edge dentilled cornice. At the N.E. Angle is a lead fall-pipe with holdfasts enriched with fleurs-de-lis.

The front ground-floor room, though so long used as a shop, retains remarkably good early Georgian fittings: moulded skirting, chair rail, panels with moulded raised surrounds, and a very deep dentilled cornice. In the N.W. Wall, the central fireplace has an overmantel with a seascape by Adam Willaerts (b. Utrecht 1577, d. 1666) under an enriched entablature with an eagle and swags on a central panel and broken pediment above. To either side of the fireplace are matching doorcases and doors, one opening to the stair hall, one to a cupboard. The Staircase rises from cellar to attics, in the middle of the house between front and back rooms. It has cantilevered treads, heavy turned newels and turned balusters three to a tread, with square knops and every third stem twisted. Under each landing is a moulded ceiling, and, in the cellar, a floor of Sicilian marble.

On the first floor the Saloon at the front of the house is a splendid example of early Georgian interior decoration; it has a plain dado between skirting and chair rail, moulded and fielded panelling (Fig. 16c) above with panelled shutters to the windows and a modillion cornice. The elaborate fireplace (Plate 183), in the N.W. Wall, has in the overmantel a later insertion consisting of a panel with Classical figures in bas relief, probably by the firm of Wolstenholme, within a border of vine guilloche. The iron grate is a reproduction of Adam type by Carron. At the back of the house are a bedroom and dressing room panelled throughout, the former with moulded skirting, dado rail and cornice. In the S.E. Wall is an original Georgian marble fireplace, with frieze, cornice and overmantel above; the frieze, of carved pine, has a naturalistic foliage arabesque, and the overmantel a raised eared surround. The rooms on the second floor retain original fireplaces and other fittings but are not panelled.
Derived from RCHME - 'Secular Buildings: Micklegate', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 3, South west (London, 1972), pp. 68-96. Monument 95

NMR Information

Full description
(SE 59795155 - O.S 1/2500, 1962)

1. 5343 MICKLEGATE (north side) Nos 118 and 120
SE 5951 NE 15/356 14.6.54
Grade II*
2. Circa 1742 with some later alterations. Brick; 3 storeys; 3 renewed sash windows; brick string-courses between storeys; brick eaves cornice; added brick parapet with piers to the angles, undergoing repair work (1979); good doorcase on right-hand side of engaged columns, Doric entablature, radial fanlight and 6-panelled door. Interior retains good original features including staircase, panelling in the 1st storey saloon, and chimney pieces. (RCHM Vol III, Monument 95) (1)

1 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest DOE (HHR) City of York, N Yorks, June 1983, 218

613515 Architectural Survey Investigation by RCHME/EH Architectural Survey

BF060843 118-120 MICKLEGATE, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued.

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

RCHME, 1972, RCHME City of York Volume III South-west of the Ouse (Monograph). SYO64.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1972. RCHME City of York Volume III South-west of the Ouse.

Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Feb 11 2020 2:45PM


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