Building record MYO1316 - 13 Lawrence Street, Rose and Crown


Rose and Crown was probably built as 2 houses in the early 18th century. It has been almost completely modernised. Early 19th century out-buildings at the rear include a small cottage. Formerly known as The Friendly Inn


Grid reference SE 6115 5139 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Two houses, now public house. Early C18 with C19 and C20 alterations. Painted render. Pantiled roof.

EXTERIOR: 2 storeys and 5 bays. The windows have raised painted surrounds. On the ground floor they are mid C20 casements with leaded glazing. On the 1st floor they are glazing bar sashes with horns. Between the 2nd and 3rd bays there is a pedimented Doric pilaster doorcase with a plain rectangular overlight and a door with 6 raised and fielded panels. Modillioned gutter cornice. The gables are coped. Chimneys on left-hand gable and behind ridge between 3rd and 4th bays.

INTERIOR: not inspected. Formerly known as The Friendly Inn.

(An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of the City of York: RCHME: Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse: HMSO: 1975-: 81). Listing NGR: SE6115651396

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

Rose and Crown, p.h., was built probably as two houses in the early 18th century but has been completely modernised. Early 19th-century outbuildings at the back include a small cottage in which a reset pane of glass bears the former name of the house, The Friendly Inn.

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of the City of York: RCHME: Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse: HMSO: 1975, Monument 212

The earliest identified reference to the Rose & Crown as a public house occurs in the York Courant of 1786.23 The building is older, and probably dates to the first half of the 18th century and may have been a pair of houses. Fossilised in one of the rear sections is a section of brick wall with a very steep gable, clearly from a lower two-storey block. It is possible that this is of late-17th century date and part of the redevelopment of the site following the Civil War. It seems that it has always been called the Rose & Crown; when the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments undertook the survey of this part of York in the early-1970’s, there was a cottage still standing to the rear of the pub that has a re-set window with the name ‘The Friendly Inn’ etched or painted onto it. The erroneous, but understandable assumption was that this was the pub’s previous name – and this is repeated in the listing description and elsewhere. According to the latest standard work on York’s pubs, there has never been a Friendly Inn in the city; the nearest equivalent was the Friendly Tavern in nearby Piccadily, known to be in business from the mid-19th century until the late-1920’s.25 It could simply be that the name on the glass was more of a generic advertising slogan.

In the early 19th century the landlord of the Rose & Crown was William Clarke, who is mentioned in the 1818 and 1823 Directories under the category of ‘Taverns and Ale Houses’, indicating that it was not an inn. At this time the street was still called Walmgate-bar Without. By the end of the 1820’s the landlord was, briefly, William Armitage but in the 1830 Directory it was Sarah Mickle, described as a ‘victualer’; by this time the street was called Lawrence Street, and the Rose & Crown was then No.7. No.6, presumably the other house then in separate occupation, was the home of a Mrs Elizabeth Hawkins. The 1852 map of the city is the first to show the Rose & Crown site in any detail. It shows that the front part of the property was divided into two separate premises – presumably representing the two original houses. The Rose & Crown occupied the eastern section and some of its rear ranges butted against the back of the other property. Immediately to the east of the surviving frontage building was a covered cartway into a rear yard, flanked along the entire eastern side by a long narrow row of buildings – the rear wall of which remains as the brick boundary wall; this indicates that the buildings were of two storeys. There was also a second range of buildings at right-angles to the frontage block extending to the rear of the property. Whilst the area between these two ranges was clearly the pub’s yard, the area to the west of the central one was laid out as the pleasure garden for the adjacent dwelling.

In the Chief Constable’s report of 1902 the Rose & Crown was described as having two smoke rooms, a tap room, a club room, and a kitchen, whilst on the first floor were a sitting room, a nursery and five bedrooms – two for travellers; there were also two attics, and cellars. Ordnance Survey plans of the 1930’s show some changes to the site. By 1931 additions had been made to both of the rear yard ranges, so that much of the site was now covered by buildings. The 1938 revision indicates that the entrance off Lawrence Street into the yard had been widened by the demolition of the southern-most section of the long east range – possibly to improve vehicular access. The northern part of that range had been demolished by 1965, and by that time, although the whole of the frontage belonged to the pub – by now renumbered No.13 Lawrence Street – part of the western side was again, or still, a separate dwelling – numbered 11a Lawrence Street. Within a few years that had finally become incorporated into the pub again. The rest of the eastern rear range and the central rear wing appear to have been demolished by the end of the 1970’s, creating a fairly large open area suitable for parking at the rear of the premises. Minor new service ranges were added in their place. The property was extended by the 1980’s into part of the former industrial area to the north and, prior to the end of the 20th century, there was further change to the northern boundary which included the addition of a triangular slither of land in the north-western corner, creating a more acute angle in the properties general outline. This slither included an area of garden shown to the north of a coal yard on the 1850 map, later the garden and out building
of one of a small terrace of houses – No.4 Voke’s Yard - accessed off Lawrence Street.

The main elevation to the street is roughcast and of five unequally spaced bays. It is known that the property was once two separate houses – probably until the mid-19th century – and it is could be reflected in this elevation. The windows are square headed with smoothed rendered architraves, containing ‘pub-type’ early-20th century casements on the ground floor and sashes on the first. The elevation has dentilled eaves and coped gables, the roof being covered with pantiles. The doorway, with a pedimented Doric doorcase, is squeezed in between two of the ground-floor windows. The evidence would suggest the building could have been erected in the early-18th century – but it has been considerably altered and little architectural or structural evidence survives. The rear and sides of the building show its complexity. There are several interconnected rear ranges, mostly of the later-19th century, but within the eastern wall of one such extension is a fossilized brick gable end of an earlier building, aligned parallel to the frontage block. This was for a two-storey building, but one whose upper floor was possibly lit by attic dormers. The interior has been modernized on more than one occasion, obscuring original layouts and subsequent evolution of plan. Of some interest is the large glazed window added, horizontally, within a light well, to provide a ceiling for the ground-floor beneath; this seems to be of later-19th or early-20th century date.

However, the fact that three inhumations have already, and unexpectedly, been located to the rear of the Rose & Crown site needs to be taken into consideration – and then put into context. The burials have been located between 1m and 1.4m below the present car park surface and there is clearly a substantial degree of sub-strate and build-up beneath that surface which is archaeologically sterile.The car park also covers the positions of two long post-medieval wings running back from either the street frontage or from the rear of the standing buildings. In these areas the significant archaeological deposits will have been disturbed by the footings of the demolished buildings and by their demolition.

Derived from Morris, R. 2012 The Rose and Crown Desk Based Assessment (SYO1664)

NMR Information

List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest District of York, 14-MAR-1997

BF060734 THE ROSE AND CROWN PUBLIC HOUSE, YORK File of material relating to a site or building.

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

RCHME, 1975, RCHME Volume 4, Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse (Monograph). SYO2424.

2012, The Rose and Crown PH (Unpublished document). SYO1664.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Unpublished document: 2012. The Rose and Crown PH.
  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1975. RCHME Volume 4, Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Mar 23 2020 5:28PM


Your feedback is welcome; if you can provide any new information about this record, please contact the City Archaeologist.