Building record MYO1510 - 3-5 Gillygate


A pair of houses built in 1797, converted into shops and flats in the late 19th-early 20th century.


Grid reference Centred SE 6010 5228 (12m by 15m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Two houses, now shops and flats. 1797, altered and restored c1980 with new shopfronts. Built by Thomas Wolstenholme (carver). Brick in with pantiled roof. Double-depth plan.

EXTERIOR: symmetrical, of 4 storeys and 3 bays. The windows are glazing bar sashes. Those in the central bay have rubbed brick flat arches and are blind. On the 1st floor the outer bays have 3-light bowed windows divided by attached columns, with swagged friezes. The left-hand window has some carved detail, but the right-hand one is a plainer C20 replica. On the 2nd floor the outer bays have windows of 3 round-headed lights with cornices above. The 3rd floor has Diocletian windows with timber mullions. On the ground floor there are C20 timber shopfronts. In the centre there are paired doorways, recessed, with fanlights and panelled reveals; one is original and one is a C20 replica. Gable chimneys.

INTERIOR: not inspected. RCHM records 2 original staircases and many original fittings on the upper floors including pilastered doorcases with overdoors, fireplaces enriched with garlands and urns and pilastered frames to the bay windows. All good examples of Thomas Wolstenholme's decoration.

(An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of the City of York: RCHME: Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse: HMSO: 1972-: 72). Listing NGR: SE6010752290

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

Houses, Nos. 3, 5, form a symmetrical pair four storeys high, built in 1797 by Thomas Wolstenholme, carver (1759–1812), whose decoration modelled in a plastic composition is to be found on fireplaces and doorways, etc. in many York houses (YGS Report 1969, 37–45). Wolstenholme occupied No. 3 himself and the property remained in the hands of the Wolstenholme family until 1887.

The original, very elegant, front elevation has been sadly mutilated; it was symmetrical with the two front doors together and central blind windows above. To each side was a matching tier of elaborate windows shown complete in a photograph of c. 1880. On the ground floor, where there are now shop windows, were shallow segmental bays each of three lights under round arches. The segmental form was continued to the first floor where square-headed windows were divided by attached columns with a shallow entablature above and a balustraded apron below. The second-floor windows did not project; each was of three round-headed lights with cornices above. The top storey has semicircular windows divided into three lights by timber mullions. At the eaves No. 3 retains the original timber cornice with coupled brackets. The back has plain hung-sash windows, many of which have been altered.

Inside, the ground floor has been stripped of its original fittings. The staircases have open strings with shaped ends to the treads with leaf decoration; in section the balusters form hollow-sided squares. The fittings throughout the upper part of the house are mostly original and enriched with applied decoration. Bay windows are framed by pilasters enriched with reeding and garlands, with a frieze above enriched with anthemion ornament. Principal doorways have side pilasters with floral trails between bands of reeding and overdoors enriched with urns and garlands. Decorated segmental panels are incorporated into these overdoors or used elsewhere as isolated units over doors. In other places the architrave is enlarged to form similar panels over doorheads. Similar segmental panels also appear over fireplaces. Throughout both houses the surviving fireplace surrounds are enriched with reeding, foliage, urns and garlands, even the plainest, in the top back bedroom, having enriched shelves and modelled masks on the frieze. Many of the fireplaces retain the original iron grates.

'Houses: De Grey Street-Heslington Road', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 4, Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse (London, 1975), Monument 117

NMR Information

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

BF060581 3-5 GILLYGATE, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued.

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

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

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- 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 (1)

Record last edited

May 4 2020 4:01PM


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