Building record MYO1758 - FAIRFAX HOUSE


Two houses, now amalgamated. No.27 built c1744, remodelled 1760-62; No.25 probably early 19th century. Both houses amalgamated and remodelled as cinema and ballroom in 1920; restored as two houses 1982-84. No.27 remodelled in the 18th century possibly by John Carr for the 9th Viscount Fairfax of Emley: 20th century restoration by Francis Johnson for the York Civic Trust. Exterior: both fronts are 2-storeyed with attics. No.25 has 3 bays; No.27 5 bays, 3 centre bays breaking forward beneath closed pediment.


Grid reference SE 6046 5157 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish York, City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (7)

Full Description

Two houses, now amalgamated. No.27 c1744, remodelled 1760-62; No.25 probably early C19. Both houses amalgamated and remodelled as cinema and ballroom in 1920; restored as two houses 1982-84. No.27 remodelled in C18 possibly by John Carr for the 9th Viscount Fairfax of Emley: C20 restoration by Francis Johnson for the York Civic Trust. MATERIALS: No.27 of orange brick in Flemish bond on stepped plinth of painted stone; painted stone doorcase, quoins and dressings. Rear rebuilt in C19 clamp bricks in English bond. Brick stacks at each side of hipped slate roof. No.25 has ground floor of white terracotta and upper storeys of Flemish bond brick painted to match brick of No.27: modillion eaves cornice of timber to slate roof. EXTERIOR: both fronts are 2-storeyed with attics. No.25 has 3 bays; No.27 5 bays, 3 centre bays breaking forward beneath closed pediment. Cinema front retained in No.25, of sunk-panel pilasters enriched with fruit pendants carrying architrave and frieze of recessed panels between acanthus consoles. Original entrance, flanked by fluted and garlanded Ionic columns, altered to concave screen, approached by steps, containing glazed and panelled double doors beneath radial-glazed fanlight; to left, former doorway now blocked by small-pane window with semicircular fanlight, in moulded arch with shell keyblock. Treatment of upper storey windows and other detail matches that of No.27. No.27 has central pedimented doorcase of attached Doric columns on tall stepped pedestals. Double doors of fielded panels beneath radial fanlight, approached by steps, are recessed in round-arched architrave with moulded impost band. Ground floor windows are 12-pane sashes in quoined surrounds with flat arches of stepped voussoirs, over sill band. On first floor, similar windows in plain architraves over sunk panels, have pulvinated friezes, moulded cornices and projecting sills extending as flat sill band. Attic windows are squat 6-pane sashes in plain surrounds with sills. Flat band at first floor; moulded cornices beneath attic storey, and to eaves and pediment, beneath plain parapet. Pediment tympanum filled by radial-glazed oculus enclosed in renewed cartouche surround carved with palm fronds. Left return: rainwater head dated 1984 and stamped with the badge of The York Civic Trust. At rear, reset pedimented doorcase of panelled pilasters with fluted imposts beneath swagged frieze on acanthus consoles, and moulded cornice: fielded panelled double doors and radial fanlight in
elliptical-arched opening. Right return: ground and first floors obscured by adjoining building (No.29, qv). Main front attic cornice returned as brick dentilled band beneath blind window openings with flat arches of gauged brick. Eaves cornice from front returned as plain brick band beneath parapet. INTERIOR: No.27: ground floor: renewed stone flagged floor extends from entrance hall to stairhall. Moulded skirting enriched with flower and ribbon carving carries through to top of main staircase. Entrance hall: front doorcase is round-arched, with panelled soffit, on enriched sunk-panelled pilasters with acanthus leaf capitals. Similar moulded round-arched opening leads to stairhall. 2 original doorcases with enriched architraves, carved pulvinated friezes and cornice heads contain original 6-panel doors. Plaster ceiling, coved above cornice enriched with palmette, moulded into medallions and scrolls of foliage and flowers. Front room to left (Library): original marble fireplace with insets of Sienna marble. Doorcase with architrave carved with shells and rosettes, acanthus frieze and dentilled cornice. Skirting carved to match doorcase architrave. Window architraves enriched with foliage and husk carvings, and fitted with shutters of enriched fielded panelling. Dado moulded with bands of bead and reel and rosettes and foliage. Ceiling coved above paired modillion cornice, decoration incorporating four portrait medallions and looped strapwork and foliage trails. Front room to right (Dining-room): restored original marble fireplace with Ionic columns. 2 doorcases with pulvinated friezes carved with scrolled foliage beneath broken pediments, and architraves enriched with egg, shell and flower carvings, repeated on window architraves. Windows have shutters of enriched fielded panelling. Skirting and dado carved with foliage and husk motif. Doric cornice to plaster ceiling of foliage trails entwining baskets of fruit and medallions of Abundantia, wine glasses crossed with tobacco pipes, and musical instruments. Stairhall: 3 doorcases with enriched architraves, friezes carved with guilloche mouldings enclosing rosettes, and cornices enriched with egg and flower. One doorcase, leading to secondary staircase, is set within round arch which repeats front doorcase and entrance hall arches. Plaster ceiling panelled in guilloche mouldings enclosing acanthus roundels. Draped stucco medallion representing Roma with floral pendant on wall opposite foot of stairs. Secondary staircase: rises from ground to second floor: bottom flight reconstructed. Cantilevered stone treads with ironwork balustrade of elongated intersecting scrolls and flat moulded and ramped-up handrail. Main staircase: rises around well to first floor with cantilevered cast treads, the under sides panelled and decorated with attached floral carvings. Balustrade of
scrolled ironwork panels with moulded handrail wreathed at foot around fluted column newel on scrolled curtail step. Venetian staircase window of enriched Corinthian order on blind balustraded plinth, beneath moulded double arch containing painted heraldic cartouche. First floor. Landing: flanking walls of upper part of stairwell have plaster consoles supporting replacement busts, enclosed in cartouches of swags and palm leaves. Plaster ceiling is coved above enriched cornice on acanthus consoles, and depicts martial theme. Four doorcases with eared architraves enriched with egg and flower pattern, friezes carved in high relief with garlands of fruit and flowers between foliate volutes, and enriched moulded cornices. Small front room (Drawing Room): replacement fireplace and doorcases; partly renewed skirting carved with rosettes and foliage, and dado rail with Greek key frets and rosettes. Window architraves enriched with foliage trails and fitted with shutters of enriched fielded panelling. Plaster ceiling coved in radiating coffers above enriched dentil and modillion cornice with central figurative medallion encircled by entwined palm leaves and foliage. Large front room (Saloon): replacement fireplace. Two original doorcases flank fireplace, with enriched architraves, pulvinated friezes carved with foliage, and enriched dentilled cornices. Window architraves are eared and carved with shell, flower and egg mouldings, and fitted with shutters of enriched fielded panelling. Skirting and dado rail enriched with foliage and fan carvings. Lavish cornice with dentils, paired acanthus modillions interspersed with rosettes, and paired lion masks, above plaster frieze of foliage trails. Ceiling incorporates central rose, medallions of music and musical instruments, and corner baskets of fruit and flowers set in trails of vine and wreaths of oak leaves. Both rooms at rear have replacement fireplaces, and doorcases with architraves carved to match skirting, carved pulvinated friezes with flowering rose centrepiece, and cornices: one room has egg and flower dado and dentilled ceiling cornice; the other has renewed dado and stepped cornice moulded with foliage garlands and rosettes, and shells and flowers. (Brown P: Fairfax House, York: An Illustrated History and a Guide: York: 1989-; City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 112-113).
Listing NGR: SE6046351578

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

NMR Information:

Alternate Name (Alternative) ST GEORGES CINEMA

(SE 60465158-O.S 1/2500, 1963)

5343 (north-east side)
No 25 and 27
(Fairfax House)
SE 6051 NW 16/121 14.6.54


1762. Designed by John Carr for Charles, Viscount Fairfax of
Elmley. Brick with stone dressings; 3-storeys; stone plinth and
quoins; slightly projecting 3 window bay with pediment: 5
sash windows overall; 1st storey windows with stone apron
sills, architraves, pulvinated frieze, and cornice; upper
storey windows in plain architraves and those to ground storey
in keyed surrounds with stepped voussoir heads; sill bands to
lower storeys band at 1st floor and moulded string-course
between upper storeys; engaged stone Tuscan pilaster doorcase
with radial fanlight, and full Doric frieze with pediment;
moulded stone eaves cornice and parapet. A 3 window full
height extension on left-hand side is a slightly later addition,
subsequently altered with cinema front to ground storey and now
restored. Notable interior. Main cinema block to rear not of
special interest. (RCHM Vol V, Monument 82).

1 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest 39 City of York, June 1983

Architectural Survey
14-NOV-1995 - 14-NOV-1995

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Record last edited

Aug 19 2019 5:09PM


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