Building record MYO1878 - Oliver Sheldon House, 17-19 Aldwark


House constructed circa 1720 incorporating a 15th century timber framed house.


Grid reference SE 6062 5210 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Formerly known as: Nos.26 AND 27 ALDWARK. House, now flats. c1720 incorporating remains of late C17 house and some earlier; subdivided c1750; converted and restored in 1969. Work c1720 for William Redman; 1969 conversion by Francis Johnson.

MATERIALS: earliest structure timber-framed; front of orange brick in Flemish bond on chamfered stone plinth, with stone doorcases and timber cornice; rear of red brick in Flemish bond. Tiled roofs with brick stacks, one diagonally set; front roof hipped at left end has dormers with pediments and 2-light casements; rear roofs in 3 parallel hipped ranges.

EXTERIOR: 2 storeys and attics; 8-window front. No.17 has heavily rusticated doorcase with triple-keyed fasciated architrave and moulded pediment: door is of 6 raised and fielded panels with glazed inserts. No.19 has fasciated architrave with triple keyblock and door of 6 raised and fielded panels. Windows on ground floor are 15-pane sashes with shutters of fielded panelling, on first floor 18-pane sashes, all with flat arches of rubbed and gauged brick. Heavy moulded modillioned eaves cornice, returned at left end. Rainwater head embossed with winged cherub head, initialled WR, dated 1732. Rear: 2-storey 5-window front. Recessed glazed door to right of four 12-pane sash windows with painted sills and elliptical brick arches: 18-pane sashes with flat arches on first floor. 3-course raised brick band to first floor and brick dentil eaves cornice.

INTERIOR: ground floor: entrance and staircase halls to No.17 paved in black marble and yellow stone. Staircase to first floor has cantilevered treads, slender turned balusters, heavy turned newel and serpentine moulded handrail. Staircase dado panelling is fielded with insets carved with floral drops and panels of foliated scrolls at head and foot. Half landing has inlaid wooden floor and round-headed staircase window flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters. First floor landing has richly moulded cornice and oval centre panel in surround of Greek key moulding with rosette centrepiece. Rear rooms on ground floor contain fireplace with segmental brick arch: centre room has plaster ceiling of geometric panels between beams enriched with strapwork and foliage trails: reset fireplace with surround carved with ribbons, palm fronds and wheatear drops and overmantel panel enclosed in egg-and-dart mouldings flanked by laurel wreaths suspended from scallop shells and beribboned garlands.

First floor: left end room has fielded dado panelling and moulded rail; marble fireplace with fluted surround, paterae and plain shelf. Passage to central room and central room are panelled in 2 heights with bolection moulded and raised and fielded panelling; four 6-panel doors have dentil corniced overdoors. Dentilled ceiling cornice enriched with egg-and-dart. Panelled window reveals and window seats. Plain fireplace with overmantel panel between sunk-panel pilasters with moulded capitals. Right end room has 6-panel door, bolection moulded and raised and fielded panelling, with panelled window reveals. Plain fireplace with bolection moulded overmantel panel. Moulded cornice. In the attic are two 3-panel doors, one on fine cockshead hinges. In central portion of rear wall is blocked window, the head breaking into length of timber-frame wall-plate: other portions of wall-plate visible intermittently. Roof: principal rafter trusses, tenoned and pegged at apex.

(City of York: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 105-106). Listing NGR: SE6062452110

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

Oliver Sheldon House, Nos. 17, 19, of two storeys and attics, is built of brick with dressings of magnesian limestone. The external appearance dates from c. 1720 but the house contains remains of earlier timber-framed buildings. Some fragments of 15th-century framing represent the earliest known house on the site, and a block was added at the rear in the early 17th century, probably by William Garbutt. About 1720 the range to the street frontage was rebuilt, incorporating an earlier large chimney-stack, and the rear block was encased in brick. This work was begun by Charles Redman, Lord Mayor 1705 and 1722, who owned the house between 1703 and 1731, and completed by his son William. After a sale in 1748 the house was sub-divided and the S.E. doorway probably inserted at that time. In 1851 part of the house was occupied by the Ebor Tavern. It was given to the York Civic Trust in 1961, and restored and divided into flats by Francis Johnson, F.R.I.B.A., in 1969.

The street front (Plate 138) has a stone plinth and bold timber cornice. The principal doorway has a moulded architrave, triple key-block, pediment and rustication, all in stone. A simpler doorway to S.E., also with a triple key-block and probably later, formerly had a Regency canopy supported on iron brackets. Some of the windows have been restored and, when sketched in 1879 (YCAG), the house was two bays longer to the S.E. Dormers in the roof have pedimented gables and leaded lights. There are two dated rainwater heads, one of 1732 with the initials W R (for William Redman), the other of 1887. In the rear of the front range is a projection for closets with a hipped roof; a low lean-to range formerly S.E. of this has been removed. The rear block has 18th-century brick walls and pantiled roofs. In the N.W. wall is a doorway with simple fanlight, and above a plain brick band are windows resembling those to the street. The N.E. side has a brick dentilled cornice and three hipped roofs probably representing original 17th-century gables, cut back. The lower windows and doorway are set below segmental arches; the upper windows are taller. The only feature on the S.E. side is a tall chimney-stack.

The main entrance hall is paved in a lozenge pattern of black marble and yellow stone. The main staircase, all in oak, has a heavy moulded handrail, cantilevered treads, turned balusters and a fine newel; the dado has fielded panels and carved scroll-work at the top and bottom (Plate 200). It is lit by a large round-headed window flanked by fluted pilasters with Corinthian capitals. Over the staircase and above a richly moulded cornice, the ceiling has a foliated centre within an oval band of Greek key pattern. The half-landing has an exceptional inlaid wooden floor. In a ground-floor room in the rear block is an early 17th-century ceiling with plastered beam having on the soffit pelleted strapwork, vine sprays and foliage from the same mould as was used at No. 18 Micklegate; in panels formed by moulded ribs are designs of fleurs-de-lys, rose and crown, eagle and rose, and of a lion's mask with an annulet in the mouth. The fireplace surround came from No. 27 Trinity Lane and was reset here in 1969. On the lintel is a mask set in rococo ornament with swags at the outer sides. The overmantel consists of a panel within an egg-anddart border, flanked by elongated laurel wreaths hanging from scallop shells, with swags of ribbons, fruit and flowers below. The ceiling over an extension to this room bears, in a cartouche flanked by panels of fruit and flowers, the coat-of-arms of Redman impaling Headlam with the crest of an open dexter hand, and is probably of 1722. Other features are two early 18th-century panelled rooms on the first floor, one with bolection mouldings and a marble fireplace surround, and also fireplaces of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Monument 61; City of York: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 105-106

NMR Information

Full description

(SE 60625210-O.S 1/2500, 1962)

1. ALDWARK 5343
Nos 17 and 19 (Oliver Sheldon House) (formerly listed as Nos 26 and 27) SE 6052 SE 14/61 14.6.54


2. Circa 1720 to earlier core, which incorporates some fragments of C15 timber framing. Well restored; brick on stone plinth; 2 storeys; 8 sash windows; pedimented main entrance of stone with moulded inner architrave, heavily rusticated jambs, and triple keyblock; heavily moulded modillion eaves cornice; 5 pedimented dormers; rainwater head inscribed WRR 1732; old tiles. Interior (now divided into 2 flats) retains good original features including staircase under decorated plaster ceiling.
(RCHM. Vol. V, Monument 61.)

1 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. p6 City of York, June 1983.

613515 Architectural Survey Investigation by RCHME/EH Architectural Survey

BF060354 OLIVER SHELDON HOUSE 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

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Nov 10 2020 4:11PM


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