Building record MYO731 - Elm Bank hotel,


House built of white brick with stone dressings, with an Italianate tower at one corner. Occupied in 1870 the house is of outstanding importance as being illustrative of contemporary culture. In 1898 the then owner employed WG and AJ Penty as architects and George Walton as interior decorator to remodel the interior. Walton was a pioneer of the Art Nouveau movement and Elm Bank was one of his earliest works outside his native Glasgow. The house has been converted to a hotel and considerably enlarged.


Grid reference SE 5925 5091 (point)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

House, now hotel. c1870; remodelled 1898 for Sidney Leetham by WG and AJ Penty, with internal decoration by George Walton. C20 alterations. White brick in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings; hipped slate roofs generally, with wide eaves on shaped brackets; pyramidal lead roof with tapering finial to tower; brick stacks, some truncated.

EXTERIOR: entrance front: 2 storeys, 5 bays. Central bay breaks forward and projects further as 1-storey Doric porch of paired detached columns and entablature with dentilled cornice. Doors are panelled with square-pane overlight in keyed round-arched architrave between paired pilasters. Windows are largely 1-pane sashes with 4-pane secondary glazing and have cambered brick arches and stone sills. Raised moulded first floor band encircles building. Front to The Mount: 2 storeys, 5 bays; centre bays project as 1-storey 3-window segmental bow forming balcony to first floor. Windows are square-headed and separated by pilasters supporting entablature and pierced parapet. Flanking windows altered to casements: on first floor they repeat those on entrance front. Rear has 4-storey extruded tower with rusticated stone ground floor. French window on first floor and two round headed sash windows on second floor have cantilevered balconies with heavy balustrades. Top floor has round-arched sash windows to each face, those on two opposed faces separated by external stacks.

INTERIOR: represents the only extensive example of Art Nouveau decor in York and is one of the finest and most complete surviving in England. It was illustrated in 'The Studio' in 1901. Stairhall and principal ground floor rooms are panelled and decorated with wall and ceiling paintings and stencils. One fireplace has marble overmantel inlaid with glass and ceramics. The 2-storey stairhall has a stencilled barrel vaulted ceiling with original pendant light fitting: staircase with turned balusters leads to first floor gallery. Many windows incorporate original stained glass.

HISTORICAL NOTE: George Walton worked in Glasgow and was a contemporary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. One of the pioneers of Art Nouveau, his work at Elm Bank is some of his earliest outside Scotland. Between 1898 and 1902, he worked from premises in York at No.21 Stonegate (qv). (RCHME: City of York: London: 1972-: CIV; Moon K: George Walton: Designer and Architect: Oxford: 1993-: 63-70).
Listing NGR: SE5925650917

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

NMR Information

Full description(s) ?
(SE 59255092) Elm Bank Hotel (NAT) (1)

5343 THE MOUNT (north-west side)
Elm Bank Hotel
SE 5950 NW 24/959 1.7.68
Grade II*
Circa 1870 with later alterations. Buff brick; 2 storeys; 6 sash windows; large 3-light bow window to ground storey with leaded lights and balustrade above; altered doorway on noth-east side
with Tuscan column porch; Italianate tower on west angle; sprocket eaves cornice; hipped slate roof. Notable interior in Art Nouveau style carried out in 1898 by George Walton, one of Mackintosh's Glasgow group. Many good features remain including vaulted staircase hall with oak balustraded stairs and gallery, painted ceiling beams and restored wall paintings in rear Dining Room and inlaid over-mantel in main Dining Room. Star-graded on account of interior only. (RCHM Vol III, p CIV) (2)


2 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest DOE (HHR) City of York, N Yorks, June 1983, 246

613515 Architectural Survey Investigation by RCHME/EH Architectural Survey


NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

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

Sources/Archives (2)

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

Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Mar 6 2020 5:26PM


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