SE6051NW CLIFFORD STREET 1112-1/28/176 (West side) 24/06/83 No.16 Magistrates' Court and attached front wall, gates and railings (Formerly Listed as: CLIFFORD STREET No.16 Court of Justice and Police Headquarters)
Law Courts, police station and fire station, with basement area wall and railings attached to front; now Magistrates' Court. 1890-92. By Huon A Matear. MATERIALS: red brick in English garden-wall bond with ashlar dressings; slate mansard roof, and brick stacks with sharply moulded ashlar cornices. Railings and gates of wrought and cast-iron in red brick wall in English garden-wall bond, with moulded stone coping. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys, with basement and attic; 9-bay front, with projecting centre and end bays; centre bay cross-gabled, end bays polygonal; additional 1-storey bay at left end. Basement door to left, in shouldered architrave; basement windows narrow 1-pane sashes beneath lintel band. Centre bay treated as frontispiece, with steps up to gabled entrance porch of quoined pilasters surmounted by aedicular finials, with shield of arms in gable apex. Two pairs of panelled and traceried doors are recessed beneath semicircular fanlight, in 4-centred arch of 3 orders, with plain shafts separated by continuous bands of egg and ribbon moulding. Hoodmould on floral stops above, both arch and hood soffits carved with foliage. First floor flanked by plain angle pilasters with frieze blocks, tied by moulded Tudor flower frieze: attic floor by ogee-capped polygonal columns rising from pedestals with gargoyles carved in the round. Both floors have three 2-light windows with round heads filled with stylised panel tracery, those on first floor with transoms. Balustraded band forms base of gable containing carved relief of Lord Mayor William Selby receiving the Civic Sword from Richard II. Gable apex filled by York City arms between supporters, beneath canopied hood, and finial is the figure of Justice bearing scales. In flanking ranges and end bays, ground floor windows are of 2 or 3 lights with ovolo moulded mullions and transoms, and flat lintels beneath continuous hoodmould. On first floor, flanking range windows are tripled round headed sashes in 4-centred architraves, in end bays repetitions of those in centre bay, with Tudor flower frieze above: all are recessed in flush quoined openings over moulded sillstrings. Beneath ground floor window in right end bay, inscribed foundation
stone. Across flanking ranges, Lombard eaves frieze supports plain parapet with moulded coping, incorporating sunk panels filled with low relief mouldings. Moulded string beneath frieze rings rainwater goods and forms cladding to hoppers. Attic windows are gabled dormers with finials. End bays crowned by carved panelled pedestals, supporting pierced parapet ramped up to piers with obelisk finials: above rise ogee-capped pavilions with tall tapering finials and weathervanes. In 1-storey bay to left, steps lead up to round-headed panelled double doors beneath semicircular arch of 4 orders with leaf carved impost band. Blind arcaded eaves frieze and moulded cornice beneath parapet with moulded coping. Crossgable carries ogee capped clock tower with dial to each face, on square plinth supporting open parapet with corner piers surmounted by ogee capped pinnacles. Tower has angle pilasters which carry broad frieze and moulded cornice with terminal segmental gablets. Wrought-iron finial and weathercock. Right return: front range gable wall of 2 storeys and basement to left of long 2- and 3-storey range with basement, terminating in octagonal turret with steeply pitched roof surmounted by ogee-capped lantern with three tapering finials with filigree crosspieces. Gable wall has corbelled extruded stack on carved base. To right, first bay of long range occupied by paired boarded doors with semicircular overlights. Above, 2-storey canted staircase window of 4 canted mullioned lights on moulded bracket with lion mask. Further right is glazed and panelled double door and semicircular fanlight in flush quoined surround with moulded impost band and keyed moulded arch beneath moulded cornice hood on sunk-panel pilasters. Towards right end, flat carriage arch closed by boarded double doors leads to inner yard. Beyond, former fire engine houses have fronts framed in slender cast-iron colonnettes with bell capitals beneath wide glazed frieze and moulded cornice on sunflower brackets. Two bays closed by glazed and panelled double doors, the third by similar screen. Glazed and panelled door and overlight at right end has doorcase of similar colonnette jambs and fluted impost band. Windows are paired or tripled, mullioned and transomed on ground and first floors, 1-pane sashes on second floor. River front: plain board door in double chamfered doorway of moulded brick beneath lintel arched in centre over incised date 1890. INTERIOR: entrance lobby and spine passage beyond have mosaic floors, that in lobby incorporating City of York arms with Cap of Maintenance over crossed sword and mace. Outside doorcase of carved pilasters on pedestals faced with glazed tiles, and impost band on consoles, beneath 4-light semicircular fanlight with baluster mullions. Two pairs of double doors, the lower parts sunk panelled, upper parts cinquefoiled with square lattice glazing, lead to spine passage. Inner doorcases have panelled pilasters with imposts, fluted friezes and moulded cornices, beneath overdoors with enriched console and bracket
cornice hoods on sunk panelled jambs flanking semicircular fanlights. Other doors and doorcases in lobby and passage are similar, without overdoors. Walls to lobby and passage articulated by pilasters with moulded necking and imposts, on tall pedestals faced with tile panels of chrysanthemums: dado tiling beneath frieze of rosettes and leaves and fluted dado rail incorporates panels of raised foliage in lobby, and basketwork pattern in passage. Entrance lobby has chimneypiece of marble, with detached Doric columns supporting frieze inset with moulded composition panels of gambolling putti, and massive moulded cornice mantelshelf: tiled slips depict the Tree of Life with centre panel of City of York arms between bird supporters. Lobby ceiling is deeply coffered with sunk panelled moulded beams carried on squat marble columns on tall chrysanthemum tiled pedestals. Coffering enclosed by cornices, enriched with shell and flute mouldings, on foliate brackets. Passage ceiling divided by heavy sunk panelled beams. Main staircase at left end of passage has wrought-iron balustrade of rinceaux, serpentine moulded handrail and fluted turned newel with ball finial. Canted mullion and transom window on staircase, of four leaded lights with coloured glazing. At right end of passage, glazed screen wall with ovolo mullions and panelled door leads to secondary staircase with open ironwork balustrade, moulded handrail and tapered column newel. Canted 4-light staircase window is mullioned and double transomed with square lattice lights. Sessions Court and Police Court entered from passage through panelled double doors with embossed glass overlights containing court names. Courts rise through full height of building: both are panelled beneath giant pilasters with dentilled necking and moulded capitals. Ceilings are coved and coffered with broad beams and ribs, beams incorporating bands of pierced quatrefoil vents: rising to rectangular lanterns lit by 6-pane windows separated by squat pilasters carrying coved and coffered ceiling on moulded brackets. Original furniture and fittings survive, including Grand Jury Gallery in Sessions Court, which is carried on fluted pilasters and has balustrade of turned balusters over sunk panel plinth and moulded rail ramped up to square newels: 2 tiers of benches. Panelled door at rear beneath overlight embossed with name beneath dentil cornice overdoor. Police Court has memorial tablets to Members of York City Police who died in the two World Wars. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: area wall at front approximately 1.5m high, between piers approximately 2m high. Railings are panels approximately .5m high, of palmate scrolls enclosing foliate stems, between square section standards. Gate bars are square section, with top rail of similar panels.
Listing NGR: SE6034651523