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Grade I
NHLE 1259328
Date assigned 14 June 1954
Date last amended


YORK SE6051SE CASTLE PRECINCT 1112-1/22/131 Crown Court and railings attached to 14/06/54 front (Formerly Listed as: CASTLE PRECINCT The Assize Court) GV I Court House, now Crown Courts, and railings attached to front. 1773-77; rear altered and new range added 1818-21; interior remodelled and podium added c1835; further rear extension of 1870, and extension at right end of 1937. Restored 1991. Original design by John Carr; rear extension by Peter Atkinson junior and Matthew Philips; 1835 work by GT Andrews and PF Robinson. MATERIALS: sandstone ashlar, part on limestone basement; rear range of brick rendered in Roman cement, with Roman cement mouldings. Hipped roofs of slate with brick, rendered and stone stacks; cupola roofs of lead. Podium of dressed stone with painted cast-iron railings. EXTERIOR: front of 2 storeys with 1-storey extension at each end, on low podium; pedimented tetrastyle portico 'in antis' flanked by 4-bay ranges with distyle in antis end bays, and single bay extensions; portico and columnated bays in giant Ionic order break forward slightly. Broad flight of steps up to podium; second flight of steps to raised podium before portico. Basement openings sunk in podium behind iron grilles have flat chamfered lintels. Central double doors within portico, flanked by round-headed radial-glazed sashes, beneath radial fanlights and arcaded hoodmould on moulded impost band. In returns, additional glazed panelled doors with wrought-iron grilles and festooned scrolled overthrows, beneath tall radial-glazed fanlights, in round-arched openings of radiating voussoirs. 3 radial glazed oculi in moulded surrounds to first floor, above band of guilloche moulding. Ground floor windows in flanking ranges are round headed and radial glazed, those in end bays stepped back beneath moulded round arch on moulded imposts. On first floor, windows are of 6 panes, and in end bays, radial glazed oculi. First-floor band of guilloche moulding runs across facade, continuing behind attached columns in end bays. Moulded modillion eaves cornice, beneath balustraded parapet supporting a lion and unicorn couchant on either side of pediment. Pediment tympanum encloses relief carving of crossed fasces and staff bound with laurel, and crowned with the figure of Justice bearing scales and spear. Parapet terminated by pedestal blocks carved with garlands and supporting garlanded urns. Left extension has double doors of 8 flush panels in architrave with moulded cornice hood, and plain parapet broken by blind balustrade. Right extension matches, with 24-pane sash window beneath cornice in place of door. Rear: basement and 2 storeys; 12-bay main range, with full-height polygonal bays in centre and at right end; further right, 1-storey, 3-window wing on basement; to left, 2-storey 2-window extension. Right end of main range obscured by 1-storey 7-bay extension on basement. In main range, basement is blind except for barred door in centre polygonal bay and 6-pane sash windows in right end one. On ground floors of polygonal bays windows are 15-pane sashes, and on first floors 12-pane sashes. To left of centre bay, ground floor windows are 12-pane sashes, and on first floor 16-pane sashes; to right, on first floor, 12-pane sashes. Wing at right has barred lunettes in basement, and 15-pane sashes on ground floor. Extension at left has blind basement and 2 sash windows in shallow architraves on ground floor. Front extension has rusticated quoins, barred round-headed windows in basement beneath arcaded hoodmould of keyed arches on moulded impost band, and 12-pane sashes on ground floor. Windows throughout have raised architraves beneath floating moulded cornices: on both floors sill bands, stepped down beneath taller windows, with moulded sill blocks on ground floor, without sill blocks on first floor. All parts have a moulded cornice below low plain parapet. INTERIOR: basement has re-used cell doors of wood strengthened with cast-iron plates. Entrance hall and flanking Court Rooms rise through 2 storeys. Side and front walls of entrance hall arcaded on ground floor with lunettes beneath continuous round-arched hoodmould on moulded imposts. Upper part lit by oculi in moulded surrounds. Frieze of lion masks set in marigolds alternating with triglyphs below dentil cornice enriched with band of flutes and roundels. Inserted single storey screen concealing staircases has central opening between sunk-panel pilasters with paired console capitals, and flanking arcades of round-arched windows, surmounted by balustraded gallery. Staircase is combination of dogleg and flying staircases with slender cast-iron balusters and moulded ramped-up handrail. At rear of stairhall, two inserted doors in architraves with moulded dentil cornice hoods. Court I, to left. Lower part of walls covered in raised and fielded panelling, the upper part behind bench in moulded plaster panels. 12 Corinthian columns, painted to resemble marble, carry dome lit by radial glazed lantern. Dome entablature has frieze of alternating foliar paterae superimposed on crossed fasces and falchions, and triglyphs, and enriched dentilled cornice. Dome has plaster moulded panels between rib bands of guilloche enclosing rosettes. Bench flanked by doors of 6 raised and fielded panels in architraves with fluted friezes and dentil cornice overdoors. Fluted frieze continues across gallery fronts beneath cast-iron balustrades of crossed fasces with lion mask medallions. Main gallery has side balustrades of slender bobbin balusters and newels, frieze and cornice similar to that in entrance hall and circular windows at rear in moulded surrounds. C19 court furniture and benches, and on bench canopy carved Royal Arms of 1840, initialled IW for John Wolstenholme. Court II, to right. Decoration and fittings largely repeat those of Court I. Variations include dome entablature with frieze of festooned pelta and torch standards, and dentil cornice enriched with egg-and-dart. Dome ribs are bands of guilloche enclosing palmette decoration, terminating in rosettes; edging of fans and festoons: gallery balustrades of bulbous balusters: 4 original 6-panel doors recessed in deep panelled reveals beneath fluted friezes and enriched dentil cornice overdoors, one with rosette paterae. Doors are of 2 or 3 panels, with deep reveals on outer side, flush panelled. Room in centre of main rear range has moulded dado rail and panelled window cases, one of which is altered to doorway; plain marble fireplace with panelled pilaster jambs and cast-iron basket grate by Carron. Passage to rear is divided by two screens of plain pilasters with grooved console capitals, sunk panel friezes and dentil cornices; doors are half glazed and panelled, between glazed side lights, all with embossed glass. Doorways off passage have panelled reveals. High Sheriff's Room has two marble chimneypieces with plain surrounds and mantelshelves on console brackets; panelled window reveals; deeply coffered ceiling with beam soffits moulded in bands of pierced guilloche enclosing rosettes, pierced foliate bosses and foliate central rose. One room retains fireplace with fluted surround and angle roundels. (An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York: RCHME: The Defences: HMSO: 1972-: 82-85). Listing NGR: SE6051751399

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Grid reference SE 6051 5139 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW

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Record last edited

Nov 30 2021 9:27PM


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