Listed Building: THEATRE ROYAL AND UNDERCROFT (1256767)

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Grade II*
NHLE 1256767
Date assigned 14 June 1954
Date last amended


YORK SE6052SW ST LEONARD'S PLACE 1112-1/27/946 (East side) 14/06/54 Theatre Royal and Undercroft GV II* Formerly known as: Remains of St Peter's Hospital ST LEONARD'S PLACE. Theatre, incorporating part of an undercroft of former St Leonard's Hospital in basement. Undercroft C12; original theatre on site 1744; theatre rebuilt 1879-80, interior remodelled 1901-2, extended 1967; refurbished in late C20. Rebuild of 1879 by G Styan, City Engineer; 1902 interior by FA Tugwell of Scarborough; extension by Patrick Gwynne and RA Sefton. MATERIALS: rock-faced sandstone with slate roofs; extension of reinforced concrete and glass. STYLE: Gothic Revival. EXTERIOR: 3 storeys and attic; 3-bay gabled front projects over 5-bay buttressed arcade between set back 3-storey bay to left, two similar 2-storey bays to right: further left is 2-storied extension. Entrance in extension which has full height curtain walls of glass carried on hexagonal concrete columns rising into vaulted canopies. Arcade is of 2-centred arches of 2 orders, inner order chamfered, on responds and shafts with stiff-leaf capitals; arches beneath hoodmoulds on head or foliate stops, with spandrels containing roundels, some carved in low relief with female heads. Above is corbel cornice and parapet incorporating band of heraldic shields set in sunk panels, blank except for one at each end carved with cross of St George. In centre of first floor is a canted oriel window with four 2-centred arched lights between clustered shafts: steep roof is half hexagonal with gargoyles and blind trefoiled band at the base. On first and second floors, windows flanking oriel are narrow paired 1-pane sashes; on first floor, in 2-centred arches of 2 orders with sunk quatrefoils in the tympana, on second floor, beneath lintels carved in relief with stiff leaf foliage. Foliate capitals on first floor are extended to form full-width carved impost band returned at both ends: second floor windows have sillstring. Attic window is of 2 square-headed louvred lights in blind 2-centred arches on coupled shafts within single 2-centred arch with blind sunk quatrefoil in tympanum. Gable has bartizan at each side and is edged with blind trefoiled band over corbelled eaves string. Each side has steeply gabled dormer with plain bargeboards and windows of paired trefoil-headed lights, 1-pane sashes to left, louvred to right. Gable is crowned with a standing figure in cross-gabled niche with crockets and finials. End left bay has two blind window arches on first floor, blank second floor, and pierced parapet. Right end bays have two square-headed sash windows in 2-centred arches of 2 orders with waterleaf capitals, blind tympanum containing sunk quatrefoil and hoodmoulds on head or grotesque stops on ground floor. On first floor, windows repeat those of gabled front. Coved impost band on ground floor returns at right end carved with stiff leaf. INTERIOR: Rear of stage is formed by length of medieval wall incorporating towards left end springing of 4-centred gate arch of voussoirs; above is flat cornice and high wall pierced by two cruciform arrow slits. At right end of building semi-basement is located in two visible bays of vaulted undercroft with groined semicircular arches springing from squat cylindrical columns and square piers or responds with scalloped capitals. 1901-2 auditorium with stalls, dress circle, upper circle and gallery. Proscenium arch with shield motof flanked by three tiers of bowed boxes set beneath segmental arches. Columns on dress circle box fronts, the others with scallop and shell decoration. 1967 foyer formed of two storeys of mushroom columns, those to upper floor oversailing to permit full-height glazing. Concrete with exposed aggregate finish. Serpentine cantilevered staircase with marble edging to sides and metal handrail. Slate rear wall. Mosaic walling to upper floors. Workshop added behind foyer. HISTORICAL NOTE: the first theatre on the site was opened in 1744. This was rebuilt, reorientated and enlarged at various dates before the present building was constructed. It was granted the Royal patent in 1769 when Tate Wilkinson was manager and lessee. The theatre was first listed 24/06/83. (Bartholomew City Guides: Hutchinson J and Palliser DM: York: Edinburgh: 1980-: 163; Murray H: Nathaniel Whittock's Bird's-eye View of the City of York in 1850: York: 1988-: 11; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Yorkshire: York and the East Riding: Harmondsworth: 1972-: 139; City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 94; 103). Listing NGR: SE6013452120

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Grid reference SE 6011 5213 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Record last edited

Nov 30 2021 9:27PM


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