Building record MYO1152 - The Treasurer's House, gate piers, gates and garden wall


House, built on the site of the medieval treasurer's house, possibly begun in the late 16th century, but dating mainly from the 17/18th century. Restored in 1898-1900. Some 13th century masonry is apparent in the undercroft.


Grid reference Centred SE 6040 5226 (44m by 47m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (10)

Full Description

House and attached garden walls, gate and gate piers. Early C17 rebuild of C16 house; subdivided in early C18 and later; alterations, extension and restoration 1898-1900. Early C17 house for Thomas Young; late C19 restoration by Temple Moore for Mr F Green. Garden created c1900.

MATERIALS: main house front of magnesian limestone on moulded stone plinth; rear has range of magnesian limestone on stone plinth between stone quoined crosswings faced with orange-red brick in English garden-wall bond. Front to Chapter House Street of orange brick in random bond with cornices of stone and timber; porch extension of orange brick with stone dressings incorporated in yard wall of grey brown brick in Flemish bond with flat stone coping. Tiled roofs with stone-coped Dutch gables and brick stacks. Garden wall of limestone rubble incorporating fragments of medieval masonry, with brick coping; red brick piers in Flemish bond; wrought-iron gate and screen.

EXTERIOR: main Front: 2-storey 5-bay range flanked by twin-gabled crosswings, left one of 2 storeys with basement and attic, right one of 3 storeys with attic. Centre range has 2-storey frontispiece of paired Doric columns on ground floor, raised on high plinths and with full entablature, and on first floor, panelled Ionic pilasters with entablature. Flight of shallow steps leads to panelled double doors with blocked fanlight in keyed architrave. Windows are cross-windows with decorative leaded casements. Moulded string over ground floor windows continues across crosswing returns and gable ends; similar string over first floor windows continues across left crosswing return only. Moulded eaves cornice breaks above pilasters and continues at different levels over crosswing returns. Rainwater goods with embattled hopper dated 1898.

Left crosswing: basement has chamfered window openings, ground floor three 24-pane sash windows, first floor two Venetian windows with radial-glazed centre sashes; attic gables each have 2x6-pane Yorkshire sash windows beneath pediment hood. Return has one 24-pane sash window on each floor. Right crosswing: ground floor has five cross windows with square-paned leaded lights; on first floor, two pairs of cross windows beneath moulded string course rising as segmental pediment over each pair; on second floor, single transomed light with segmental pediment, flanked by cross-windows with triangular pediments. Attic has single fixed window in chamfered opening with segmental pediment to each gable. Return has one cross-window on ground and first floors. Mullions and transoms throughout are chamfered.

Gray's Court Front: central range of 2 storeys and basement, 5 bays, left bay gabled with attic; crosswing to left is a single Dutch-gabled range of 3 storeys; right crosswing of two Dutch-gabled parallel ranges of 2 storeys and attic. Main range has truncated external stack to right of centre: windows in gabled bay are 12-pane sashes, two each on ground and first floors, one on third floor with moulded cornice to width of original window: in gable apex, moulded hood survives over blocked former attic opening. Elsewhere, main range has restored mullioned windows, some with transoms. Moulded string over ground floor openings runs across full width of crosswings and main range. Parapet with moulded coping.

Left crosswing: gable end has single cross window with timber mullion and transom, square lattice casements and flat brick arch on each floor, and on first floor moulded stone hood. Windows on return are oeil-de-boeuf in brick surrounds on ground floor and narrow 8-pane sashes with 1 course segmental brick arches on upper floors. Right crosswings have small C17 basement windows above plinth and extruded shaft between the ranges. Left gable has inset Venetian window with radial-glazed centre sash on ground and first floors. Right gable has 3-light square-latticed timber mullioned and transomed window on ground and first floors, with flat brick arch on ground floor. Both first floor windows have stone pediment hoods. Attic windows are paired 8-pane sashes with stone hoodmoulds.

Right Return to Chapter House Street: 3-storey, 8-window front behind yard wall approximately 2 metres high incorporating entrance porch at left end. Porch has round-arched opening with enlarged keyblock between Ionic pilasters carrying open pediment with defaced shield of arms of Green in the tympanum. Archway closed by wrought-iron gate, screen and overthrow with lantern: entrance is 6-panel door recessed at rear of porch. Glazed and panelled side door beneath swan-necked pediment opens to yard behind wall. Windows on ground and first floors are 12-pane sashes, on second floor squat 6-pane sashes. All have louvred shutters, stone sills and stone lintels or cambered brick arches. Moulded cornices to ground floor and eaves, and inverted bell rainwaterhead dated 1795.

INTERIOR: cellars contain column bases and cobbled pavement from the Roman fortress. Ground Floor: lobby and entrance hall have stone flagged floors. Lobby contains pedimented doorcases from Micklegate House, Nos 88 and 90 Micklegate (qv). Entrance hall has stencilled walls; raised fireplace in chamfered 4-centred arch. Back staircase, from ground floor to attic, has close string, slender turned balusters, square newels and flat moulded handrail.

Former kitchen retains original fireplace with chamfer-stopped surround and 4-centred arch: two walls are lined with Delft tiles. West Sitting-room is lined with raised and fielded panelling in two heights; chimneypiece has Ionic columns and scroll-pedimented overmantel with carved panel of Leda and the Swan; C17 coffered ceiling with moulded cornice returned along ceiling beams.

Dining-room has eared doorcases with doors of 6 raised and fielded panels in carved borders, and shutters similarly enriched; carved skirting and dado rail. Walls above dado panelled in moulded plaster. Fireplace has Carron grate, panelled Ionic pilasters, and swan-necked overmantel incorporating landscape painting. Plaster ceiling incorporates C17 cross beams.

Great Hall has stone-flagged floor; close string staircase with pierced splat balusters and square newels with urn finials and with painted and composition ornament leads to closed first floor gallery carried on screen of Doric columns: restored fireplace has hollow chamfered surround with shallow 4-centred head beneath flat lintel. One wall retains fragments of C17 carved stone frieze.

Drawing-room fully lined with bolection-moulded panelling; two carved doorcases have pulvinated bayleaf friezes and enriched cornice overdoors; shutters of raised and fielded panelling. Enriched chimney-piece has eared fasciated fire surround with cornice shelf, and lobed overmantel containing a painting of an 'Unknown Lady'. Enriched dentil cornice to C17 coffered ceiling with corniced beams. Court Room lined in re-used panelling in two heights. Chimneypiece flanked by two tiers of sunk-panel pilasters beneath pulvinated frieze and moulded and dentilled cornice: fireplace is chamfered in elliptical arched opening and painted 'Lakeland Scene' in the overmantel. Deep moulded cornice to ceiling of moulded cased beams supported on scrolled consoles.

Staircase hall has quarter-turn staircase to first floor has open string, slender turned balusters and swept handrails wreathed at the foot on swirl-fluted newels: underside of stair treads, hall and staircase dado fitted with fielded panelling; Ionic Venetian window; dentilled and modillioned plaster cornice. First floor landing: Venetian window framed in pilasters with acanthus capitals and fluted Composite pilasters; panelled dado beneath moulded rail; enriched moulded modillion cornice to ceiling with moulded cross beams.

The Queen's Room: doors of 6 fielded panels in carved borders in enriched doorcase with rococo frieze and console cornice; painted stone fireplace in eared fasciated surround with deep frieze of rinceaux and acanthus console cornice shelf; enriched modillioned ceiling cornice. Princess Victoria's Room has reused panelling in two heights; two eared and pedimented doorcases with enriched pulvinated friezes and dentilled cornices. Eared fireplace with carved cornice shelf and overmantel painting of a 'Girl with tambourine' in enriched pedimented surround. Compartmented ceiling with moulded cased beams and cornice.

Tapestry Room is fitted with C17 wainscotting and some arcaded frieze; panelled doors on cockshead hinges; fireplace in continuous chamfered surround with shallow 4-centred head; plaster cornice, ceiling and cased moulded beams. The King's Room has stencilled walls, chamfered fireplace with shallow 3-centred arch, moulded cornice and ceiling beam. South Dressing-room is fitted with fielded panelling in two heights and has fireplace carved with Rococo ornament. Private flat containing remaining first floor accommodation in separate occupation and not accessible. In one room, RCHM record fireplace with mantelshelf on enriched consoles and shell in centre of frieze, and in room at rear, original chamfered brick fireplace with 3-centred arch.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: front garden wall approximately 2.0 metres high with cogged brick course beneath sloped coping. Towards right end is GR letter-box. Gate piers approximately 2.5 metres high, cruciform on plan, have moulded stone cornices and ball finials. Gate and side screens incorporate panels of scrolls, beneath overthrow incorporating gas lamp bracket.

HISTORICAL NOTE: in 1782, John Goodricke (1764-86), astronomer and mathematician, made observations from the house which "laid the foundations of modern measurement of the universe".

(Hildyard, R: Guidebook to the Treasurer's House; City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 69-75). Listing NGR: SE6040452274

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

Edward VI granted the house to the Protector Somerset, who sold it for 200 marks to Archbishop Robert Holgate, who had previously acquired the church of St. John del Pyke which stood nearby to the E. These properties later passed to Archbishop Young (1561–8), who began the destruction of the Archbishop's Palace, to the N. of the Minster, by removing the lead from the great hall to buy an estate for his son George (VCH, Yorks. III, 52), and it is probable that stone from these buildings was used by George to build a new mansion. That part of the back elevation faced with stone and incorporating a gable is probably part of this building, built in the second half of the 16th century.

A major reconstruction appears to have been undertaken by Thomas, the grandson of George Young, who owned and occupied the property in the period 1628–48. He probably widened the central hall range by some 6 ft. and, within the confines of the existing cross-walls to the N.W. and S.E., built a new two-storeyed symmetrical elevation with central frontispiece entrance, raised upon steps to reach the new floor level which had been formed to allow cellarage in the basements beneath. The previous S.E. wing was doubled in width by the addition of a new range on its S.E. side, projecting boldly to the N.E. The S.W. elevation of the older wing was remodelled to form part of a wider elevation with pedimented windows and Dutch gables. The N.W. wing was also remodelled or rebuilt, with its ground floor at the new hall level, with windows and gables forming a balanced composition with the S.E. wing.

The last work that can be attributed to Thomas Young was the construction of a first-floor gallery, standing over an open colonnade, built against the 12th-century wall running N.E. from the N.W. end of the house. This wall had survived from a building which lay on its N.W. side, so that the new gallery was built against the outside face of the wall. The colonnade was formed with six reused 12th-century columns; one column stands on a late 12th-century base, two others have bases of inverted 12th-century capitals, a fourth base is modern, and the remaining two columns have no bases. This was the beginning of the building now called Gray's Court.

In 1648 the property was acquired by William Belt, Recorder of York, whose heir sold it to Lord Fairfax, who had played a prominent part in the siege of York in 1644. In 1663 Fairfax moved to a new house he had built across the river in Bishophill and sold the Treasurer's House to George Aislabie, Registrar of the Ecclesiastical Court in York. The latter died following a duel in 1674 and was succeeded by his son John, who was M.P. for Ripon for twenty-five years and, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, was implicated in the affairs of the South Sea Bubble. After his enforced retirement from affairs of state, he created the superb landscape garden at Studley Royal of which Fountains Abbey forms the climax. Aislabie sold the Treasurer's House in 1698 to Robert Squire, who died in 1709. According to Francis Drake, the 18th-century York historian, 'it (the house) was rebuilt in the manner it stands at present, about 40 years ago by Robert Squire Esq. ...' but it does not appear that Squire's work can have been more than refenestration and redecoration.

In 1711 Jane Squire inherited the property from her mother, Priscilla, and she divided the house between two tenants; the N.W. cross-wing and the gallery behind formed one part and the central hall block and the S.E. cross-wing the other. A new entrance to the gallery wing must have been put up at this time against the N.W. end of the present Treasurer's House, together with the room N.W. of it; and it was perhaps at the same time that the colonnade of the back wing was closed in. In 1721 the property was acquired by Matthew Robinson. The S.E. part he sold in 1725 to Bacon Morritt and the remainder in 1728 to the Rev. Edward Finch, Canon Residentiary of the Minster. The Morritt family kept their part until 1813 and refitted many of the rooms, including the Dining Room and the West Sitting Room, most of the work being of mid 18th-century date.

In his part Canon Finch also made considerable alterations. He fitted with bolection-moulded panelling the two rooms which have since been united to form the Drawing Room, but were the Dining Room and Library; he built the grand staircase behind and introduced Venetian windows in the N.E. wall to light it. He also introduced two Venetian-type windows into the first floor of the S.W. front. The reused 17th-century panelling in the gallery behind was probably refixed there by Canon Finch to make way for new panelling in the rooms on the S.W. front.

In 1742 Daniel, Earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham, inherited from Canon Finch and immediately sold his part of the property to Dr. Jaques Sterne, Precentor, uncle of the more famous Laurence Sterne. Sterne, who died in 1757, presumably built the so-called Sterne Room which projects S.E. from the N.E. end of the gallery and over a ground floor which is in part, at least, of the 14th century. Sterne also sub-divided his part of the property, selling off the N.W. wing of the present Treasurer's House to Francis Topham. The back wing he retained, and after his death it was bought by Henry Willoughby of Birdsall, who later became the fifth Baron Middleton. It was then bought by the Grays in 1788 and they occupied part of it until 1945. The gallery was 80 ft. long when the Grays purchased it but was later sub-divided (A. Gray, Papers and Diaries of a York Family 1764–1839 (1927), 6). It was probably William Gray who added a top storey over the gallery and a small structure, presumably for a staircase, in the W. corner of the courtyard. This, together with an associated chimney, has since been removed, but the curved 'half-gable' against which its roof abutted remains. Major alterations were designed for Gray in 1846 by the architects J. B. and W. Atkinson; the building now known as Gray's Court was completed in its present size, new rooms being built on the N.W. side of the 12th-century wall which had formed the back wall of the gallery. At the N.E. end a large bowfronted structure was added; the first floor of this new part was reached by a new staircase in the middle of the gallery, as shown in the plan by the Atkinsons. As mentioned, the structure in the W. corner of the courtyard was removed, leaving exposed the half-gable which had been erected to form the back of it, and the small wing containing the Sterne room was partly remodelled.

The early 19th century brought considerable changes to the Treasurer's House. New buildings, which have since been cleared away, were added against the S.W. ends of the cross-wings and against the N.E. side of the hall. After the Morritts left in 1813 their part of the house was divided into two. The additions are shown on the OS map of 1852; the subdivision of the house as in 1868 is shown by Mrs. E. Gray in The Mansion House of the Treasurer's House and Gray's Court (1933).

The three separate tenements into which the Treasurer's House was divided were bought in 1897–8 by Mr. Frank Green of Nunthorpe Hall, York. He appointed Mr. Temple Moore as his architect to undertake a major alteration and restoration, bringing the house to its present state. Temple Moore took out the first floor of the central block to create the present Great Hall; the pillars at the S.E. end of the hall were erected on the foundations of previous ones when the later wall encasing them was removed. He modelled the staircase leading up from the hall on that at Knole Park, Kent. A number of rooms were refitted with materials brought from elsewhere, and a new entrance from Chapter House Street was constructed. On the S.W. front, sash windows in the centre block and the S.E. cross-wing were replaced with transomed and mullioned windows. In 1930 Mr. Green presented the house to the National Trust.

Green's restoration of the Treasurer's House was mostly completed in 1900 and in the same year Edwin Gray commissioned Temple Moore to improve Gray's Court and to recombine the latter as a single residence after a century of subdivision. Moore took the Atkinson staircase out of the gallery wing and replaced it by a new stair N.W. of the spine wall and formed the present two-storey porch opposite. Partition walls were removed from the gallery and additional new oak panelling was introduced. New fireplaces, doors and windows designed by Moore were generally skilful copies of earlier styles. Here, as in the Treasurer's House, Temple Moore's extensive restoration has done much to obscure the earlier history of the building. Gray's Court is now owned by the Dean and Chapter and leased to St. John's College of Education.

The Treasurer's House. Architectural Description. The main South-West Front has a recessed centre of five unequal bays, two storeys high. The central entrance, approached by a flight of steps, is flanked by paired Roman Doric columns supporting plain stone blocks carrying an entablature, and the window above is flanked by Ionic pilasters with small panelled blocks in the shafts, the whole forming a two-storey centre-piece with a crowning cornice continued across the side bays. An engraving of 1811 by J. Greig shows the entablature also carried across the side bays, but here the fascia mouldings have been trimmed back. The windows are of two transomed lights with continuous hood moulds over.

The projecting wing to the N.W. is of two storeys with basement and attics, rising to two Dutch gables. The ground floor has three large hung-sash windows set in original moulded openings from which mullions and transoms have been trimmed away; above them runs a continuous hood mould. The first floor has been largely refaced with 18th-century ashlar and has two plain windows of Venetian type, each with a central round-headed opening between smaller rectangular lights. In the gables are hung-sash windows under pediments.

The projecting wing to the S.E. is of three storeys, also surmounted by two Dutch gables forming a symmetrical composition combining the ends of the earlier cross-wing and the later addition on its S.E. side. The storeys are divided by moulded string-courses; the upper string rises under the middle of each gable to form a segmental pediment, which was formerly over a window. The fenestration of the two lower storeys has been completely altered. In the 17th century there were three windows to each storey; each of the outer windows was then replaced by two hung-sash windows, which have themselves been replaced by mullioned and transomed windows of c. 1900. Only on the second floor has the earlier arrangement been preserved, with one mullioned and transomed window with a pedimented head under each gable and a smaller, single-light window under a segmental pediment in the middle. A small window in each gable lights the roof space.

The South-East Elevation, towards Chapter House Street, is of brick, with a moulded stone band at first-floor level. Most of the windows appear to have been remodelled at the end of the 19th century. A lead rainwater head with fluted bowl is dated 1795. The entrance porch was built c. 1898 and bears the Green coat-of-arms.

The North-East Elevation, towards the rear courtyard, has a recessed centre, stone-faced and partly of two storeys and partly of three storeys, all above a basement. To each side are brick-faced wings under shaped gables; the S.E. wing projects boldly; the N.W. wing is of only slight projection. The whole elevation has been very much altered. The recessed centre rises to a plain gable towards the S.E. end and is crossed by moulded string-courses of varying section, partly removed. Below the gable are 18th-century hung-sash windows with moulded string-courses at the floor levels between. Further to N.W. a projecting chimney-stack, now without its upper part, is flanked by stone mullioned and transomed windows of uncertain dates, all much restored. The basement windows cut in the plinth below are modern; original basement windows remain towards the N.W. end above the plinth. A doorway has no stonework older than the 19th century.

The end of the N.W. wing is of brick above a stone plinth and finished with two shaped gables. Small 17th-century basement windows remain above the plinth, and over the second-floor and attic windows are 17th-century stone pediments and labels respectively. Lighting the staircase hall are plain Venetian-type windows, which are brick counterparts of the stone windows on the S.W. front, and to the N.W. are 19th-century wooden-framed windows, each of three mullioned lights; pairs of 19th-century windows light the attics above. The S.E. wing now has plain windows with timber mullions and transoms; a sketch of c. 1790 by Henry Cave shows it with pediments over windows of varying sizes.

Interior. The house is now entered from Chapter House Street. A passage built c. 1900 leads to the Entrance Hall, in which is a 17th-century fireplace with four-centred head; the hearth has been raised. To the N.E. the accommodation has been drastically remodelled to provide a modern flat. There remains an 18th-century staircase with close string, square newels and turned balusters. The Kitchen retains the original 17th-century fireplace, though a bake oven to the right-hand side of it has been replaced by a modern window. Various alterations and additions have been made to the remainder of this part of the house. The West Sitting Room has been reduced in size by the formation of a passageway from the entrance hall to the great hall; in it the walls are lined with mid 18th-century panelling surmounted by a cornice which is returned on the 17th-century beams dividing the ceiling into six compartments. The mid 18th-century fireplace has flanking Ionic columns and a scrolled overmantel with a figure of Leda in a niche; it was moved here from a room which formed part of the present great hall.

The Dining Room was refitted in the mid 18th century with a plain dado and moulded plaster panels and has a richly-decorated ceiling, the design of which is dictated by the incorporation of the intersecting ceiling beams of the earlier construction. The fireplace, with side pilasters, contains a late 18th-century grate by Carron and is surmounted by an overmantel added c. 1900 framing a landscape painting signed 'Rysdael 1652'. The Great Hall rises through two storeys and is open to the roof; it was created c. 1900 by the removal of the upper floor and of partitions. The stonework of the lower part of the walls is exposed and that in the N.W. wall shows extensive 12th-century tooling, but whether the stones are in situ or reused is uncertain. At the S. end modern columns support a timber-framed gallery; the present columns, the gallery and the staircase up to it are all of c. 1900, but the columns replace a partition in which there was evidence of an earlier colonnade. In the N.W. wall are fragments of a 17th-century stone frieze. The fireplace, with four-centred head, has been restored and the level of the hearth raised. The roof trusses rise from moulded 17th-century tie-beams, reset upside down, which originally carried three moulded longitudinal beams.

North-west of the great hall, the Drawing Room (Plate 81) was formed c. 1900 by the removal of the partition between the former dining room and library; the fireplace was moved to its present central position, and the door surround from the partition was reused at the entrance to the Court Room to balance the doorway to the stair hall. The whole room is lined with bolection-moulded panelling of c. 1730 (Fig. 10c) below a decorated cornice; above the latter a second cornice is returned around the intersecting beams which carry the first floor. The fireplace (Plate 87) has an enriched eared surround and an overmantel framing a portrait of Lady Compton; the design is similar to one published by Batty Langley in The Builder's Complete Assistant, 1748. The Court Room is lined with reused 18th-century panelling but retains a plaster ceiling cornice and a fireplace with four-centred head within a pilastered surround and with a pilastered overmantel, all of the 17th century. The overmantel encloses a landscape by Charles Towne (?) 1763–1840.

The Staircase Hall is lit on the N.E. by a Venetian window inserted c. 1730 and later converted to a rear entrance, but restored in c. 1900. The walls have fielded panels to the dado and a plaster modillioned cornice above. The entrance to the Great Hall is part of the restoration work of c. 1900. The Staircase (Plate 86; Fig. 11q), of c. 1725, rises in three flights, with quarter-landings between; the balustrade has swept handrails terminating in volutes over turned and swirl-fluted newels. The balusters, with reverse-tapered shafts, resemble those in the Mansion House (44) (1726–32), and the concavesided knops are similar to those on the fine staircase at Beningbrough Hall. The first floor is lit by a Venetian window with unorthodox features and perhaps part of the restoration work of c. 1900.

The Queen's Room, now furnished as a bedroom but used as a drawing room in the mid 18th century, has a rather simple Venetian window in the S.W. wall and a sash window in the S.E. wall. The entablatures of doorcases in the N.E. and N.W. side walls are carved with rococo enrichments with bird-head terminals. It can be presumed that the room was fitted out in the mid 18th century. The adjacent room to N.W. is known as Princess Victoria's Room (Princess Victoria of Wales, daughter of Edward VII, occupied the room in June 1900). It is lined throughout with panelling which may well have been placed there c. 1900, when Mr. Frank Green bought the fireplace overmantel and other fittings from the owners of Micklegate House (1752). The doorcases in the S.E. and N.E. walls have eared architraves, pulvinated friezes and triangular pediments, and may have come from the first-floor drawing room of Micklegate House. It is known that Mr. Green acquired two elaborate doorcases with carved pulvinated friezes which faced the head of the staircase at Micklegate House. The doorcases in the entrance hall of the Treasurer's House are probably the reverse sides of these doorcases and are without doubt those illustrated in an article on Micklegate House and annotated 'Bought by Mr. Green' (YCL, YL/D Acc. 4 Misc. 1). The room is lit by a plain Venetian window in the S.W. wall and a mullioned window in the N.W. wall.

In the adjacent room to N.E., known as the Tapestry Room, the oak panelling, discovered under wallpaper in 1897, dates from the first half of the 17th century; the fireplace in the S.W. wall is of the same period, having a simple four-centred arch with chamfer carried down the jambs and terminating in run-out stops. With its plaster ceiling and cornice this room is the one compartment remaining very much as built in the 17th century. In the S.E. cross-wing, the first-floor Gallery is reached by the reproduction staircase from the Great Hall. This narrow compartment may well represent the original arrangement over the screens passage, though the timber-framed stud wall towards the hall has been greatly altered. Originally there would have been doors from this passage into the rooms of the first floor formerly over the Hall. From this passage entrances lead off to the rooms of the S.E. cross-wing. At the S.W. is the King's Room which has a 17th-century fireplace in the S.E. wall, of which the hearth has been raised. Since 1901 the walls have been decorated in imitation of the painted chamber in St. William's College nearby. S.E. again is a dressing room, described as the South Bedroom, which is wainscotted throughout in fielded panelling. Its main feature is the fine rococo fireplace of c. 1750 in the N.W. wall.

The Sitting Room, over the Dining Room, has a mid 18th-century fireplace with enriched console supports to the mantelpiece and a shell in the centre of the frieze. It may be the 'shell mantelpiece' from Micklegate House bought in December 1897 for £7. 10s. (YCL, YL/D ACC. 4 Misc. 1). The Carron grate is decorated with female figures and Prince of Wales feathers.

The Staircase in the S.E. wing, giving access to the basement and all floors, was constructed about the middle of the 18th century, when most of the refitting of this cross-wing occurred. In a bedroom to the N.E. is an original fireplace of brick which formerly heated a large room now sub-divided; the opening has a three-centred brick arch with a chamfer continued from the jambs.

Monument 35; City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 69-75

NMR Information

Monument Condition
AREA STATUS Listed Building Grade I
AREA STATUS Scheduled Monument

Full description
[SE 6041 5227] Treasurer's House [GT] (National Trust). (1)

Treasurer's House dates mainly from the 17/18th cent. with 13th cent. work in the undercroft (2). A scheduled ancient monument.(3). In good condition. See illustration AO/M for south west aspect. (4)


The Treasurer's House, gate piers, gates and garden wall

SE 6052 SW 13/365 14.6.54
SE 6052 SW 27/365


Late C16 and later. Built by the family of Archbishop Young (d 1568), and is on the site of the medieval house of the Treasurer to the Minster. The main front to south-west is of ashlar with a recessed 2-storeyed centre block of 5 unequal bays; semi-circular headed doorway flanked by paired Doric columns; 2-high windows with transoms and hood moulds, and the central window flanked by Ionic pilasters; projecting wing on left-hand side of 2 storeys plus attic having 2 simplified Venetian windows and 2 shaped gables; similar projecting wing at right-hand side, which is 3-storeyed; moulded string-course at 1st floor and below gable of right-hand wing which has windows generally altered circa 1900. The rear and south-east elevations are partly of brick. The basement incorporates much C12 masonry and contains a Roman column base and fragment of a Roman cobbled pavement.

Interior: Contains many good early features, particularly the early C18 stucco ceiling in the dining room, the staircase of circa 1700 and several C17 and C18 fireplaces. Good C17 brick gate piers with stone cornice and ball-heads; good wrought iron double gates with side screens and overthrow; stone garden wall to main front incorporating many medieval carved fragments; brick wall to Chapter House Street elevation. A.M. (RCHM Vol V, Monument 35). (5)

Treasurer's House scheduled York- SE 604523. (6)

3 VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION List of Ancient Monuments, 1961, p 106 (M.O.W.)
5 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest DOE (HHR), City of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, June 1983, p 226
6 VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION DOE (IAM) Ancient Monuments in England, 1977, vol 1, p 67

Related Archives/Objects

BF060271 THE TREASURER'S HOUSE, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued. Copyright, date, and quantity information for this record may be incomplete or inaccurate.
BL17141 Looking across the lawn towards the front elevation of Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century and the creation of the garden in 1900. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17142 The doorway on the front of Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century and the creation of the garden in 1900. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17143 The entrance gate to Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century and the creation of the garden in 1900. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17144 The entrance hall in Treasurer's House looking towards a tapestry on the wall The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17145 The entrance hall in Treasurer's House looking towards the gallery The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17146 The dining room in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17147 The Vanbrugh Room in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17148 A staircase in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17149 The drawing room in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17150 The Restoration Room in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17151 The King's bedroom in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17152 The Queen's Bedroom in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17153 Princess Victoria's Room in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
BL17154 The Tapestry Dressing Room in Treasurer's House The photograph was taken for the owner Frank Green and shows it after restoration work carried out by Temple Moore in the late 19th century. Frank Green, a collector and antiquarian, donated the house with all its contents to the National Trust in 1930.
NMR06 NMR Measured Drawings This material has not yet been fully catalogued. As a result copyright and date information may be incomplete or inaccurate.
OP08139 A view of the wrought iron gate with an overthrow incorporating a gas lamp at the Treasurer's House, York

People and Organisations

Compiler D SMITH Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1962-12-27 1962-12-27 Ordnance Survey Archaeology Officer 08-FEB-1960-31-MAY-1961 and 01-NOV-1966-26-JUL-1974

Compiler KEN DAVIES RCHME York 1994-07-12 1994-07-12 RCHME staff: London 1987-88, Southampton 1988-91, York 1991-96, Swindon 1996-present

Surveyor RICHARD W EMSLEY Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1963-06-05 1963-06-05 OS AO 22-JUN-1959 to 1973 (613)

RCHME, 1981, City of York Volume V: The Central Area (Monograph). SYO65.

Nat Trust, 1989, Excavations in Gray's Court, Treasurer's House (Unpublished document). SYO2964.

Nat Trust, 1997, Gray's Court, Treasurer's House (Unpublished document). SYO2957.

NMR, 2019, NMR data (Digital archive). SYO2214.

Sources/Archives (4)

  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.
  • --- Unpublished document: Nat Trust. 1997. Gray's Court, Treasurer's House.
  • --- Unpublished document: Nat Trust. 1989. Excavations in Gray's Court, Treasurer's House.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1981. City of York Volume V: The Central Area.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (7)

Record last edited

Mar 24 2023 2:47PM


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