Building record MYO1304 - 1 Little Shambles


Three storey timber framed house. Built in the 15th century heavily restored in the 1950s. It is timber framed with a pantile roof.


Grid reference SE 6044 5188 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish York, City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

House. C15, restored c1950. Timber-framed, ground floor encased in orange-red brick in English garden-wall bond, upper floors rendered; pantile roof with brick stack. EXTERIOR: 3-storey, 1-bay gabled front, first and second floors jettied. Framing exposed on upper floors and crown post roof truss in gable end. Half-glazed shop door between jowled posts, to left of wide shop window with small-pane glazing; upper floor windows are 2x6-pane casements. Right return: framing exposed on all floors, with 1- and 2-light 6-pane casement windows on all floors. INTERIOR: not inspected. (City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 156).
Listing NGR: SE6044551881

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

1 Little Shambles
Maybank Buildings Conservation were commissioned by the City of York Council to provide a visual inspection of the timbers forming the rear elevation of No.1 Little Shambles, York, in order to indicate likely historic elements from those replaced during restoration in the 1950s.

The building was restored in the early 1950s, at which point many of the surrounding buildings were demolished. There is little readily available documentary evidence for No. 1 Little Shambles and it has never been subjected to detailed study. The c.1950 restoration does not appear to have been documented. Historic photography suggests the building was in a very poor condition by the early C20, with props supporting the front elevation.

In the absence of dendrochronology a more detailed search for documentary evidence, including for documentation of the restoration campaign, may bare fruit. Based solely on a visual analysis, there appears to be generally good survival of historic timbers on the rear elevation. Protected within a courtyard enclosed on three sides, this elevation is reasonably well protected from weather.
The first-floor floor joists are obscured internally, and therefore have not been assessed.
Externally, the ground floor and eastern half of the first floor are obscured by later structures and therefore assessment has been limited to visible elements

MayBank Building Conservation 2019: SYO2022

Decay was identified in timber frame elements established as 15th century in date, likely historic and likely 20th century, by the historic timber assessment. Decay was identified in all window frames in the south-east rear elevation, except the north-east 2nd floor window frame. Decay was also identified in all four 1st and 2nd floor window frames present in the south-west side elevation. The infill panels were found to consist of render comprised of fine aggregate, sand and cement applied over expanded metal mesh fixed to the timbers (CYC 2020). This form of modern construction likely dates to the alteration and renovation of the building around 1950. No structural elements were found behind the infill panels of brickwork. SYO2612

Watching brief by YAT 2022

The watching brief established that there appeared to have been substantial restoration work in the past, most drastically during the 1950s, which entailed a considerable degree of timber replacement and later construction of infill panels with additional iron brackets, bolts and the like.
A series of irregularities amongst the timber-framed members and joints were identified including a number of pegs (as well as empty peg holes and/or peg holes filled with lead) and mortices amongst the timbers without any coherent association with the current timber-framed assembly. There are also pegs which bear no association with any apparent joint assembly and may be instead ornamental features. Other ornamental pegs were identified within existing joints although these do not extend through the timbers securing any tenon.
The partial removal of infill panels did not reveal any evidence of wattle-and-daub construction, except for the crown post with grooves on both lateral sides.
Although the majority of the timbers appear to be later spurious replacement, the main historic form of the building has been maintained.
Nevertheless, the current floor levels appear to vary slightly from their original location as indicated by a series of obsolete historic mortices of primary girding beams, as well as associated braces. The current floor joists are also likely to be later members aligned with their corresponding replaced beams.

NMR Information:

Architectural Survey 14-NOV-1995

Related Archives

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

2019, No. 1 Little Shambles York - Historic Timber Assessment (Unpublished document). SYO2202.

York Archaeological Trust, 2020, 1 Little Shambles (Unpublished document). SYO2612.

York Archaeological Trust, 2022, 1 Little Shambles (Unpublished document). SYO2878.

York Archaeological Trust, 2022, 1 Little Shambles (Unpublished document). SYO2878.

Sources/Archives (5)

  • --- Unpublished document: 2019. No. 1 Little Shambles York - Historic Timber Assessment.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.
  • --- Unpublished document: York Archaeological Trust. 2020. 1 Little Shambles.
  • --- Unpublished document: York Archaeological Trust. 2022. 1 Little Shambles.
  • --- Unpublished document: York Archaeological Trust. 2022. 1 Little Shambles.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Aug 16 2022 1:33PM


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