Building record MYO1667 - 2 College Street


Originally a 14th century two-storey timber framed building with alterations circa 1600 and circa 1700. Only vestiges remain of the original house, the building is now ostensibly 19th century.


Grid reference SE 6042 5220 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

House, originally part of a longer range of tenements (No.1 now incorporated). Late C13 or early C14 in origin; remodelled c1700 and raised early C19; later alteration and extension. Original building timber-framed, later refronted in buff-orange brick in Flemish bond and raised in pink-brown brick; pantile roof and brick stack.

EXTERIOR: 3-storey 1-window front. 6-panel door to left of paired 4-pane sashes with painted stone sill: on first floor, one 4-pane sash: on second floor, one 2x2-light casement window, one 2x2-light Yorkshire sash. Rear: 16-pane sashes on first and second floor.

INTERIOR: moulded closed string staircase with bulbous balusters, square newels with attached half balusters and flat handrail. One 3-panel door survives on second floor. Fragment of one passing brace roof truss visible in partition wall on second floor. Continuation of medieval range incorporated into No.5 Minster Yard (qv).

(City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 162). Listing NGR: SE6042852204

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

See MYO1154 for City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 162 description

The elevation shows two doorways set side by side and flanked by a double sash window at each side. In the first floor are two more wide single sash windows. The eastern example set centrally over the window below and the western one set eccentrically to the east of centre of the window below it. The building has been heightened a storey and there are three upper windows, two are sash windows and a casement. Non of them align with the windows below them.

In the elevation of No 2, above the first floor windows, is a strip of cement render which will likely cover a timber beam at original eaves level. The ends of a similar beam, also rendered over, survive either side of the window head in the south wall. A U-shaped strip of cement render over the brick relieving arch of the front door of No 2 is possibly the timber stub seating of a canopy shown over the doorway in old photographs.

The two doorways give access on the left to a through passageway to the rear and to No 2 College Street on the right. Old photographs also show that the doorway head of the passageway was slightly lower than that of No 2. The bricks above this doorway are also deeper and the courses above suggest alteration at some time. The door to No 2 appears to be the Georgian original and the passage door is a modern copy of it. The casings must have been replaced to level up the passage doorhead with that of No 2. The lost canopy appears to have covered both doorways and the brickwork of the head of the passage doorway has been remodelled after its removal. The passageway through to the rear marked No 2A is an earlier creation that disrupted the original plan. This was when the plan of No 5 was two houses and the entrance to the eastern house was through a doorway leading off the north end of the passage. This was blocked up and made into a sash window when the two houses were united as one.Looking at the elevation as a whole it seems likely that the passage doorway No 2A is an insertion and was not part of the original Georgian frontage. This in turn suggests that the passageway is a post Georgian creation and it then follows that the terrace was further subdivided to reach its present plan.

Pre 1890 photographs show considerable changes since then to the south elevation of both No 5 and No 2. In particular all the windows have been renewed with simpler sash windows of four panes whereas originally there were Georgian sashes with more lights. In addition the eastern ground floor window of No 2 was a Georgian bow design. This and what appear to be signboards on the elevation and the canopy over the entrances suggest that the premises were used on a commercial basis as a shop or offices. The Yorkshire sliding sash window in the uppermost storey at the east end has also been added.

Much of the evidence within No 2 College Street is obscured by wallpaper and modern plaster. It has several attic bedrooms and here considerable evidence for the roof trusses survives in the northern half of the roof. The eastern face of truss III can be seen in the party wall with No 5, though covered with wallpaper. The passing brace can be seen and the tie beam but no strut. There are also two studs rising from the tie beam to the passing brace and the collar which is hidden from view by the ceiling.The east wall of the same room shows the principal rafter, passing brace and strut of truss IIII. Despite a thick coating of white gloss paint the carpenter’s marks are still visible. The joint between the strut and the principal rafter is an open notched lap. The tie beam is hidden but the southern half can be seen on the other side of the wall at floor level. This evidence, coupled with that visible in No 5, shows that four roof trusses have partly survived and more of their timbers must lie hidden in the roof spaces.

Apart from the west gable truss in each case these trusses are associated with partition walls at first floor level. The RCHM suggested the original disposition of the roof was five trusses, starting numerically at the west gable. No evidence for a fifth truss is now visible but may have existed when the RCHM made its survey. The eastern bay of the house is irregular in plan as it abuts St William’s College. Part of the half-timbered west wall of the college can be seen in a bedroom cupboard in No 2. It seems that the irregular space between No 2 and the college was gradually enclosed in an extension of the original house. This has blurred and largely destroyed the original arrangements of the east gable wall. More evidence may survive hidden in the roof space but this area is not accessible.

SYO1870; 5 Minster Yard and 2 College Street, S. Harrison Report

NMR Information

BF060855 5 MINSTER YARD, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued.

NMR, NMR data (Unpublished document). SYO2214.

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

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unpublished document: NMR. NMR data.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1981. City of York Volume V: The Central Area.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Jun 6 2020 10:58AM


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