Building record MYO1835 - Bay Horse Inn, 55 Blossom Street


Originally a late 17th century farmhouse with mid-18th century additions when it became a public house. Altered early and mid-19th and 20th century. Front range rendered brick, with plain tile roof behind parapet. Exterior: 2 storeys and 3 bays.


Grid reference SE 5960 5127 (point)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Public house. Late C17 with mid C18 additions. Altered early and mid C19 and C20. Front range rendered brick, with plain tile roof behind parapet.

EXTERIOR: 2 storeys and 3 bays. The windows are casements with glazing bars. The central window on the ground floor has 4 lights, the right-hand window 3 lights, and the outer windows on the 1st floor 2 lights. The central window on the 1st floor is a canted oriel with an ogival leaded roof, 3 lights facing forwards, and 1 to each side. The left-hand bay contains a wide entrance with a cornice on console brackets. The door, and a fixed panel to its right, are partly-glazed. The right-hand gable is coped and has a chimney behind the ridge.

INTERIOR: not inspected. (City of York: RCHME: South-west of the Ouse: HMSO: 1972-: 65).
Listing NGR: SE5960751272

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

Bay Horse Inn, No. 55, contains a nucleus which goes back at least to the 17th century, possibly to the period of reconstruction after the Siege of York, when the property belonged to Joseph Denton (free of York 1677). It was then perhaps a small farmhouse, with a croft running back to Scarcroft, and by 1726 was described as having a Kiln, Barn and Stable (YCA, E.93, f. 30). In 1748 it belonged to Matthew Spence (1700–65), inn-holder (ibid., f. 204) and became an inn, though there is no evidence of its sign until 1798, when it was already 'The Bay Horse', very likely in reference to the famous Bay Malton, which won the Gimcrack 500 guineas at York in 1765 and even greater prizes at Newmarket in the two subsequent years (W. Pick, The York Racing Calendar). Among the later landlords of the house, during the 1860s and 1870s, was George Benson, father of George Benson (1856–1935), the York historian, most of whose childhood was spent there (York City Library, T. P. Cooper MSS.).

The earliest build is evidenced by a group of heavy ceiling joists in the ground-floor bar. The original house may have been L-shaped and it had only two floors with attics, but was later converted to three storeys. Enlargement to the W. and the addition of a second floor, with the existing staircase, doors, etc., at first floor, probably belong to the conversion of the house to an inn by Matthew Spence between 1748 and 1765. Some of the windows were altered in the 19th century, and in the back wall 18th-century work in 2½ in. bricks contrasts with very large bricks of the mid 19th century. Internally, the staircase is of the third quarter of the 18th century and there are other fittings of the Regency period, but much of the ground floor is modern.

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 3, South west. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1972. Monument 49

NMR Information
613515 Architectural Survey Investigation by RCHME/EH Architectural Survey

BF060381 BAY HORSE INN, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued.

RCHME, 1972, RCHME City of York Volume III South-west of the Ouse (Monograph). SYO64.

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

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1972. RCHME City of York Volume III South-west of the Ouse.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 28 2021 3:51PM


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