Building record MYO1984 - The Chantry, Bishopthorpe


House. Early-mid C18 with C19 extension to rear. Colourwashed brick with ashlar dressings and Welsh slate roof. 2 storeys, 5 bays. 3-course plinth. Former central entrance now with C20 casement window, otherwise sashes with glazing bars throughout with ashlar cills, moulded to first floor, and with flat arches of gauged brick and ashlar keystones.


Grid reference SE 5974 4768 (point)
Map sheet SE54NE
Civil Parish Bishopthorpe, City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

House. Early-mid C18 with C19 extension to rear. Colourwashed brick with ashlar dressings and Welsh slate roof. 2 storeys, 5 bays. 3-course plinth. Former central entrance now with C20 casement window, otherwise sashes with glazing bars throughout with ashlar cills, moulded to first floor, and with flat arches of gauged brick and ashlar keystones. End stacks.

C19 entrance now in right gable end: 6-panel door under oblong fanlight with glazing bars beneath gable-ended hood. Tumbled-in brickwork to gable ends. Extension has mainly sashes with glazing bars, some with moulded bargeboards. Interior: shutters to most windows. C19 acanthus frieze to left rear ground floor room.

Listing NGR: SE5974647688

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

The Chantry is a substantial, detached, two-storey, eighteenth century dwelling with a nineteenth century extension, attics and a cellar. It is constructed of colour washed brick under a Welsh slate roof with numerous, gable, brick-built chimney stacks. The Chantry is located at the south-east end of Chantry Lane which is a dead-end land to the east of Bishopthorpe. The Chantry has a large garden to the east which runs down to The Ouse. It is contained by a treeline and fencing to the north and east; an historic wall which faces Ferry Lane to the south and the southern gable of a new dwelling and an historic wall to the west. The site contains a former coach house and stable which have been converted and extended to form annexe accommodation in the form of a cottage called ‘Magnolia Cottage’. This also includes a double garage which serves the main house. The kitchen garden, parking court and yard to Magnolia Cottage are all enclosed by modern fencing or hedging to create separate parcels of land within the overall site.

The Chantry is grade II listed, early to mid-eighteenth-century house, it was built prior to the demolition of the adjacent medieval church and outlived the church’s eighteenth-century replacement which is now in ruins. It is thought that The Chantry was built as a Vicarage to serve the medieval church, possibly following the demolition of a medieval chantry house on lower ground to the east. It was extended substantially during the nineteenth century to the rear (south) and also underwent alteration during the twenty-first century. The former stable block and coach house have been converted to create annexe accommodated called Magnolia Cottage. As a pre-1948 structure this constitutes a curtilage listed building. The majority of the physical structure and plan form of The Chantry date from the building’s two main periods of construction in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Historic mapping indicates that The Chantry garden is likely to be the site of an earlier medieval chantry site. This was probably connected to the medieval church that previously occupied the site of the ruined church of St Andrew. Oral records report that the current tennis courts, which occupy a level platform of higher ground which sits in line with the nearby church, were built on the site of the medieval chantry. The 1851 OS survey supports this theory with the words, ‘Site of the Chantry House’ located over the centre of the garden. There is an additional annotation stating that the domestic chapel recorded in this survey is ‘erected on the site of The Chantry chapel built in 1241’, although the location of this domestic chapel is not identified. It is certainly not the chapel that is currently seen on the site, now converted to an office, as the site of this structure is shown as undeveloped land on the 1851 survey. It is possible that the domestic chapel referred to in this map is one of the buildings shown to the south of the site.

The 1846-7 OS survey, indicates that the site was more heavily developed than it is today with a substantial structure connecting to the south-east apex of the coach house which, in turn, connects to two staggered structures which are located on the edge of the current kitchen garden. The proposed car port will be roughly located where these staggered structures are shown. This survey also shows that the kitchen garden has been an enclosed area, separate from the main lawn, since at least 1847 and that the rear access was also in use at this time. It is unclear whether the current ‘White House’ is recorded as being ‘The Vicarage’ or The Chantry although it is generally held that The Chantry acted as The Vicarage and the 1906 OS revision would support this.

The 1906 OS revision shows that the south-east corner of the house has been extended beyond the outbuilding to the south to create a deeper courtyard. The southern projection of the nineteenth century bay is not shown, however, so it is likely that, rather than an extension, this change in footprint refers to the construction of the existing chapel (now office) which was originally a detached structure. The larger outbuilding appears to have been extended to create an ‘L’ shaped footprint and the three outbuildings beyond, which collectively had a fairly substantial footprint, have been replaced with a single outbuilding. A boundary separates the eastern garden from this service area and the former kitchen garden by what appear to be three open ended bays whose use is not clear.

The principal elevation of the original, eighteenth century house faced north, with the main access door located in this elevation. A side access ran along the western boundary to outbuildings beyond to the south. This Georgian dwelling was only one room deep and six bays wide with attic rooms providing servants’ accommodation and gable stacks. Fenestration was formed from, and remains, six over six pane, vertical sliding sash windows and the roof is slate. The building is constructed of brick which is painted white although it is likely that the house was not painted until the later extensions were constructed.

The later nineteenth century alterations to The Chantry wrought significant change. The building was extended substantially to the south with a large, hipped roof block containing elegant windows that faced out over the large, eastern garden. The principal access door was re-located to the western elevation which faced the drive. The former, northern forecourt/ front garden was planted and became a subservient side garden which, along with the eighteenth-century ground floor, is now concealed from view in the approach to the house by the boundary hedging. A mono-pitch link between the original dwelling and nineteenth century extension has possibly been formed over eighteenth-century service rooms and a ‘U’ shaped courtyard to the south has resulted from the creation of service rooms.

The twentieth and early twenty-first century saw further phases of development. A substantial, twentieth-century, painted brick terrace was created which projects beyond the eastern elevation into the eastern garden. A projecting, twentieth-century bay window, was also constructed above the service wing on the eastern elevation. In the early twenty-first century, this bay was extended to create a full height, oriel window with a glazed walkway behind and a modern spiral stair which was built in the location of a missing earlier service stair. In addition to the bay, two sections of the service wing walls were removed and a lightweight link a lantern was fitted within the intervening courtyard to create a larger kitchen. A slim, mono-pitch extension was also added to the east elevation of Magnolia Cottage and a discrete link was formed between the kitchen and disused chapel, which was converted to an office to connect this to the house and bring it into use. An enclosed yard was formed to the south of Magnolia Cottage using close boarded fencing.

At some point following the 1950 OS revision, the kitchen garden was reinstated. This now has a number of associated structures both within its bounds and beyond, along the southern boundary wall. A tarmac parking court has also been created which is separated from the eastern garden by a modern fence. Recent flood defence plans drawn up by the St Andrew’s Trust show that the boundary wall between The Chantry and the ruined church of St Andrew is an early nineteenth-century plinth wall that formed part of a Georgian flood defence scheme. Whether there have been changes to the boundary with St Andrew's church is uncertain, but part of the northern garden may once formed part of the churchyard and therefore contain historic graves. Potential, archaeological evidence associated with the medieval chantry house, which is likely to have been linked with the medieval church, may also exist within the eastern garden.

Derived from SYO2572 1 Voyage Ltd, 2020, The Chantry, Bishopthorpe

Sources/Archives (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Jun 23 2022 10:04AM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.