Monument record MYO786 - Norman House, rear of 48-50 Stonegate


The remains of a Norman house of c1170 consisting of the south angle, and sections of the south east and south west walls, the latter containing a two light, Norman window. The walls stand to a height of approximately 15ft.


Grid reference SE 6025 5208 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Walls embedded in rear walls of Nos 46, 48 and 50 (qqv) comprising remains of hall-house with undercroft. Late C12. Tooled magnesian limestone. Wall approximately 11 metres long, attached to rear of No.46, retains first floor window of 2 round-arched lights beneath semicircular rere-arch with central shaft having moulded base and waterleaf capital: window rebated for shutter for which one hinge survives and socket for locking bar. Wall approximately 6 metres long, attached to rear of Nos 48 and 50, incorporates on first floor rebated cupboard recess, grooved for shelves, with timber lintel. Excavations in 1939 uncovered the foundations of three central piers, now below ground, which originally supported the undercroft roof. Scheduled Ancient Monument.

(City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 225). Listing NGR: SE6025452078

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

Norman House, ruin, is situated behind Nos. 48, 50. It consists of the ramains of two adjacent walls of a two-storey house late 12th century date, discovered in 1939 during the demolition of a later building within which they had been incorporated. Nothing is known of the site before 1376 by which time it belonged to the prebend of Ampleforth, one of several prebendal houses of York Minster which adjoined in the immediate locality (CPR, 1307-13, 431; 1374-77, 242, 474). The house was about 47 ft. back from the line of the street frontage and consisted of an undercroft and first floor hall lit by windows in the S.W. wall. The major part was probably demolished by the 18th century at the latest. Though fragmentary, the remains are of great historical interest.

The walls can only be seen from what was originally the interior of the house, now a small open court, recently repaved.; they are built of squared magnesian limestone with a diagonally-tooled finish, in courses 7-10 in. deep. The S.S. Wall was almost certainly a gable-end and has an offset at about the level of the eaves of the side walls; it forms the end wall of the rear wing of Nos. 48, 50 and the masonry is very patchy, surrounded by much modern brick facing. |On the first floor is a cupboard with timber lintel, rebate for a door, and grooves on each side for a shelf. The surviving part of the S.W wall is 16 ft. long and includes one complete first-floor window and the reveal of a second.The wall has an offset of 4 in. to support the first floor, which must have been of timber, and above that is 2 ft. 8 in. thick. The window has two arched lights divided by a shaft with moulded base and water-leaf capital. It was not glazed but is rebated internally for shutters, one hinge surviving on the N.W. side, and on the S.E. reveal is a large socket for a locking bar. The half-round rear-arch is formed of well-shaped voussiors. Immediately to each side of the window the external face of the wall has a thin plaster finish. Continuing to the N.W. is a much thinner wall of later date, partly of brick but incorporating some reused stone from the Norman House. Excavations in 1939 showed that the original floor was 3 1/2 ft.below the existing ground level and that there were traces of the foundations of three central piers or posts to support the first floor.; the base of a corbelled-out garderobe shaft was also seen but is not now visible (YAYAS, Report 1951-52, 36-39).

1981. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York. Volume V, the Central Area. P 225. London: RCHME

Behind Nos. 48-50 (access by the passage of No. 52a) remains of the Norman House discovered in 1939. Two magnesian limestonewalls of a two-storey late C12 house which originally consisted of an undercroft with first-floor hall. A complete arched two-light upper window survives. The round-headed lights are divided by a shaft with a waterleaf capital.

Pevsner N and Neave D 1972. The Buildings of England:Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, p233. London: Penguin

By 1376, the Norman House was the home of the Prebend of Ampleforth, one of the 36 prebends of York Minster. The system of prebends to cathedrals was introduced sometime after 1150. A prebend is a canon of the cathedral supported by revenues from a specific ecclesiastical estate. Income varied and some prebends were extremely wealthy. The manor of Ampleforth was granted to the Archbishop of York in the 11th century and this supported the Prebend of Ampleforth. An Anglo-Danish chief, Ulf, transferred several manors, including Ampleforth, to the Dean and Chapter of York in the 11th century. As a form of transfer deed, he presented the cathedral with a ceremonial drinking horn inscribed with the words “Ulf, a prince in Western Deira, gave this horn with his lands”. A rare survival from the 11th century, the horn is an elephant tusk carved with Islamic style figures which may originate from workshops in Salerno in Italy. The horn disappeared during the Civil War (1642-51) but was, later, returned to York Minster where it is on display today.

The house continued to be used by clergy attached to York Minster but later development surrounded the house and, by the eighteenth century, the Norman House had mostly disappeared until the two remaining walls were discovered in 1939.

Repairs undertaken by City of York Council 1993-94.

NMR Information:

A medieval house known as The Norman House situated to the rear of Nos 48 and 50. The house has been dated to the late 12th century on architectural grounds. The monument includes two adjacent stone walls which formed two sides of the house and also the interior of the house in which below ground remains are known to survive. It was a prebendal house of Osbaldwick and in 1376, of Ampleforth. Prebendal houses were the residences of clergymen, or prebendaries, who received the rent or tithe from a particular property which had been set aside for the purpose of providing their income. The Norman House was one of several prebendal houses of York Minister which were located in the same area. The major part of the Norman House is thought to have been demolished by the 18th century at the latest and the surviving remains incorporated into new buildings. These were demolished in 1939 and the ruins of the Norman House were discovered. This is the earliest known medieval house in York. Scheduled.

Full description

[SE 6025 5207]. The remains of a Norman house, dating from about 1170, and scheduled as an ancient monument, are preserved at the rear of Nos. 48-50 Stonegate. (1-2)
The remains consist of the south angle, and sections of the south east and south west walls, the latter containing a two light, Norman window. The walls stand to a height of approximately 15 ft.

See G.P. AO/63/116/2 for illustration of window. (3)

1. STONEGATE 5343 (north-west side)

Remains of Norman House in Church Passage off Stonegate

SE 6052 SW 27/599 14.6.54

Late C12 remains of 2 adjacent walls of a 2-storey house, discovered in 1939 during demolition of a later building in which the remains had been incorporated and which now include a round-headed splayed window opening of 2 lights, and mullion with water-leaf capital and base. A.M.

(RCHM Vol V, Monument 469).(4)

Norman House, Stonegate SCHEDULED York- SE 603521.(5)


1 VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION Y. Archit. & A.S., Ann. Rep. 1951-2, pp. 36-39. (J.S. Syme)
3 Field Investigators Comments F1 RWE 10-JUN-63
4 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. DOE(HHR) City of York, N. Yorks, June 1983, 329.

Scheduled Monument Notification. Scheduled 05-Jul-2002

BF061196 THE NORMAN HOUSE, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued.

People and Organisations

Compiler D SMITH 1962-12-28 1962-12-28 Ordnance Survey Archaeology Officer 08-FEB-1960-31-MAY-1961 and 01-NOV-1966-26-JUL-1974
Compiler RICHARD W EMSLEY 1963-06-10 1963-06-10 OS AO 22-JUN-1959 to 1973 (613)

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

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

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1981. City of York Volume V: The Central Area.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Feb 20 2024 4:17PM


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