SE 6051 SE,
Crown Court and railings attached to front
(Formerly Listed as: CASTLE PRECINCT The Assize Court)
Court House, now Crown Courts, and railings attached to front.
1773-77; rear altered and new range added 1818-21; interior
remodelled and podium added c1835; further rear extension of
1870, and extension at right end of 1937. Restored 1991.
Original design by John Carr; rear extension by Peter Atkinson
junior and Matthew Philips; 1835 work by G. T. Andrews and P. F.
MATERIALS: sandstone ashlar, part on limestone basement; rear
range of brick rendered in Roman cement, with Roman cement
mouldings. Hipped roofs of slate with brick, rendered and
stone stacks; cupola roofs of lead. Podium of dressed stone
with painted cast-iron railings.
EXTERIOR: front of 2 storeys with 1-storey extension at each
end, on low podium; pedimented tetrastyle portico 'in antis'
flanked by 4-bay ranges with distyle in antis end bays, and
single bay extensions; portico and columnated bays in giant
Ionic order break forward slightly. Broad flight of steps up
to podium; second flight of steps to raised podium before
portico. Basement openings sunk in podium behind iron grilles
have flat chamfered lintels. Central double doors within
portico, flanked by round-headed radial-glazed sashes, beneath
radial fanlights and arcaded hoodmould on moulded impost band.
In returns, additional glazed panelled doors with wrought-iron
grilles and festooned scrolled overthrows, beneath tall
radial-glazed fanlights, in round-arched openings of radiating
voussoirs. 3 radial glazed oculi in moulded surrounds to first
floor, above band of guilloche moulding. Ground floor windows
in flanking ranges are round headed and radial glazed, those
in end bays stepped back beneath moulded round arch on moulded
imposts. On first floor, windows are of 6 panes, and in end
bays, radial glazed oculi. First-floor band of guilloche
moulding runs across facade, continuing behind attached
columns in end bays. Moulded modillion eaves cornice, beneath
balustraded parapet supporting a lion and unicorn couchant on
either side of pediment. Pediment tympanum encloses relief
carving of crossed fasces and staff bound with laurel, and
crowned with the figure of Justice bearing scales and spear.
Parapet terminated by pedestal blocks carved with garlands and
supporting garlanded urns. Left extension has double doors of
8 flush panels in architrave with moulded cornice hood, and
plain parapet broken by blind balustrade. Right extension
matches, with 24-pane sash window beneath cornice in place of door.
Rear: basement and 2 storeys; 12-bay main range, with
full-height polygonal bays in centre and at right end; further
right, 1-storey, 3-window wing on basement; to left, 2-storey
2-window extension. Right end of main range obscured by
1-storey 7-bay extension on basement.
In main range, basement is blind except for barred door in
centre polygonal bay and 6-pane sash windows in right end one.
On ground floors of polygonal bays windows are 15-pane sashes,
and on first floors 12-pane sashes. To left of centre bay,
ground floor windows are 12-pane sashes, and on first floor
16-pane sashes; to right, on first floor, 12-pane sashes. Wing
at right has barred lunettes in basement, and 15-pane sashes
on ground floor. Extension at left has blind basement and 2
sash windows in shallow architraves on ground floor. Front
extension has rusticated quoins, barred round-headed windows
in basement beneath arcaded hoodmould of keyed arches on
moulded impost band, and 12-pane sashes on ground floor.
Windows throughout have raised architraves beneath floating
moulded cornices: on both floors sill bands, stepped down
beneath taller windows, with moulded sill blocks on ground
floor, without sill blocks on first floor. All parts have a
moulded cornice below low plain parapet.
INTERIOR: basement has re-used cell doors of wood strengthened
with cast-iron plates.
Entrance hall and flanking Court Rooms rise through 2 storeys.
Side and front walls of entrance hall arcaded on ground floor
with lunettes beneath continuous round-arched hoodmould on
moulded imposts. Upper part lit by oculi in moulded surrounds.
Frieze of lion masks set in marigolds alternating with
triglyphs below dentil cornice enriched with band of flutes
and roundels. Inserted single storey screen concealing
staircases has central opening between sunk-panel pilasters
with paired console capitals, and flanking arcades of
round-arched windows, surmounted by balustraded gallery.
Staircase is combination of dogleg and flying staircases with
slender cast-iron balusters and moulded ramped-up handrail. At
rear of stairhall, two inserted doors in architraves with
moulded dentil cornice hoods.
Court I, to left. Lower part of walls covered in raised and
fielded panelling, the upper part behind bench in moulded
plaster panels. 12 Corinthian columns, painted to resemble
marble, carry dome lit by radial glazed lantern. Dome
entablature has frieze of alternating foliar paterae
superimposed on crossed fasces and falchions, and triglyphs,
and enriched dentilled cornice. Dome has plaster moulded
panels between rib bands of guilloche enclosing rosettes.
Bench flanked by doors of 6 raised and fielded panels in
architraves with fluted friezes and dentil cornice overdoors.
Fluted frieze continues across gallery fronts beneath
cast-iron balustrades of crossed fasces with lion mask
medallions. Main gallery has side balustrades of slender
bobbin balusters and newels, frieze and cornice similar to that in entrance hall and circular windows at rear in moulded
surrounds. C19 court furniture and benches, and on bench
canopy carved Royal Arms of 1840, initialled IW for John
Court II, to right. Decoration and fittings largely repeat
those of Court I. Variations include dome entablature with
frieze of festooned pelta and torch standards, and dentil
cornice enriched with egg-and-dart. Dome ribs are bands of
guilloche enclosing palmette decoration, terminating in
rosettes; edging of fans and festoons: gallery balustrades of
bulbous balusters: 4 original 6-panel doors recessed in deep
panelled reveals beneath fluted friezes and enriched dentil
cornice overdoors, one with rosette paterae. Doors are of 2 or
3 panels, with deep reveals on outer side, flush panelled.
Room in centre of main rear range has moulded dado rail and
panelled window cases, one of which is altered to doorway;
plain marble fireplace with panelled pilaster jambs and
cast-iron basket grate by Carron. Passage to rear is divided
by two screens of plain pilasters with grooved console
capitals, sunk panel friezes and dentil cornices; doors are
half glazed and panelled, between glazed side lights, all with
embossed glass. Doorways off passage have panelled reveals.
High Sheriff's Room has two marble chimneypieces with plain
surrounds and mantelshelves on console brackets; panelled
window reveals; deeply coffered ceiling with beam soffits
moulded in bands of pierced guilloche enclosing rosettes,
pierced foliate bosses and foliate central rose. One room
retains fireplace with fluted surround and angle roundels.
(An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York:
RCHME: The Defences: HMSO: 1972-: 82-85).
Listing NGR: SE6051751399