Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

York (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 60159 52055



SE6052SW BLAKE STREET 1112-1/27/41 (North East side) 14/06/54 Nos.1, 3 AND 5 and wall attached to rear of No.1


No 1 a shop, Nos 3-5 shops with residential accommodation above. To the rear, reused limestone walls with C12 tooling. C16 structure, C17 interior features, early C18 remodelling and extensions, C19 and C20 further alterations.

MATERIALS: timber framed building refronted in red-brown and orange brick in Flemish bond. Rear wings partly timber framed, partly brick in various bonds. Tiled roof with brick chimney stacks.

PLAN: Front range is a series of 3 retail units, of which No 1 is almost the full depth of the building, and No 3 is a double width room. Behind No 3-5 are wings stretching back at an angle to the front range. The front range has a roof parallel to the street with one ridge stack over No 1 and one end stack at the right end of No 3. No 5 has a hipped roof running at right angles to the street. Rear ranges have roofs mainly at right angles to the front, at a variety of pitches, with further stacks.

EXTERIOR: The front elevation has 2 storeys, and 11 windows, including 2 blocked, across the front at first floor level. At ground floor level, No 1 has a C20 shop front of pilasters supporting a blind box and flat moulded cornice, with a plate glass window and glazed door to the left. No 3 has a triangular pedimented doorcase with steps up to a door of 6 raised and fielded panels, with a radial fanlight over a moulded transom. 2 windows to either side are single plate glass lights with painted stone cills. No 5 has a plate glass window in a moulded surround with a cornice over grooved consoles, with a 6-panelled door at the right end leading to a side passage.

At first floor level, there are three 6-over-6 sashes to the left, four 8-over-8 sashes to the centre and two 6-over-6 sashes to the right flanked by blind windows. Most have flat arches of orange gauged brick, all are unhorned. There are raised brick bands at first floor level, and at the base of the brick, stone coped parapet. A rainwater head is inscribed BB 1765.

The rear elevation has a gabled timber framed wing to No 1, with a jettied first floor and brick infill. A second timber framed gable, not projecting as far, is divided between No 1 and No 3. To the rear of No 3 are flat roofed single storey extensions beyond a brick gable wing which has two first floor brick extensions with mono-pitched roofs. No 5 has a long rear wing in brick, extending the full length of the plot and enclosing the rear courtyard.

A boundary wall of reused Magnesian limestone approximately 2 metres high and 20 metres long is attached to the rear of No 1, with a further section to the rear of No 5. It has C12 diagonal tooling and probably dates to the C16.

INTERIOR: the ground floor of No 1 consists of the retail unit with a store and service rooms behind: this is without visible original features. External stairs at the rear lead to the first floor which contains two rooms with partial painted square wainscotting (panelling), early C17 but possibly reused and with a number of later interventions. There is a fireplace in the front room. Wooden stairs lead to the roof space, with timber framing visible to the external wall, some with lath and plaster infill, and turned wooden balusters and handrail on the inner side. The front roof, parallel to the street, contains a small blocked dormer and does not extend beyond the front pitch. The rear gable roof structure has two bays with the single visible truss having a clasped purlin construction. The tie beam is above the floor level of the roof space, showing the top of the timber framing from below. To the rear, the floor is higher and the rafters appear more recent. To the front, the side walls are raised above the rafters with timber framing. Heavy rafters and some braces are visible, with brick infill.

No 3 contains the remains of a timber stud partition wall between the central door and the room to the left, with a C17 moulded door frame. This room has moulded beams, forming a frame at a different angle to the walls of the room. Behind is a hallway to the left with plaster Greek key mouldings, and a late C17 staircase with open string, column-on-vase balusters to each stair and a moulded ramped handrail wreathed at the foot. Retail areas, stores and facilities extend to the rear, and include a blocked full height window with panelled shutters to the rear. No 5 is without original features on the ground floor, and has been opened out with steel beams supporting the ceilings throughout.

The first floor of No 3 and No 5 are interlinked and are dealt with together. The front range of rooms, from the left, has a store with corner fireplace with fluted surround, an office with a fireplace with a fluted surround and evidence of a former dividing wall from front to back, an office fully lined with square wainscoting incorporating two doors and a bolection moulded fireplace, an office with a bolection moulded fireplace and an end office with a corner bolection moulded fireplace. The wall between these two rooms is a partition of timber planking. To the rear of the first office is the stairwell with a strong room off to the left and access to the attic. To the right of the stair is a large irregularly shaped room with cornice, plain fireplace and a large window to the rear. To the right is a circular space with a domed ceiling and overlight, decorated with a painted frieze; originally a stairwell. Behind is a corridor leading to a partitioned room with cornicing and then to C20 workrooms. There are secondary staircases in the rear parts of the building.

The attic space in No 3 contains fragmentary timber framing including a jowled post, a small corner fireplace and a window to the rear. The exposed roof structure shows a double gable within the rear facing gable and a wooden drain arrangement. The main roof to the front shows evidence of multiple phases and alterations, including steel beams above No 5.

HISTORY: This row of buildings has a long and complex history which is reflected throughout the fabric. The RCHME report, 'City of York: The Central Area' (1981) details the suggested phasing of the structure, beginning with a sixteenth century timber framed building occupying the major part of Nos 1 and 3, extended in the early seventeenth century to the rear to include the main staircase. The panelled rooms with square wainscotting, also date to this period. In the second quarter of the eighteenth century No 5 was added to the right hand end of the group, possibly incorporating some remains of an earlier timber framed building. At this time, possibly contemporaneously with the construction of the Assembly Rooms opposite, the front of the group was remodelled and rebuilt in brick with a new roof. It seems likely that the alignment of the street was also altered at the front of Nos 1 and 3, to provide a wider entrance to the Assembly Rooms, leaving the timber coffered ceiling in No 3 on its original alignment. Further internal alterations have taken place throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and further extensions added to the rear. At present (2006) the interior of No 3-5 is being further remodelled to provide residential accommodation on the first floor.

SOURCES: N. Pevsner & D. Neave: The Buildings of England, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding (1995), 211 RCHME: City of York, the Central Area (1981),107-108.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE 1-5 Blake Street is a group of commercial buildings in the centre of York with its origins in the sixteenth century, with a number of early seventeenth century features, an early eighteenth century remodelling and various later additions and alterations. A full inspection has confirmed many features mentioned in an RCHME report of 1981. The group is clearly listable by reason of its timber framing, internal features and early eighteenth century frontage. Listing NGR: SE6016052065


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
An Inventory of the City of York V Central, (1981)
Pevsner, N, Neave, D, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire - York and the East Riding, (1995), 211


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 30 Jun 2001
Reference: IOE01/06903/11
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Martin Roberts. Source Historic England Archive
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