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Historic England Research Records

The Kings Manor

Hob Uid: 58182
Location :
York
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SE6002052170
Summary : The King's Manor, now incorporated into the University of York, was built in 1483-1502 as the abbot's house of the Benedictine abbey of St Mary. The abbey was dissolved in 1539 by Henry VIII and the abbot's house was established as the northern headquarters for the King's Council. When Henry VIII visited York with Queen Catherine Howard in 1541 the building was altered extensively in preparation for their arrival. In the mean time however, the abbey church was gradually being dismantled and by 1550 many of the buildings had been taken down or fallen into disrepair. Between 1568 and 1570, Thomas Radcliffe, President of the Council of the North, ordered extensive alterations and by 1570 the house was described as a U-shaped building. It was altered even further over the next fifty years and in 1641 the Council of the North was abolished. From 1667 the manor was the residence of the governor of the City of York and in 1688, when Parliament took possession of the house, it was leased to Alderman Robert Waller and divided up into dwellings, workshops and warehouses. In 1723, when Waller's lease expired, it was leased to Sir Thomas Robinson of Newby, in whose family it remained until the early 19th century. The Yorkshire School for the Blind occupied many of the buildings between 1835 and 1958 after which time they were acquired by the York City Council and leased to the University of York in 1963. Today the King's Manor accommodates the university's Department for Archaeology, Centre for Conservation, Centre for Eighteenth-Century studies and the Centre for Medieval Studies.
More information : [SE 60025217] School for the Blind formerly The King's Manor [GT]. (1)

The buildings known as the King's Manor are the result of successive alterations and additions to the abbot's house of St. Mary's Abbey. At three points 13th cent. work is visible. (2)

The buildings are in good condition. See G.P. AO 63/114/7 for N.E aspect, and AO/M for illustration of northern range from the inner quadrangle. (3)

1. EXHIBITION SQUARE
5343

14.6.54 The King's Manor
(The University of York)
(formerly listed as The King's
Manor and The Abbot's House)
1.7.68 and basement below modern
building adjoining The Yorkshire
Museum on the north-east side

SE 5952 SE 12/26
SE 6052 SW 27/26

I GV

2.
Originally the Abbot's House of St Mary's Abbey, and built by Abbot Sevier between 1485 and 1495. After the Dissolution, it was retained by Henry VIII as the official residence of the President of the Council of the North. Robert Holgage, the first to hold this appointment, altered and rebuilt the house for the visit of Henry in 1541; and it was repaired in 1569 by the Earl of Sussex. Circa 1572 Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon added the large brick wing on the north-west side, and various additional buildings on one side of the quadrangle for the High Commission Court. Circa 1616 Lord Sheffield built the north side of the principal quadrangle and the 2 external doorways bearing the Royal Arms of James I. Between 1626 and 1633 Thomse Wentworth, later Earl of Strafford, added a gallery and chapel on the west side of the quadrangle and the large doorway with the arms he assumed on being created Viscount Wentworth. James VI and I stayed here on his way south from Scotland to claim the English throne. Charles I also stayed here. Interesting interiors. The basement of the building to south-west of the inner quadrangle, of limestone ashlar, survives and is included although it has a mid C20 brick superstructure.
(RCHM Vol. IV, Monument 11.) (4)

In 1539 the Benedictine abbey of St Mary was dissolved by Henry VIII and acquired by the Crown for the northern headquarters of the King's Council. The abbot's house, which was rebuilt during the reigns of Richard III and Henry VII, proved the most suitable building for this purpose and became the nucleus of the King's House. When Henry VIII visited York with Queen Catherine Howard in 1541 the building was altered extensively so as to prepare for their arrival. In the mean time the abbey church was gradually being dismantled with the bells removed in 1541-2 and the remaining lead removed in 1550. In a survey carried out at the end of Henry's reign it was noted that many of the monastic buildings, including some that had been converted for use by the king, were in a semi-dismantled state. The abbot's house, however, wasn't mentioned in the survey. Between 1568 and 1570 Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex and President of the Council of the North, arranged for extensive repairs and alterations to be undertaken. In 1570 the house is described as a U-shaped building and was extended even further over the next fifty years. When James I visited York for the first time some time prior to 1609 he stated his intention to repair the manor and convert it as a regal palace for use on his trips to and from Scotland. Between 1609 and 1611 a new hall was constructed and extensive repairs carried out to many of the buildings on the site. Charles I stayed at the manor at least twice during the 1630s and in 1641 the Council of the North was abolished. The buildings had probably fallen into disrepair as when the king visited York in 1641 and 1642 he did not stay there and after his execution the manor was said to have undergone "'great waste and spoil'". In 1667 the manor was the residence of John, Lord Frescheville, the governor of the City, who was succeeded by Sir John Resesby in 1682. In 1687 James II leased the manor to a Roman Catholic priest by the name of Lawson however after the Revolution, when Parliament took possession of the house, it was leased to Alderman Robert Waller and divided up into dwellings, workshops and warehouses. In 1723, when Waller's lease expired, it was leased to Sir Thomas Robinson of Newby, in whose family it remained until the early 19th century. The Yorkshire School for the Blind occupied many of the buildings between 1835 and 1958, and in 1961 they were taken over by the University of York. (5)

This source, on the University of York's website, contains a brief overview of the history of the King's Manor.

The manor was divided into apartments in 1688 and was said to have gone into gradual decline. While occupied by the Yorkshire School of the Blind it was gradually restored by JB and W Atkinson and Walter Brierly. A gymnasium and second courtyard were built in the 1890s and the Principal's house was built in 1900.

The York City Council acquired the building in 1958 and leased it to the University of York in 1963 to house its Institute for Advanced Architectural Studies. Major restoration works were carried out by Fielden and Mawson, which saw the demolition and replacement of several buildings.

Today the King's Manor accommodates the Department for Archaeology, Centre for Conservation, Centre for Eighteenth-Century studies and the Centre for Medieval Studies. (6)

The revised listed building description for the King's Manor dates from 14-MAR-1997. Please see the entry for full details.

The abbott's house was rebuilt in 1483-1502.
The King's Manor was remodelled and rebuilt as school buildings by JB and W Atkinson circa 1870 and further alterations were carried out circa 1900 by WH Brierley. Restoration, some rebuilding and modernisation was undertaken by Fielden and Mawson in 1963-64. (7)

The Abbey of St Mary dates from the 12th century and is now a ruin. Please see the full scheduled monument description for details. (8)



Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:1250 1961.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : A history of Yorkshire: the city of York
Source details :
Page(s) : 529-31
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RWE 06-JUN-63
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE(HHR) City of York, N. Yorks June 1983
Page(s) : 88
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 4 : 1485-1660 (Part 2)
Source details :
Page(s) : 355-364
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : 1998. A brief history of the King's Manor, University of York [accessed 21-MAY-2009]
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Revised List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, City of York, North Yorkshire, Part 1, 14-MAR-1997
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 09-Sep-04
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built C12
Monument End Date : 1200
Monument Start Date : 1101
Monument Type : Monastic Dwelling
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Abbey dissolved 1539
Monument End Date : 1539
Monument Start Date : 1539
Monument Type : Monastic Dwelling
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Change of use 1539
Monument End Date : 1539
Monument Start Date : 1539
Monument Type : Royal Palace
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Altered 1541
Monument End Date : 1541
Monument Start Date : 1541
Monument Type : Royal Palace
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Stuart
Display Date : Change of use 1667
Monument End Date : 1667
Monument Start Date : 1667
Monument Type : Official Residence
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Stuart
Display Date : Extensively altered 1688
Monument End Date : 1688
Monument Start Date : 1688
Monument Type : Apartment, Workshop, Warehouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Hanoverian
Display Date : Change of use 1835
Monument End Date : 1835
Monument Start Date : 1835
Monument Type : School For The Blind
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Georgian
Display Date : Change of use 1723
Monument End Date : 1723
Monument Start Date : 1723
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Victorian
Display Date : Extended c1870
Monument End Date : 1880
Monument Start Date : 1860
Monument Type : School For The Blind
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Restoration and change of use 1963
Monument End Date : 1963
Monument Start Date : 1963
Monument Type : Faculty Building
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 463365
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 60285
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : YK 12
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 12
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 65 SW 18
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 464254
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 535025
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 58147
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1066561
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, YORKSHIRE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1928-01-01
End Date : 1928-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 65 SW 18
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-06-06
End Date : 1963-06-06
Associated Activities : Primary, KING'S MANOR
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE KING'S MANOR, YORK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14
Associated Activities : Primary, CITY OF YORK STREETSCAPE
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31