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St. Mary’s House, 66 Bootham
The Trust bought this house, which had latterly been used as a dental practice, on 26 February 2004 and it is now the home of The Council for British Archaeology, who were previously in residence at another trust-owned property, Bowes Morrell House at 111 Walmgate.
The house was built between 1852 and 1860 for a newspaper proprietor from Knaresborough, William Hargrove (Freeman of the City of York in 1847). Previously on this site was a very popular building throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries known as The Cockpit House. This house had a very chequered history and was once the scene of much rioting in 1757, culminating in a certain George Thurloe being sentenced to death, but later having his sentence commuted to transportation for life. Within the grounds of the house, in addition to the cock-fighting pit, there was an adjacent bowling green. The house was demolished in 1850, a year or two before the street of St Mary’s was constructed.
66 Bootham is one of a pair of houses built in brindled brick in Flemish Bond with a hipped roof in Welsh slate with a modillioned timber cornice, Listed Grade 2. Of three storeys with habitable cellars and attics with two bays on the Bootham elevation and three facing St. Mary’s. A stone cill band links the first floor windows. The 4 panel entrance door with side lights, facing St Mary’s, has a central distyle-in-antis porch flanked by canted bays, all with modillioned cornices.
There are particularly fine iron railings set into a stone dwarf wall with a twin top rail with spear finials. The entrance gate has carved stone piers. Stone steps down to the basement area are served by an iron gate on the Bootham front.
Internally there is a curved, cantilevered stone staircase rising from the basement to the second floor with square iron balusters and wooden handrail and statue niches. The stairwell is lit by an octagonal lantern in an oval recess. The original cooking range, boiling pot, sink and interesting sliding shutters survive in the basement kitchen.
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