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HO: 92 Micklegate, York YO1 6JX +44 (0) 1904 651 880Telephone:
+44 (0) 1904 627 205Fax:
info@yorkconservationtrust.orgE-mail:

Middleton House, 38 Monkgate

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Monkgate is one of the original main routes into the City of York from the north-east. The church of St. Maurice was erected during the 12th century outside Monk Bar and contained evidence to suggest an extra-mural settlement had once existed at that time. The church was unfortunately demolished in the 19th century. None of the surviving domestic buildings antedate the destruction which occurred here during the English Civil War (1625 – 1649).

This beautiful Georgian house was built c. 1700 for a wealthy property owner Benjamin West, who also owned two adjoining tenements, all three of which were let. The original house was of two storeys, L-shaped on plan, with a symmetrical five-bay front and finished with a Dutch Gable at each end. Subsequent owners included Isaac Johnson, baker, and Joseph Beckett, silkweaver. A contract for the sale of the house and of No. 40 by the widow of John Preston in 1772 mentions two new-built chambers, indicating the building of rooms over the carriageway to the N. E. but these rooms, now part of No. 38, were originally an extension of No. 40; it was probably also Preston who added the third storey in the third quarter of the 18th century. In 1798 the house was bought by the Rev. Charles Wellbeloved, who in 1803 became principal of Manchester College, founded in Manchester in 1786 as a dissenting academy. The college was moved to York in 1803 and accommodated in Wellveloved’s house until 1811.

It was presumably for the college that the house was enlarged by additions at the back and the extension of the N. Room on the ground floor. The present arch to the carriageway is of this date. The newly enlarged N. room was entirely refitted, the fireplace surround and flanking cupboards being decorated by Wolstenholme.

On the street front original sashes with thick glazing bars survive only in the ground floor windows; the stucco dressing to the surround of the front door is not original. Inside, most of the original staircase remains but the lowest flight was refitted with lighter, twisted balusters before the middle of the 18th century. An enriched fireplace surround of the mid 18th century remains in a room over the carriageway and in two other upper rooms are decorated iron firegrates by Carron, probably c. 1803, set in surrounds of the same date.

Charles Wellbeloved was born on 6th April 1769 at St. Giles, London. He was raised by his Grandfather, Charles Wellbeloved (1713 – 1782), who was a close friend of the famous Methodist preacher, John Wesley (see Wesley Chapel, Aldwark).

The Trust acquired and renovated this property in 1990. Further information about the history of this property can be obtained from our book “Historical Properties Walking Guide”.

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