© Mr Martin Roberts
THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS, BLAKE STREET (south west side)
YORK, YORK, NORTH YORKSHIRE
Mr Martin Roberts
02 August 2001
14 June 1954
Date of last amendment:
14 June 1954
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
SE6052SW BLAKE STREET
1112-1/27/48 (South West side)
14/06/54 The Assembly Rooms
Assembly Rooms. 1730; Lesser Assembly Room screen and
decoration 1773; building refronted and portico added 1828:
interior opened up in 1859. Major restoration and
refurbishment 1990. Assembly Rooms by Lord Burlington; portico
by JB Pritchett; 1859 alterations by JB and W Atkinson.
MATERIALS: front and portico of ashlar; left return of
orange-buff brick in English garden-wall bond; clerestory of
stuccoed timber. Slate roofs with brick stack, main roof
hipped above prominent eaves cornice.
PLAN: a basilica enclosed by suite of inter-connecting rooms.
EXTERIOR: 1 storey and attic; 5-bay front. Centre bays fronted
by pedimented tetrastyle Ionic portico. Flight of steps leads
to central double doors each of 4 raised and fielded panels
recessed in fasciated architrave with cornice hood on foliated
volutes; wrought-iron lamp bracket above. Outer bays have
18-pane sash windows in similar architraves with cornices set
in square-headed recesses between attached Ionic columns.
Full-width entablature supports balustraded parapet on each
side of pediment and breaks forward over portico. Attic has
five 24-pane windows.
INTERIOR: vestibule and anterooms: stone flagged floors. Main
doorcase with enriched architrave and bayleaf garland frieze;
curved subsidiary doorcases of painted stone with pulvinated
friezes: all have moulded cornice overdoors. 3-panel double
doors. Moulded skirtings and cornices. Anteroom to left has
stone chimneypiece with eared surround and moulded cornice
shelf on grooved brackets; C19 alcove cupboards with bordered
glazing; plaster roundel over inner door. Anteroom to right
has fireplace in eared and enriched architrave with pulvinated
frieze and moulded cornice shelf.
Circular Room: lined with wall paintings of 1951. Painted
stone fireplace in eared and fasciated surround with
pulvinated frieze and cornice shelf. Curved enriched
doorcases. Domed ceiling lit by octagonal lantern.
Assembly Room: peristyle of Corinthian columns supporting full
entablature of garlanded bayleaf frieze and dentilled and
modillioned cornice. Walls behind broken by alternately
rectangular and semicircular niches over raised band.
Clerestory of Composite pilasters with swagged capitals,
enriched frieze and cornice. Venetian glass chandeliers.
Lesser Assembly Room: two marble chimneypieces with eared
fasciated surrounds, pulvinated friezes and cornice shelves.
Venetian arch screen contains entrance to Cube Room with
round-arched recess enriched with guilloche mouldings flanked
by 2-leaved 3-panelled doors in enriched doorcases: plaster
ornament above of medallions and musical instruments entwined
with ribbons. Original lunette window; coved ceiling of 1859
with central lantern encircled by flutes within rectangular
frame with angle mouldings.
Cube Room: painted stone fireplace with enriched eared
surround and dentilled cornice shelf breaking forward over
grooved scroll brackets. Coved ceiling with square lantern in
border of rosettes. Recess: lunette window. Moulded cornice to
ceiling lit by domed oculus in dentilled surround encircled by
guilloche mouldings, and in surround of guilloche mouldings
with angle rosettes.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the Assembly Rooms are of seminal importance
in the history of English architecture. They were designed by
Lord Burlington in 1730. The foundation stone was laid on 1st
March 1731 and the building was completed by August 1732. The
building cost »5,000.
(City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 100-2;
Studies in Architectural History : Vol.1: Wittkower R:
Burlington and his Work in York: York: 1954-: 47-66).