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This whole range of buildings on Micklegate, York, is associated with the architectural firm and family of J. B. and W. Atkinson. Nos. 33, 35 nd 37 are Grade II* listed, while Nos. 39 and 41 are Grade II listed.
Nos. 35-41 Micklegate are seen here from Rougier Street Once housing, these are now mostly commercial. On the left, a group of medieval buildings were modernised with a brick façade at some time, and on the right nos. 39 and 41 Micklegate were designed new by J. B. and W. Atkinson c. 1835 (Pevsner and Neave 224). As noted above, in the nineteenth-century they were all connected with the Atkinson family. This is a busy corner as many of York’s buses run through Rougier Street. From this point Micklegate rises quite steeply (for York!) to the right or south, towards that part of the street with eighteenth-century houses of quality. The churchyard of St Martin-cum-Gregory is immediately to the south of no. 41, and can just be glimpsed here.
Nos. 33-37 (as the Heritage Listing groups them) are earlier housing with amendments by later owners; the distorted window-frame at the left shows there is a half-timbered building behind the later brick frontage. Nos. 35 and 37 were owned by the architect Peter Atkinson junior by 1812. He was the father of the Atkinson brothers John Bowness and William, and lived at no. 37 for fifteen years; he died in 1843. The listing text says that later it was occupied by Sir William Stephenson Clark, Surgeon, and Lord Mayor of York 1839 (see RCHME, 74-75).
Left to right: (a) A three-quarter view of no. 39. (b) The doorway to no. 39. (c) The cornice.
Nos. 39-41 Micklegate were built to the designs of J. B. & W. Atkinson in c.1835. Stone façade at ground floor level, brick elsewhere. The houses were built for a Mr. Varvill according to the heritage listing; the Atkinson brothers had their office in No. 39 in the years 1837-51. The building is in their typical neo-classical or up-dated Regency style. Micklegate was the road from London and led to the medieval bridge over the Ouse, an improved version of which had been designed by Peter Atkinson junior 1810-20, and the only bridge over the river at that time. It was a prestigious position for the office.
Details of the property used by the Atkinson brothers are as follows: it has an entrance doorway with a glazed window over it, and a bold cornice. The mouldings running between the ground and first floors can be traced across the front of both properties so it would have looked larger and grander than it actually was. In modern times the shop has the part painted black, which means the unity of the façade is lost, while the second entrance doorway probably went even earlier. However, this was always two properties, with no. 41 the larger, as the position of the chimney stack on the roof ridge demonstrates. The former architects’ office appears at present to be in domestic use.
The range does not look particularly distinguished now, but the heritage listing suggests that it makes an important contribution to the historic road, and it is of special interest because of its links to one of York's major architectural firms.
"33, 35 and 37, Micklegate." British Listed Buildings. Web. 24 March 2021.
"39 and 41, Micklegate." British Listed Buildings. Web. 24 March 2021.
"An Inventory of Historical Monuments in the City of York, Volume 3, South-west." London: HMSO, 1972.
Pevsner, Nikolaus, and David Neave. Yorkshire: York and the East Riding. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002.
Created 24 March 2021