King's Manor - Victorian

Principals House

King’s Manor, though once the medieval Abbot’s house for the Abbot of St Mary’s and later the headquarters of the Council of the North, had suffered more than 200 years of decline since the end of the sixteenth century.

The Manor was revived in the early nineteenth century with the opening of the Manor National School in the south-west part of the Manor in 1813. Its revival continued in 1833 when it also became a school for the blind - established in the memory of the anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce (1759-1833).

Throughout the Victorian period, King’s Manor continued as both the Manor National School, in the south-west part of the Manor, and the Blind School (now the Archaeology Graduate School).

During this period the complex of buildings was further extended by architects J.B. & W. Atkinson and Walter Brierley. In the 1890s a gymnasium and a cloister were built which now form the second courtyard and in 1900 the Principal’s House (adjacent to York City Art Gallery) was built on the site of the old rose garden for the principal of the Blind School.

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