Bathurst House 86, Micklegate

Bathurst House

Micklegate attracted the rich and powerful, one reason being that it was the Royal processional route into the city.  In 1736 local historian Francis Drake recorded the great number of ‘very good new houses’ many of which remain to this day.  One of those was built for Charles Bathurst of Clints near Richmond.

John Cossins included an image of the house on his New and Exact Plan of the City of York in 1727, as one of the smartest new town houses.

Perhaps in a romantic gesture, Charles had his initials and those of his wife Frances, impressed on the heads of the drainpipes.  The family crest included a snake eating its own tail held in a left hand. This still decorates all the brackets of both downfall pipes.

When Frances died she was buried in St. Martin-cum-Gregory church across the road, where she was described on her tombstone as ‘a person of excellent accomplishments both of body and mind, and adorned the several stations of life she went through.’

Their son, Charles Bathurst, who lived here in the 1720s was also very accomplished.  He was not only High Sheriff of Yorkshire but, as a Freemason, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of All England.  This Charles died unmarried and so the house was occupied by the Honourable Abstrupus Danby, a lawyer.

Always a smart address, the history of the house is typical of many eighteenth-century houses in York.  Bathurst House was inhabited by professional people until it was a hotel, between 1911 and 1921, and thereafter the York YWCA.  In the 1960s it was owned by the University of York and it now houses Barron and Barron, a firm of Chartered Accountants.

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