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De Grey House, St Leonard’s Place
This property was purchased by the Trust from the City of York Council on 31 March 2005, together with the De Grey Rooms, in order to preserve the buildings for posterity as significant repairs and renovations were required to be carried out. The house was used for many years by various departments within the City of York Council.
The house was built for William Blanshard to designs dated 1835 by P. F. Robinson and G. T. Andrews. It was the only one built of a projected terrace of three. It was bought by York Central Conservative Club in 1909 and extended to the rear in 1910.
Built of brick rendered in ‘Roman Cement’ to front and side, the house is of three storeys with basement and attics in the slated mansard roof. The slightly curved three-bay front elevation, and four-bay side elevation, have identical cornices, bands and sills. The front elevation has cast-iron area railings and steps down to the basement, and one window on each of its floors was originally built blind. A single-bay, two-storey rear wing was demolished in 1910.
The interior, with five service rooms in the basement, three rooms on the other floors, lateral staircase and axial chimney-stacks, retains many original fittings. There are several marble pilastered chimney-pieces, and the ground and first floors have moulded cornices, the second floor coved cornices. The first-floor front Drawing Room is the best appointed room with enriched cornice and chimney-piece with sunk panels and corner paterae. The staircase has a cast-iron geometrical balustrade.
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