A little history……………...

Jacobs Well, the parish room for the Priory Church of the Holy Trinity, Micklegate, York, and for which the Parochial Church Council is responsible, was originally a late medieval house consisting of an open hall with a two-storey cross-wing on the East (Trinity Lane) side. This is an unusual medieval building and not one found elsewhere in York. What was originally a separate house forms the northern part of this cross-wing where the kitchen is now located.

At the Dissolution of the adjacent Priory in 1539 the house was purchased by Dame Isabella Ward, the last Prioress of Clementhorpe Nunnery, but before her death was conveyed to Feoffees for charitable purposes. Around 1600 the hall was converted into a two storey building which became an inn at some later date.

Early in the nineteenth century, to increase accommodation, the innkeeper added a third storey constructed in brick, thus heavily loading the timber frame below. The church acquired the property in 1904 and an extensive renovation was put in train, including the installation of a new staircase to the north of the original hall and a large bay window in the South Wall.

The entrance in Trinity Lane was improved by the addition of carved entrance porch brackets and canopy from the Wheatsheaf Inn in Davygate, formerly the town house of the Bishop of Durham.

In the early 1980’s, the Church Council became concerned about the condition of the building and a survey showed that the medieval frame had been overloaded by the addition of the extra storey. Following monitoring by English Heritage, it was accepted that the only solution was to remove the third storey. and replace the roof at its lower 1815 level.

An appeal was launched and with a generous grant from English Heritage the work on the Grade 1 Listed Building took place, being completed in October 1991.

The Church Council was delighted with the result and a management committee was set up to manage the building and to make it available for hire to the public. About this time, the Gild of Butchers decided to move from their Hall in the Shambles and make Jacobs Well their ‘home’. Much of the furniture in the building belongs to them.

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