mansionhouse@york.gov.uk | 01904 552 036

YORK MANSION HOUSE

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Consulting on the colour of the Mansion House

One question that we’ve been considering for a while is whether to re-paint the front of the Mansion House and, if so, what colour it should be. We want to involve York residents in the final decision, so we’ll be asking for their comments on a number of options approved by historical and conservation experts. Read on to find out more.

Background

For many years now, the house has been painted in various hues of red and white, with a coloured and gilded crest. But has it always looked like that? The Opening Doors restoration has given experts a unique opportunity to study the external paintwork up close and analyse the layers in detail. Based on this evidence, we’ve drawn up a timeline of colour schemes from the past to the present.

Timeline

1732 – The house is completed. The front is left unpainted, to show off the natural colours of the fine stone and brick work.

1750s – The facade has become discoloured and dirty, so it is painted to freshen up the colours. The stone (including the pediment and crest) is painted a pale stone colour and the brick is painted brick-red to mimic the original brick and stone colour.

1790s – The whole facade, including the brick work, pediment and crest, is painted in a stone colour, perhaps to reflect the ‘pure’ neoclassical style of the time.

Around 1814 – The crest is painted in heraldic colours. The rest of the house continues to be painted stone.

Around 1884 – The brick work is again painted brick-red. The rest of the house is painted stone, and the crest is painted in heraldic colours.

From around 1924 – The brick work continues to be painted in various shades of red, the stone work in various shades of stone and the crest in heraldic colours.

Options

Our aim is to restore the appearance of the house, as far as possible to an authentic colour scheme. So, after discussions with Historic England, York Civic Trust and the Council’s Conservation department, we are putting forward three options for consultation.  These are set out below, together with artist's impressions of how the final result will look:

Option 1 – Brick and stone, with a stone-coloured crest. The brick work will be painted brick-red; the stone work, pediment and crest pale stone, as it was in the 1750s-1790s.

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Option 2 – All stone-coloured, with a coloured crest. The crest will be painted in heraldic colours and the rest of the house will be stone-coloured, as it was in c1814-1884.

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Option 3 – Brick and stone, with a coloured crest. The brick work will be painted brick-red, the stone work pale stone and the crest in heraldic colours, as it was from 1924 onwards.

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Consultation

The consultation will take place between 25 July and 5 August. We really want your comments on the proposed colours and you can let us know your thoughts in 3 ways:

a) Send us a message via Facebook or Twitter - please use hashtag #MHYpaint

b) Visit our gazebo in St Helen’s Square on Friday, 29 July or Wednesday 3 August, between 11:00am and 2:00pm.

c) Drop us an email at mansionhouse@york.gov.uk

Decision

Once all comments have been received and considered, a decision will be made and announced on 8 August.