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The Golden Ball Public House

A Grade II Listed Building in Micklegate, York

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Latitude: 53.9549 / 53°57'17"N

Longitude: -1.0851 / 1°5'6"W

OS Eastings: 460135

OS Northings: 451362

OS Grid: SE601513

Mapcode National: GBR NQVQ.W1

Mapcode Global: WHFC3.9VJH

Entry Name: The Golden Ball Public House

Listing Date: 14 April 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393746

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507069

Location: York, YO1

County: York

Electoral Ward/Division: Micklegate

Built-Up Area: York

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: York St Mary, Bishophill Junior

Church of England Diocese: York

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Listing Text



Public House. Early C19, with 1883 extension. 1929 remodelling of exterior and interior by Bertram Wilson, in-house architect to brewers John Smith's of Tadcaster. Glazed facing brick and rendered brick, slate roof, brick stack.

PLAN: One entrance, on Cromwell Road, with small lobby opening into short corridor meeting narrow internal corridor at right angles from which the smoke room to the left and public bar to the right can be reached. Servery opens onto public bar, bar-side seating alcove called `hall' on 1929 plan, and small out-sales room in north corner with separate entrance, also on Cromwell Road. Cellar steps to rear of servery.

EXTERIOR: 2 storeys with cellars; Cromwell Road elevation of four ground-floor bays abuts a house (No.2), with gable to right end, Victor Street elevation of 3 ground-floor bays, with left bay having higher eaves level and forming part of the 1883 extension which continues on Cromwell Road. Brown glazed facing brick to ground-floor of both street elevations, with tiled fascia frieze between ground and first floors, and cream painted render to first floors.

Cromwell Road elevation has doorway in each of 2 outer bays, both with 3-panelled door with segmental head and overlight. Relief signage in frieze identifies left doorway as ENTRANCE and right doorway as JUG & BOTTLE DEPT. Between the doorways are 2 4-light casement windows. Left lower light to window in bay 2 has etched glass inscribed THE GOLDEN BALL INN, and the frieze above the windows has relief lettering THE GOLDEN BALL. The first floor has 2 2-over-2 pane hung-sash windows with projecting sills and segmental heads. Dog-tooth brick eaves cornice which continues on adjoining 1883 house (No.2) to the left.

Victor Street elevation has 3 casement windows on the ground floor, similar to those on Cromwell Road elevation. Lower right light to window in bay 1 and lower left light to window in bay 3 have geometric and foliate etched glass, window in bay 2 has etched glass in both lower lights; that to left inscribed JOHN SMITH'S and to right MAGNET ALES. Frieze has relief signage JOHN SMITH'S TADCASTER ALES & STOUTS. First floor has single 2-over-2 pane hung-sash window in bay 1.

INTERIOR: Many fixtures and fittings from 1929 scheme survive. These include doors and architraves to the inner lobby, public bar, smoke room, and cellar. Doors have 3 vertical panels with glazed upper lights. Entrance lobby, public bar counter front and adjoining walls, and out-sales room have glazed cream tilework to dado level with ribbon bands of black and orange tiles and geometric square tiles. Coping band of brown rectangular tiles. Terrazzo flooring to `hall' alcove. Hinged counters of servery, glazed sashed screenwork to sides over `hall' counter and out-sales, and back-fitting to rear of servery. Glazed screenwork above public bar counter is more recent. Fixed seating to both main rooms and `hall' alcove, with bell-push rail in smoke room; baffles to either side of smoke room doorway are recent additions. Timber fire surround to public bar fireplace, picture rail and simple moulded cornice. `Hall' alcove has sashed borrowed lights into entrance corridor and internal corridor, and moulded cornice. Entrance corridor also has moulded cornices. Smoke room fireplace is modern reproduction, and glazed openings into internal corridor are more recent additions.

HISTORY: The original pub comprised the lower-roofed section on Victor Street, formerly known as St Mary's Row, and had its entrance there. Cromwell Road only assumed its present form after 1878 when the demolition of the old City Gaol released land for widening and redevelopment. The publican of the time was William Flint who, in 1883, employed local architects Benson & Minks to submit plans for a new corner addition to the pub, together with an adjoining new dwelling house (No.2 Cromwell Road). The corner addition was designed to increase the publican's private living space and the pub interior remained largely confined to the original Victor Street elevation. In 1884 The Golden Ball was sold to Benjamin Braime of Braime's Brewery, Tadcaster. A 1902 Chief Constable's report mentioned a smoke room, a vaults, and a large club room at the bottom of the back yard used as a `brass room', a once-popular pub game rather like quoits. In 1902 John Smith's of Tadcaster took over Braime's and so acquired The Golden Ball. In 1929 The Golden Ball was remodelled by Bertram Wilson. This involved enlarging the pub premises by removing the publican's private accommodation in the Cromwell Road corner building to make way for new facilities including off-sales, a new entrance and an extra drinking area (the bar-side `hall' alcove). The old Victor Street entrance was abandoned and the public bar enlarged. The ceilings of both the public bar and smoke room were also heightened.

The adjoining 1883 residence (No.2 Cromwell Road) is not of special interest, nor is the former private sitting room of this house now incorporated into the pub space, but not part of the 1929 scheme. The outbuildings in the yard including the altered w.c.s and the now featureless club house are not of special interest.

SOURCES: Brandwood, G, Davison, A, Slaughter, M, Licensed to Sell. The History and Heritage of the Public House (2004), 78-9, 142.
City of York building plan ref: S1137 (approved 14 May 1929): Alterations to Golden Ball Inn for John Smith's Tadcaster Brewery Ltd, B Wilson PAS, Architect & Surveyor (held on microfiche in building control records)
City of York building plan ref: F49 (approved 5 June 1883): Propsed house and additions to inn for Mr W Flint, Benson & Minks, Architects (held on microfiche in building control records)

The Golden Ball Public house is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* As a largely complete example of an inter-war scheme in a small urban pub designed by Bertram Wilson, in-house architect to John Smith's of Tadcaster, one of the largest regional brewers in the country at this time
* Its unusual plan-form dating to the 1929 refurbishment, which incorporates the only-known example of a bar-side seating alcove or `hall'
* The high level of survival of fixtures and fittings relating to the 1929 scheme including doors, architraves, terrazzo flooring, back-fitting, hinged counters and sashed screen-work to both ends of the servery, fire surround to public bar, glazed cream and geometric patterned tilework to public bar counter front and dado level in entrance lobby and out-sales
* The use of glazed tilework externally in the brown glazed brickwork and permanent signage on tiled fascia and internally in the entrance lobby, public bar, and out-sales is both cohesive to the design and representative of the inter-war period.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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