College Street, York
St William's is one of the most beautiful buildings I know in York, and one you should particularly visit if you are interested in York Minster since this is where many of its offices are and where you can learn more about it. Founded in 1461, it was built to house the Minster's Chantry priests when it was ready in 1467 and as such it is the only surviving one in England. It was named in honour of Saint William of York who was the city Archbishop in 1153 and a very famous city character (of course buried in the Minster).
Today the college houses the Minster tea rooms (10-16) and a break here gives you the perfect chance to see the pretty inner yard that a surprising amount of tourists miss. Here there are also handicraft and/or charity markets and other events regularly.
College Street faces the Minster and it's here you'll find St William's College. This beautiful timbered building was built in 1461 as a college for Minster priests. It was altered in the 16th & 17th century, being divided into apartments. In the 19th century it housed slum tenements.
Nowadays the college has been restored to its former glory. It now contains a restaurant as well as hosting conferences & exhibitions.
The origins of St. William's College date back to the 15th century. King Henry VI first licensed a proposed college in 1457.
Interrupted by politics and battles of the Wars of the Roses a community of 23 fellows was established under a renewed license granted by King Edward IV in 1461 and building commenced in 1465.
Over the centuries the building has been an ecclesiastical lodging, a private house - including a period in the ownership of the Earls of Carlisle, the celebrated builders of Castle Howard - and letting rooms, undergoing several developments and rebuilds.
In 1902 the College returned to the York Diocesan Trust undergoing major restoration and conversion resulting in today's layout, held in trust under the Dean and Chapter of York.
The College's rooms provide a unique setting in York for conferences, meetings, banquets, celebrations and events.
As the photos show there are cafe and restaurant facilities for passers by and there is no need to book through the day. Tables on College Street provide a place to eat in historic surroundings.
St. William's College is nowadays the home of the Minster's visitor centre, though like So much in York it has a history stretching back many centuries. Founded in 1461, it was a religious building up until the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry the Eight, and later used by Charles the First during the Civil War.
Tucked away right in the corner of College Street and Goodramgate is the National Trust shop at 1 College Street. This was the first home for the young George Hudson after his marriage on 17 July 1821 to Elizabeth Nicholson at Holy Trinity Church in Goodramgate. He started his married life as a draper as the plaque on the wall shows. He later became an MP and head of a huge financial empire built on railways until in 1849 the empire crashed.
Tucked away right in the corner of College Street and Goodramgate is the National Trust shop at 1 College Street. This was the first home for the future 19th Century Railway King, George Hudson. After achieving the ownership of much of the UK's railways on other people's money his financial empire crashed, rather like the 1990s dot com bubble, and a lot of people lost all their money.
This beautiful row of half timered buildings - formerley St Williams College -is approached as you walk around the back of the York Minster. The college was built between 1465 and 1467 as the home of the cathedral chantry priests. They now house a variety of restaurants and cafes, some with outside seating.
Today it is used as a conference and banqueting hall - looked like a nice cafe in the inner courtyard too. The coutyard is accessed through an archway in the the middle of the row.
Take note of the twelve carved oak figures symbolising the labours of the months which decorate the roof of the inner courtyard.
St. William's College is a beautiful half timbered house near York minster. The college was built in the 15th century and was used as the home of the cathedral chantry priests. Make sure to have a look into the wonderful backyard as well.