William of Hambletons House, York

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Town House

There are no visible remains

NameWilliam of Hambletons House, York
Alternative NamesWilliam Hamilton's House
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityYork
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishYork

Licence to crenellate issued to 'Willielmus de Hamelton, decanus ecclesiae Beati Petri Ebor' in 1302 for his house in York (mansum suum Cimeterio ejusdem ecclesiae contiguum muro de perta et calce firmare et kernellare)._

Gatehouse Comments

Presumably this was William of Hambleton who became Royal chancellor in 1305. Musson writes 'In 1280 Hamilton was given a house in York which had belonged to the notorious moneylender, Aaron the Jew (d. 1268). From 1285 he was himself engaged in moneylending enterprises (sometimes with his brother Adam), manipulating conveyances of land and realizing considerable profits.' If this was the house licenced then it would have already been defendable but further work to make this a strong house could have occurred. The licence itself may be seen as a response of some sort to the licence granted to John of Caen for his houses in York in 1298. Certainly it seems unlikely that Hamilton would wait over 20 years before making a banking house defensible so the licence probably does not reflect the date of any actual work done. However, it may be the licence was for a different house as one might expect Aaron's house to be near to the castle and the licence specifies near the churchyard of the cathedral (St Peter's) on the other side of York from the castle. It may be the profits from banking allowed Hamilton to build a grand house, with decorative crennellations, in the liberty of St Peter probably around Goodramgate where houses of leading churchmen seem to have been concentrated. Given map reference is for St Peter's cathedral.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE602522
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • A. J. Musson, 2004, 'Hamilton, William (d. 1307)' Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press) online copy
  • Tillott, P.M. (ed), 1961, 'The twelfth and thirteenth centuries: The aspect of the city' VCH VCH Yorkshire: City of York p. 51-4 online transcription
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 404 online copy


  • Davis, Philip, 2010-11, 'Crenellated town houses in Medieval England' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 24 p. 270-91
  • Coulson, C., 1982, 'Hierarchism in Conventual Crenellation: An Essay in the Sociology and Metaphysics of Medieval Fortification' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 69-100 see online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1898, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward I (1301-1307) Vol. 4 p. 19 online copy