Our History

Standing strong as an institution of York, the Judge’s Lodging is steeped in history.

With a wealth of fascinating tales from its creation, to the residents that have lived here, to the numerous services the Grade I Listed building has served to the city over the years.

The Early Years

The building’s origins first date back to 1711, when it was built as a private residence. There is no official record of who the architect was, but it is believed to be Lord Bullington, a renowned individual who designed and built the famous York Assembly Rooms and the Mansion House, both of which are still standing in the city today. In 1736, the famed author of the history of York, Francis Drake, referred to the building as “one of the best-built houses in the city”.

 The house was first home to Clifton Winteringham Senior, a medical practitioner who was appointed physician at York County Hospital. He was also a governor of the hospital, authored books, and practised in York for over 35 years. It was Winteringham’s background in medicine that led to the addition of a statue of Aesculapius, the Greek god of healing, to the main door of the building.

In 1806 the building was bought by the York council to use as the judge's residence.

The building was particularly used for when they attended the quarterly sessions at the Assize Courts at York Castle. The criminal courts held here were some of the most heinous and high-profile cases in the country at the time, such as the 1882 case of Mary Fitzpatrick for the murder of a glassblower named James Richardson.

The judges were part of the Kings Bench Division of the High Court of Justice and were given five commissioners, picked from Justices of the Peace for the Three Ridings. The rooms on the top floor of the building were allocated to the judges and their staff, whilst the rooms in the right wing were kept for the housekeepers. The building served under this form until 1976.

The Building Today

After being purchased by Daniel Thwaites in 2012, the Judge’s Lodging has functioned as a hotel & bar for tourists and city residents alike. Whilst much of the building has been redesigned and refurbished to give guests a comfortable stay mixed with character and style, much of the building still features remnants of its heyday.

For instance, our popular Cellar Bar was originally the wine cellar for the judges during their stays. In the ladies’ room, the walls feature stonework from when the building was first built. As you work your way through the building to your room, you’ll come across the only self-sustaining spiral staircase in the country. The rooms you’ll be staying in also reflect the Lodging’s heritage, from the Judge’s suite at the top of the building, to the doctor’s offices that the original owners practised from. Some of the rooms are also named after the various workers that served the residents in the building’s heyday, along with some of York’s most famous names, including Guy Fawkes and the York Minster.