York Mansion House and Red House

The Red House on the corner of Duncombe Place and St Leonard’s Place was built in 1714 by Sir William Robinson. He had been a Lord Mayor and MP. The land had been leased to him by the Corporation and they wanted to buy the house to use as the Mansion House. But William Robinson did not agree to this so the Mansion House was built in St Helen’s Square. In its history, Red House has also been the home of Dr John Burton. He is thought to have been the model for Dr Slop in the Tristam Shandy novel. He was a founder member of the County Hospital. Red House was also the home of the Rudston Read family. William Henry Rudston Read had been an ornithologist and benefactor to the Yorkshire Museum.

The Rudston and Read families were from Hayton near Pocklington. William Henry Rudston Read was christened at Bossall. His father was Reverend Thomas Cutler Rudston Read. William Henry built the school at Hayton in the 1850s when he was Lord of the Manor. He restored the stained glass in the church in 1860.

The Mansion House was built in 1726 when Samuel Clarke, a haberdasher, was Lord Mayor. The original intention was to build a home for the records and legal documents. But good dinners were thought to be more important than musty parchment so a lavish building was constructed.

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