17-39 Blossom Street, York

drawing of bar convent york by ronnie cruwys
Bar Convent, 17 Blossom Street, York

This part of Blossom Street consists mostly of 19th century Georgian buildings which have weathered many a storm. Starting here with the grade 1 listed Bar Convent, now also a Living Heritage Centre, the earliest part of this building dates from 1765 although its roots go back further.

drawing of bar convent york by ronnie cruwys
Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre, York

The Convent, formerly known as St Mary’s, was founded in 1686, at a time when Catholics were being persecuted by the state.  The community was run in secret in a house bought by its founder, Frances Bedingfield.

Quoting from the history  of york website: “in the 1760s, when the present elegant building was constructed, Catholic places of worship were illegal.  The nuns flouted the law and built a beautiful chapel, but one hidden from the outside.  In preparation for raids by magistrates the chapel was complete with eight exits and a priest hole, in which to hide”.

Although the dome of the chapel is completely hidden from view when on the street, this drawing is a flat elevation and I decided that I wanted to include it as a visible part of my 21st century drawing, thereby giving it a place on the street.

All Welcome

The community took its inspiration from the ideas of Mary Ward (1585-1645) who created the ‘Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary’.  Mary Ward was a pioneer of women’s education in a time of great persecution and the Convent ran a school for Catholic girls, known as the ‘Ladies at the Bar’.

drawing of bar convent living heritage centre york by ronnie cruwys
19 and 21 Blossom Street, York

St Bede’s Pastoral Centre is a ‘place which offers hospitality, welcome and peace to all those who come and also provides a place apart for those who want to explore and deepen their spirituality’.

From the British Listed Buildings Online website:

“Two houses, later chaplains’ residence; now part of convent and Pastoral Centre. No.19 rebuilt 1837 incorporating remains of mid and late C18 house; remodelled and combined with rebuilt No.21 in 1845-47; C20 alterations and extensions. Mid C19 remodelling by GT Andrews for the Bar Convent. Red brick in Flemish bond with some stone dressings. Slate roof.”

drawing of blossom street york by ronnie cruwys
23 and 25 Blossom Street

Mid 19th century, grade 2 listed.

drawing of 27 blossom street york by ronnie cruwys
27 Blossom Street, York

This house dates to around 1840 – brick construction with painted stone dressings under a slate roof. I wasn’t concentrating here as you can see I had started on drawing windows into the blind recesses.

tiny building on blossom street york by ronnie cruwys
29 Blossom Street York

This is a surprise on this part of the street – a narrow one bay painted brick building, three storeys high, with a red tile roof hipped at the right. It was built as a house around 1820 and is now an office.

From British Listed Buildings online “EXTERIOR: 3 storeys and one bay. The windows are glazing bar sashes (renewed). The lower storeys have a 2-storey canted bay window with sashes to front and sides. The doorway, at the left, has a door case with engaged reeded columns with acanthus capitals and a reeded frieze. Above the door, which has 6 raised and fielded panels, there is a fanlight. The reveals have reeded borders to their panels. The gutter is carried on paired rectangular brackets. Chimney behind ridge towards right.”

3b Blossom-St-Bar-Convent-buon-appetito-ronnie-cruwys
Buon Appetito, 31 and 33 Blossom Street York

Built originally as two shops and flats around 1850, this is listed grade 2, brick with slate roof.

drawing of studio 35 york by ronnie cruwys
Studio 35,  35 Blossom Street,  York

Another grade 2 listed mid-19th century building, with painted brickwork.  Note the carriageway entrance to the right hand side.

pen and ink drawing of Lawrence Hannah, York
Lawrence Hannah, 39 Blossom Street York

This was once the “Lion and Lamb” pub, now in use as offices for Lawrence Hannah. Built in 1828, it is listed grade 2 and now painted brick with stone or stucco dressings under a hipped slate roof. This was also once home to DWA Architects, York.

This drawing is available to buy as a limited edition print (fifty prints only in this edition) from my Etsy shop here.

Thanks for reading and stay well.





5 responses to “17-39 Blossom Street, York”

  1. artbychristinemallabandbrown Avatar

    Exquisite work Ronnie. Hope you are well x

    1. ronniecruwys Avatar

      Thanks so much Christine! Yes, I’m doing ok thanks – always glad that I have endless creative ideas to keep my mind off all the rest…hope you are doing ok too, your work is wonderful! Stay well, Ronnie x

      1. artbychristinemallabandbrown Avatar

        Cheers Ronnie. I’m hoping to start an illustration MA in June. I love to see your work x

  2. Marcia Davies Avatar
    Marcia Davies

    Hi I went to the Bar Convent from 1959 to 64.Love all your paintings.I used to travel from Harrogate.I live in Darley Abbey Derby and know your cousin Caroline.She was training to be a priest and curate at St Matthew’s.

    1. ronniecruwys Avatar

      Hi Marcia – thanks for getting in touch! That must have been quite a trip from Harrogate for a youngster. How lovely that you know Caroline – it’s a few years since we met up but please send my love when you are next in touch. Delighted that you like my work – thanks! Ronnie

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