Focus on Malton: Architects’ Drawings

By Gail Falkingham

The archive of the Fitzwilliam family of Malton contains a collection of over 130 architects’ drawings of various buildings in the town, dating from c.1799 to 1929. These include domestic houses and cottages, as well as shops, inns, stables, the Town Hall, bank and mill.

The drawings are by a number of surveyors and architects, including James Booth, Charles H Channon, John Gibson & Son, Robert Richardson and George Willoughby. They include floor plans, sections and elevations, through which the buildings can be visualised in three dimensions. Many are in colour and some are to scale, some buildings were built, others may not have been. From the detailed floor plans, we can see the layout of rooms, walls, windows, doors and stairs. Rooms are often named, giving us an insight into the uses for which they were originally intended.

This elevation of Old Malton Mill, is just one of a number of records relating to mills in Malton within the Fitzwilliam archive. It is part of a set of three plans and an associated letter from James Booth to Samuel Henry Copperthwaite dated 12 March 1811 [ZPB III 10/1/3-6]. Having been called upon by Mr Robson to examine the Old Malton Mills, the letter provides Booth’s estimate “of the expense dependent upon putting her into general repair with the addition of a new Shelling Mill“.

ZPB III 10/1/3  ‘Down stream elevation of the Shelling Mill and Kiln, shewing the foundation down to the Bed of the River and the Races’ of Old Malton Mill by John Booth, 12 March 1811

One of the earliest plans of shops is of a row of new butchers’ shops adjoining the Golden Lion Inn, leading to the Beast Market, Malton. An historic map of Malton, dated 1801 [ZPB M1/3] shows long, narrow ranges of buildings around the church and the Beast Market is labelled to the east. The elevation drawing shows each shop with a double row of hooks on which to display the meat, they measure 7ft 6” wide from front to back. On the plans, each shop is numbered and annotated with a name and an amount in pounds. Presumably these are the tenants and the amount of rent they paid.

ZPB M 7/27 Plans and elevation of row of butchers’ shops leading to the Beast Market, Malton undated, c. 1825

Another example, which not only has plans and elevation, but also a specification for repairs and an estimate for the work, is Hunters Hall, Town Street, Old Malton. This house has late 17th century origins, and is a listed building. Further information can be found on the Historic England website. The plan is dated May 1841, by John Nelson of Malton. The specification provides four pages of detail about the proposed repair works to be done:

“the Contractor to execute the different works in a good substantial workman like manner according to the plans, elevation and specification hearin named, also to find and furnish all things necessary for the completion of the work..”.

An estimate from John Nelson itemises the individual cost of works by masons, joiners, painters, plumbers and glaziers, slaters and ‘plasters’, plus locks, joints and fasteners. This must have been more than just a few, general repairs as the total cost amounts to £320 7s 5d, the equivalent of around £20,000 today.

Another series of plans and elevations relate to proposed refurbishment works at the Town Hall and Butter Market, Malton, drawn by John Gibson, architect, dating to May 1854 [ZPB M 57-65]. Formerly the home of Malton Museum, this building is also listed. The scheme shown in these drawings, in the Gothic Revival style of the Victorian period, does not appear to have been fully implemented. There is further discussion of these plans in an online report prepared by the Malton Old Buildings Group.

There are further drawings of private houses and business premises, including these examples from the mid-19th century on Yorkersgate, York Road and Old Maltongate. This was a time of expansion in the town following the opening of the York-Scarborough Railway in 1845.

ZPB M 7/84 Elevation of a house to be erected in York Road in a field held by J Vickerman, undated (mid-19th century)

Another, late-19th century example, from the Malton Board of Guardians records, is a plan of the former Malton Union Workhouse which stood at the bottom of Sheepfoot Hill, adjacent to the Lodge and Orchard Field. Dated May 1895 and drawn by the architect Charles H Channon, it shows the layout of buildings and yards and, in red, the routes of various drains. Individual rooms are named, so we can see their function.  

BG/ML  Malton Union Workhouse, Plan showing sanitary arrangements, by CH Channon, May 1895.

A drawing in the Copperthwaite notebook recording the location of a Roman burial found during excavations for a new wing of the workhouse in September 1848 is featured in one of our previous blog posts.


Further information

The County Record Office holds many other architectural plans and drawings amongst its archive collections. Some of these are to be found in our estate and family archive collections, others in our building control records and parish church records. They include work by some well-known architects including, amongst others, Walter Brierley, William Butterfield, John Carr, William Henry Crossland, Charles Hodgson Fowler, Temple Lushington Moore, George Gaze Pace and Philip Speakman Webb.

Many of the drawings we hold are listed in our Guide no. 10: List of Architectural Plans available for consultation in the North Yorkshire County Record Office. This is available for visitors to consult in our searchroom, and to purchase via our online shop.

Our online catalogue can also be used to identify material within our archive collections.

2 thoughts on “Focus on Malton: Architects’ Drawings

  1. Good morning Is it possible to share this and other blogs somehow onto my Family History Group page even if only by a link. It is a public page. Kind regards Sheila Newsome Secretary Selby and District Family History Group

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