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29 October 2014
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Online gallery: Windows on North Yorkshire

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The Mansion House, York
The Mansion House in St Helen's Square, York
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Georgian windows, Minster Gates, York
These Georgian windows in the centre of York give an impression of height, but also make a social statement: the Window Tax of meant that many households blocked up their windows to avoid the tax.


The Mansion House in St Helen's Square, York is the Mayor's official residence during their year of office.

The grand Georgian building was completed in 1735, and in its completion, York preceded London in having a specific residence for the Mayor.

The smaller sash windows towards the top of the building are characteristic of Georgian buildings and performed a social purpose as well as an aesthetic one; in a grand building like this, servants occupied the small-windowed rooms at the top of the house while the family occupied the lower rooms with larger windows.

This style was mimicked in houses which coud not afford servants too. As well as an impression of height which was given by the sense of perspective, having smaller windows higher up also suggested that the household could afford servants, whether they could or not.

More Georgian windows
Gillygate
the Treasurer's House
the Terry's
the Minster Gates

The large number of windows in a building like the Mansion House also indicated a great deal of wealth, for in this period a Window Tax was introduced and many less welathy households succumbed to blocking up their windows and other methods, to avoid paying the tax.

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