York, St Anthony's Hall

ringsSt Anthony’s Hall, so named after a chapel which had previously stood on this site, was the home of the Guild of St Martin, its founding charter having been granted by Henry VI in 1446 and is one of four surviving medieval guildhalls in the City, the others being the Merchant Taylors’ Hall, the Guildhall, and the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. In 1450 Archbishop Kempe issued a licence for mass to be said in the hospital chapel, with the chapel, ‘newly-built’ being consecrated in 1453. It is known, however, that building work continued in to 1455 and there is some very tentative stylistic evidence, in the form of a moulded boss, that work was not finally completed till after 1485. Sampling and analysis by dendrochronology were requested by Diane Green, Historic Buildings Inspector at English Heritage’s York Office, the primary purpose of this programme being to inform statutory advice in the context of a programme of conservation and repair works. It was hoped that analysis would establish with greater certainty the dates of various elements of the buildings, helping to determine possible sequential phases of alteration and change. A further object of tree-ring analysis was to help determine how much primary material now remained in the building and, if possible, how much is later replacement.