Historic York pub unveils £1.6m expansion plan, complete with new roof terrace

A trip to Spoons could soon become that bit more special.

JD Wetherspoon has submitted ambitious redevelopment plans for the Punch Bowl on Blossom Street, building a new section to the rear of the pub, creating a roof terrace, and renovating the interior.


The plans would see the ground floor drinking area enlarged and made more open plan, a better kitchen and new toilets on the first floor.

It entails the demolition of part of the rear single storey extension. This would be replaced with a two-storey extension.

A similar plan was submitted by JD Wetherspoon last November, and then withdrawn. The new application addresses concerns “relating specifically to heritage and noise impacts”, documents state.

First floor terrace

Plans showing the proposed roof terrace
The new roof terrace is the most striking part of the plan.

To make it accessible to all, a lift from the ground floor to the roof would be included.

In general, the refurb will provide “luxury, comfortable, efficient facilities,” say the documents, which add:

  • The proposed development is intended to enhance the customer experience, with an enlarged customer area on the ground-floor, much-improved external garden areas including a first-floor roof terrace and the provision of new toilet facilities on the first-floor.

The renovation will provide “many additional full and part time job opportunities”, if City of York Council planners give it the go ahead.

This section to the rear of the Punch Bowl is earmarked for demolition


The first and second floors have been unused for some time

Punch Bowl history

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A building on this site is shown on a map of the area from 1610. Later the building was labelled Thomas’s Hospital, said to date from medieval times.

A pub called the Punch Bowl is recorded here from the 18th century onwards. Between 1822 and 1825 it was known as The Fox And Hounds.

The principal buildings we see today were constructed in two main phases. The one facing onto Blossom Street dates from around 1835.

The Punch Bowl is seen in this picture dating from about 1860, with St Thomas’ Hospital alongside. Photograph: York Explore Libraries and Archives
The part that faces onto Nunnery Lane is from about 1863 – when St Thomas’ Hospital was demolished. This allowed for the widening of the junction, and the hospital’s 12 resident widows were moved further down Nunnery Lane.

By 1902 the Punch Bowl had seven bedrooms, three set apart for travellers, and a dining room upstairs.

In 1974 the butcher’s shop on the corner of Nunnery Lane was incorporated into the premises, increasing the number of bedrooms to 13.

The Punch Bowl had stopped operating as a hotel by 2002 when it was bought by JD Wetherspoon. It is Grade II listed.

Source: A Directory of York Pubs 1455-2004 by Hugh Murray / planning documents

Photograph: Hugh Murray