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Things to see at Maister House

Steps leading up to a red bricked town house, Maister House, Yorkshire
Step inside this eighteenth century merchant’s house | © Bang Photography/Mark Ivkovic

Discover what you’ll be able to see in this 18th century merchant’s house entrance and learn the tragic story behind the stone staircase and the details of the wrought-iron balustrade.

A tenanted property

Maister House is currently closed for most of the year. It opens on selected days during the Heritage Open Days Festival. More details of this and future opening days will be updated when confirmed.

On the west side of High Street in the old town area of Hull, Maister House is a rare surviving reminder of the thriving international trade the city enjoyed in Georgian times. After fire had badly damaged an earlier house, wealthy merchant Henry Maister commissioned architect Joseph Page to build a new one for him in 1743.

A restored Georgian exterior

Before you step inside, pause to take in the façade of Maister House. The house's exterior has been restored to its Georgian glory. This involved removing the Victorian bay windows and replacing the stone steps and railings at the front entrance. The plain brick façade reflects the typical Palladian architectural fashion of the mid-18th century.

However, external simplicity contrasts with an opulent interior which, the Historic England Grade 1 listing description concludes...

" of importance both locally and nationally."

The stone staircase

Explore the house's main attraction step by step. With its intricate iron balustrade, the staircase opens through three storeys and is surrounded by stucco panels.

It is said that this mid-18th-century staircase was constructed from stone after Henry Maister lost his wife and infant child. They tragically died when a previous wooden staircase collapsed in a fire.

Decorative balustrade circling on the top floor under a sky light, Maister House, Yorkshire
Take in the decorative detailing of the staircase at Maister House | © Bang Photography/Mark Ivkovic

A work of art

Paintings of the Maister family have previously hung on the walls (many of these were kindly donated by Mrs Alec-Smith in 2012) but these are currently in storage and will return after we carry out some much needed repair, conservation and decoration works.

Look out for the artistry in the décor. The wrought-iron balustrade by Robert Bakewell flourishes all the way up the stairs, and the walls and ceiling are adorned with decorative stucco panels by Joseph Page.

A notable building

Not only is Maister House Yorkshire's smallest National Trust place, but it is also currently the only property to be cared for by the charity in East Yorkshire.

The remainder of the house is tenanted by a local business and is not open to visitors.

Entrance hall with historic staircase to the right and table to the left, Maister House, Yorkshire

Discover more at Maister House

Find out when Maister House is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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