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The Rattle Owl

Owner/Designer/Project Manager/Builder: Clarrie O’Callaghan

The story of the Rattle-Owl is a veritable saga of unexpected complications. The project grew from the restoration and fitting out as a restaurant of a 17th C building (listed Grade II*) with all the complications of an Historic Building – into an important archaeological dig and a structural nightmare.  As the work proceeded it became clear that the original cellars had been filled in without any provision to support the ground floor.  When the cellars were dug out to provide a suitable footing, the foundations of a Roman house were found – which had to be surveyed by the University of York Archaeology Dept. and remain preserved under the newly structured ground floor.   There were further complications to providing means of escape from the upper floors – which were resolved by the separation of the entrances and the ingenious provision of a separate tiny food and wine shop – probably one of the smallest in York.

Throughout all this, the owner, who undertook all the design and management herself, succeeded in maintaining her objectives and keeping her sense of fun.  She has brought together a highly individual array of fittings, furniture and design ideas – that, with the stylish restoration of the building, make a delightful and successful restaurant.

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