Fonds BKS - Bank's Music

Identity area

Reference code



Bank's Music


  • 1947-2006 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

14 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Banks' Music Room is thought to be the United Kingdom's oldest retailer, and was opened by Thomas Haxby on 15 June 1756 in Blake Street, York. Haxby built up an impressive retail business, and at the same time developed a business manufacturing and repairing instruments. In 1788, Haxby sold the retail business to Samuel Knapton, a hairdresser and cellist, and the business moved to alternative premises in Blake Street opposite York's Assembly Rooms. The business later passed to his son Philip, and in 1803 moved to premises in Coney Street.

The Knapton family took the business into the realms of music publishing, and in 1829, the business was transferred to William Hardman. After Hardman's death in 1855, Henry Banks, who had been his assistant for the previous 15 years, took over the business. It is from this point that the current name originates.

In 1855 Banks moved the business to 2 Stonegate, before moving it again in 1904 to 58 Stonegate, a property looking directly onto St Helen's Square. The shop was to remain on this site until 1985, with the business passing through various generations of the Banks family.

In 1985 the business relocated to 18 Lendal, where it continues to trade from today.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes customer account ledgers, list of piano tuning engagements, day books, receipt book, volumes relating to festivals and new issues of music scores, list of published works of various composers, customer correspondence and publicity materials.



None expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Material is available subject to the usual terms and conditions of access to Archives and Local History collections.

Conditions governing reproduction

Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Language of material

  • English

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    Finding aids

    Allied materials area

    Existence and location of originals

    Explore York

    Existence and location of copies

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