History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of the City of York

by Peter Kessler, 9 January 2011



Central York Part 7: Churches of York

York Baptist Church

York Baptist Church is on the western side of Priory Street just south of Micklegate. York's first Baptist preacher was licensed in 1672, and an early Baptist society appeared before 1800. Meetings took place in the Grape Lane Chapel for a time. The present church was formed in 1862 when the Lecture Hall in Goodramgate was hired. They opened the present building as the Baptist Chapel in June 1868, based on the designs of William Peachey of Darlington.

Rock Church

Rock Church is on the eastern side of Priory Street opposite Dewsbury Terrace. New Street (Wesleyan) Chapel was opened by Wesleyan Methodists in 1805 and closed in 1908. Albion Chapel, at the corner of Albion Street and Skeldergate, opened in 1816 and closed in 1861, thanks to the success of the new building, Wesley Methodist Chapel (shown here), which opened in 1856. When the Methodist church became the alternative worship 'Rock' is not known.

The Parish Church of St Mary Bishophill Junior

The Parish Church of St Mary Bishophill Junior is on the northern side of Bishophill Junior, opposite Prospect Terrace. In Roman York, Bishophill was the site of the civilian settlement. No convincing explanation of the names of this or the Bishophill Senior church has yet been found. Architectural evidence above ground suggests that Junior is the older church, and that both Bishophill churches were founded before (and perhaps long before) the Conquest.

The Parish Church of St Mary Bishophill Junior

The Junior church is first mentioned in a papal confirmation of 1194. The church comprises a nave with north and south aisles, chancel with north aisle, and a porch and west tower. The tower is the earliest piece of parochial church architecture of any size surviving in the city and is probably from the early eleventh century on older (Saxon) foundations (with bits of Roman tile in its make-up). St Mary's also plays host to St Constantine's Greek Orthodox congregation.

St Columba with New Lendal United Reformed Church

St Columba with New Lendal United Reformed Church is on the western side of Priory Street at the junction with Bishophill Junior and Dewsbury Terrace (southern exit). The church was built as the Presbyterian Chapel, opened on 6 November 1879 for a congregation that was established in 1873 when they worshipped in a hall in Goodramgate. When originally built, the church had a tall tower at the south eastern corner which was visible over the City wall.

St Columba with New Lendal United Reformed Church

Elsewhere, Salem Congregational Chapel was built in Saint Saviour's Place in 1839, but this closed in 1934. A small group continued to meet in a room there until 1954. York City Mission existed between 1848-1956 in various rooms, but the members of both joined St Columba eventually. After the Second World War the tower (pictured here) was found to be unsafe and was taken down in about 1950. In 1994 St Columba was united with New Lendal, Burton Stone Lane.

Five photos on this page contributed by Colin Hinson.

In Depth
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