History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of the City of York

by Peter Kessler, 9 January 2011



Central York Part 14: Churches of Heworth to Heslington

St Wulstan's Church

St Wulstan's Church rests inside the fork formed by the Fossway before its northern branch joins Muncastergate, in the Heworth area of York. The church began life as a mission chapel for Holy Trinity Heworth (see below). It seems to have been built in 1940, which is when it was dedicated to St Wulstan on 20 February. Built in red brick with a single bell in the bell cote over the front of the nave, the church gained its own parish from part of that of Holy Trinity.

Holy Trinity Heworth

Holy Trinity Heworth lies at the south-west corner of East Parade and Melrosegate. The church was built between 1867 and 1869 in the detached portion of the parish. It was consecrated in 1869 and the following year was assigned a Consolidated Chapelry, later extended. The church is built in stone in the Early English style, comprising nave and chancel with a tower in the north-east angle of the nave. There is a large wooden reredos made in Oberammergau.

Heworth Methodist Church

Heworth Methodist Church is at the northern side of Heworth Street, close to Dale's Lane. Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel on Heworth Street in 1825, and this was in use until 1890 when it was demolished and replaced by the present Gothic building. Opened as Heworth Chapel, it was built on a site adjacent to its predecessor by Edward Taylor of York. The chapel, with a tower that was originally over the entrance porch, is faced with Scarborough yellow bricks.

Christ Church Heworth Without

Christ Church Heworth Without stands back from Stockton Lane, opposite Algarth Road on the edge of Heworth. There are extremely few details regarding the short history of this Anglican church but a date of construction of the 1980s can be guessed from the architect-designed building style. More recently, the original hard wooden chairs, dubbed 'the most uncomfortable wooden chairs ever designed', were replaced with Design Stacker II soft chairs.

St Aeldred's Catholic Church

St Aelred's Catholic Church is on the south-east corner of Fifth Avenue and Melrosegate in the Tang Hall Estate district of eastern York. The church was founded in 1932 thanks to the expansion of the city, with Roman Catholics meeting in a hall next to the Catholic school which was opened at the same time. The present, larger, red brick church was constructed in 1956 to a design which was very typical of the period by the architect Stephen Simpson of Leeds.

St Hilda's Parish Church Tang Hall

St Hilda's Parish Church Tang Hall is on the south-east corner of Tang Hall Lane and Alcuin Avenue. Much of the housing here was put up in the 1930s, around the Tang Hall Beck, a large shallow stream. The original church was built in 1933-1934, consecrated in the latter year, and gained its own parish from that of Holy Trinity Heworth (see above) in 1936. In 2000, work began on the present multi-purpose building to replace the original church. This was opened in 2001.

St George's Methodist Church

St George's Methodist Church is on the south-east corner of Millfield Lane and Lilac Avenue in Tang Hall. The church takes its name from the area of York in which it was founded in 1826 to serve a very poor and overcrowded population. In 1840 it lost many members to the Centenary Chapel in St Saviourgate, but it survived and in the 1890s moved to Hull Road. Once again, in 1937, the church moved, this time to Tang Hall, opening the present building on 20 January 1937.

St Thomas Osbaldwick

St Thomas Osbaldwick is on the south-east corner of Murton Way and Osbaldwick Lane in Osbaldwick. The village is mentioned three times in Domesday Book as Osboldewic, while the church was founded in the twelfth century. In a poor state by 1877, it underwent major restoration by J A Scott. More work took place in 1967 and 2005. Mary Ward (1585-1645) is buried here, famous for founding the revolutionary Catholic Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1609.

St Paul Heslington

St Paul Heslington lies on the northern side of Field Lane, immediately south of York Science Park, overlooking School Lane in Heslington. The first church on this site was built in the eleventh century. It consisted of chancel, nave with north aisle and, unusually at this time, west tower. The two bells in the tower were cast by John Porter of York in 1388. In the eighteenth century only one service a month was held here. By 1857 the church was too small and in a poor state.

St Paul Heslington

A new, stone church was erected in 1857-1858, with chancel, nave, vestry, west tower with spire and south porch. The design was by J B & W Atkinson of York. Of the old church, only the bells, font and two wall plaques survived. Heslington Methodist Chapel was opened by the Wesleyans in the 1830s. It was still used in 1851, but no more is known of it. In 1844 and 1847 two more chapels were built, but the last of them closed in 1971. The Methodists now worship at St Paul's.

Nine photos on this page contributed by Colin Hinson.

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