History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of the City of York

by Peter Kessler, 6 March 2011



Outer York Part 2: Churches of Bishopsthorne, Copmanthorpe & Askham Bryan

St Andrew's Church

St Andrew's Church, Bishopsthorpe, is on the north-west corner of Bishopsthorpe Road and Church Lane. In 1202, St Andrew's Priory at Fishergate built the first church here and dedicated it to their patron saint. The older village name of Thorp-super-Usam was gradually replaced by Andrewthorpe. Later in the century, Archbishop of York Walter de Grey bought the manor house and gave it to York Minster. It became Bishopthorpe Palace, residence of the archbishops.

St Andrew's Church

In 1405, Archbishop Scrope of York was beheaded by Henry IV. In 1763, Archbishop Drummond transformed Bishopsthorne Palace by building the 'Strawberry Gothick' west front and gatehouse. The original church was demolished in 1768 and a replacement was built by Archbishop Drummond on the same site. The third church of St Andrew was constructed between 1898 and 1899, but now located away from the river. The architect was C Hodgson Fowler.

Bishopsthorne Methodist Church

Bishopsthorne Methodist Church is on the inside of the junction between Sim Balk Lane and Copmanthorpe Lane. The first Methodist chapel in Bishopsthorne was Wesley House, which is now behind the supermarket. In 1899 this was given up when the present church was built (and is now a private residence). The nearby Almshouses were demolished in 1963 due to their deterioration and the need to widen the increasingly busy junction at Sim Balk Lane and Main Street.

St Giles

St Giles, Copmanthorpe, stands inside the circle formed by Church Street and Main Street in the heart of the village, which is mentioned in Domesday Book as 'Copemantorp', meaning 'traders' village' or 'craftsmen's village'. The village was the site of a preceptory of the Knights Templar, on land given by the Malbysse family. The church was built by the Normans in 1180 as a chapel of ease to St Mary Bishophill Junior. It remained so until 1866, when it gained its own parish.

Copmanthorpe Methodist Church

Copmanthorpe Methodist Church stands on the eastern side of Main Street, opposite Wilstrop Farm Road. Church Street, close to the church of St Giles, was the home of the village's first Methodist chapel. This was opened about 1788 but appears not to have survived. The present chapel was built in 1958 to a design by the architects Greenwood and Nicholls. It stands south of St Giles by about 150 metres, with a large extension to the rear of the building.

St Nicholas' Church

St Nicholas' Church, Askham Bryan, is on the northern side of Main Street at the eastern end of the village. Its name originated in Ascam or Ascha, 'ash tree enclosure'. 'Bryan' was the lord of the manor. The Norman church was built in the late eleventh century. The original south door, and north and east walls survive. The bell tower was added in the seventeenth century. Askham Bryan Wesleyan Methodist Chapel also existed in the nineteenth century, but has not survived.

All photos on this page contributed by Colin Hinson.

In Depth
In Depth


Images and text copyright all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.