History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of the City of York

by Peter Kessler, 6 March 2011



Outer York Part 6: Churches of Strensall & Stockton

St Mary the Virgin

St Mary the Virgin, Strensall, lies at the north-western end of Church Lane, on the upper edge of the village. The first church here seems to have been Norman, built between 1100-1150. It had rubble walls with dressings of Tadcaster or Bramham Moor stone. The interior fittings were basic, while the seats were made of thick, rough-hewn oak. By 1166 Strensall was held by York Minster. The original church building was in a state of decay when a full rebuild was ordered.

St Mary the Virgin

The vestry was added in the 1960s and by 2010 was also serving as the church hall. Extensive rebuilding on the original foundations was carried out in 1803-1804, but the work, in brick, lacked any style or quality. By 1863 this building was in a very dilapidated condition and after being damaged by autumn gales a replacement was decided upon. The present church was completed in the Early Decorated style in 1866 to a design by the architects J B and W Atkinson of York.

Strensall Methodist Church

Strensall Methodist Church is on the southern side of The Village, opposite the road that evolves into Pottery Lane little further along. A Wesleyan chapel apparently existed here from 1823 and was certainly in existence in 1857. This was replaced by the present red brick building with its narrow frontage in 1895. A Primitive Methodist chapel also existed in the village between 1879-1889, but clearly did not prosper, as it closed well before the Methodist Union in 1932.

The Church of the Holy Trinity

The Church of the Holy Trinity, Stockton on the Forest, can be found on the eastern side of The Village, perhaps thirty metres (yards) north of The Elms. The parish lies to the east of the ancient Forest of Galtres, in which it was once included. The first church to be constructed on this site was medieval, possibly late Norman, but little seems to be known of it. This was destroyed in 1808 when a new church was built, but this version barely lasted the century.

The Church of the Holy Trinity

In 1895 the church was completely rebuilt, in the thirteenth century Gothic style, in white brick with stone dressings, consisting of nave and chancel with a tower on the north-west side surmounted by a slate-covered spire. The tower contains four bells, all cast in 1892. There are numerous eighteenth and nineteenth century tablets to members of the local Agar family, while the church was transferred from the prebendary of Bugthorpe to the archbishop of York in 1840.

Stockton on the Forest Methodist Church

Stockton on the Forest Methodist Church is on the eastern side of The Village, midway between the junctions with The Elms and Beanland Lane. The date upon which the church was founded is unknown, but it lies close to a site in the forest upon which the ghostly appearance of an army was noted on two separate occasions, in 1792 and 1812. The church building itself underwent extensive rebuilding (or the construction of an entirely new building) about 2007-2008.

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.