History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of the City of York

by Peter Kessler, 6 March 2011



Outer York Part 7: Churches of Murton, Holtby & Dunnington

St James' Church

St James' Church, Murton, is on the southern side of Murton Way, one third of the way eastwards from Murton Garth to Murton Lane, sitting in otherwise open fieldland. Murton is mentioned in Domesday Book in 1086, and although the origins of the church are unknown, it has been suggested that some of the masonry and the south doorway date to about 1200. It retained the status of a chapel of ease to St Thomas Church, Osbaldwick, and holds just fifty-four people.

St James' Church

Few alterations appear to have been made during its long life, and few facts exist on its history. In 1834 a violent storm damaged the roof, rendering the church unfit for use. There was a long-running dispute over who was responsible for repair, with the result that the church remained a ruin for the rest of the nineteenth century. For some of this time it served as a pig sty. The vicar and others raised funds in 1912-1914 and the church was rededicated on 9 November 1914.

Church of the Holy Trinity

The Church of the Holy Trinity, Holtby, lies on the eastern side of Holtby Lane, just south of Church Rise. The parish of Holtby is separated from the East Riding by the York and Bridlington road, the 'king's highway' on which its inhabitants were accused of encroaching in 1275. The earliest mention of a church here seems to occur in the charter of Henry II. It belonged to Durham Priory and followed the descent of the priory manor until 1600, surviving the Dissolution.

Church of the Holy Trinity

Little is recorded of the old church, and it was swept away in 1792 when a new building was erected on the site. This was restored in 1841, but was practically rebuilt in 1881 by J R Naylor of Derby. The present church is a small building of red brick with stone dressings, consisting of a chancel, nave and west tower. The style is Norman, and the chancel has a Norman-style arch and an eastern apse. The tower contains two bells which are only approachable by ladder.

St Nicholas

St Nicholas, Dunnington, is on the southern side of Church Street, where it meets The Copper Beeches. Although it existed before its first mention, probably by the eleventh century, nothing is recorded until 1220. Built of freestone and rubble, it consists of a nave, aisles, and chancel. The tower was repaired in 1717, and the church was enlarged in 1840. There is no medieval reference to a chapel at nearby Grimston, but Chapel Garth there was mentioned in 1606.

Dunnington Methodist Church

Dunnington Methodist Church is on the western side of Common Road, about forty metres (yards) north of Water Lane. There were seven dissenters here in 1676. A house was registered for Quakers in 1748, and another for Methodists in 1765. The chapel was founded by Wesleyans in 1805 in York Street, replaced by the present chapel in 1868 and eventually demolished. The Primitive Methodists built a chapel in 1852. It existed in 1908, but in 1972 was a storehouse.

All photos on this page contributed by Colin Hinson.

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