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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of the City of York

by Peter Kessler, 9 January 2011

Central York Part 6: Churches of York

St Mary Castlegate

St Mary Castlegate stands on the eastern side of Castlegate, overlooking the eastern end of Friargate in York. The church has a dedication stone which calls the church a minster, and records that it was founded by [Ef]rard, Grim and Æse. The date of founding is unknown but is thought to be the late tenth or early eleventh century. It comprises a nave with north and south aisles, a chancel with north aisle, a chapel south of the chancel, and a west tower with spire.

St Mary Castlegate

The prevailing style is fifteenth century but with noticeable sections of twelfth and thirteenth century work remaining. It was fully restored by Butterfield between 1868-1870. Deconsecrated in 1958, between 1975-2001 it served as a heritage centre. It reopened as a modern visual arts venue in 2004. Nearby, the Catholic Apostolic Church was recorded in York in 1867. In 1872-1902 it met in a room in Castlegate, and then in the Merchant Tailors' Hall until 1939.

St Michael Spurriergate

St Michael Spurriergate is on the north-west corner of Low Ousegatye and Spurriergate. The church existed by 1088 and may have been built very shortly before that date. It comprises a nave with north and south aisles and a tower over the west end of the nave. In 1821 the east wall was set back two metres to widen Spurriergate, and the church was re-licensed for marriages in 1953. It is now the Spurriergate Centre. Its parish merged with that of All Saints Pavement.

St John North Street

St John North Street was otherwise known as St John Ouse Bridge End. It stands at the north-west corner of Micklegate and North Street. The church was included in the papal confirmation of Minster properties of 1194, and comprises a nave with north and south aisles and a west tower. The prevailing styles are fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The church closed in 1939 and in 1956 was opened by the York Academic Trust as an Institute of Architectural Study.

The Parish Church of All Saints North Street

The Parish Church of All Saints North Street is on the western side of North street, a few metres south of the junction with Tanner Row. The first mention of the church is in 1089. An aisle was added in the twelfth century, and the church grew in stages over the subsequent century. It was almost entirely rebuilt, and expanded, between 1394-1470, which is when the tower was added. The church suffered during the Reformation, losing many altars and much ornamentation.

Church of St Martin-cum-Gregory

The Church of St Martin-cum-Gregory is at the south-east corner of Micklegate and St Martin's Lane. Its (probable) churchyard is mentioned in the period 1170-1180, when the church was known as St Martin Micklegate. It was proposed in 1548 to unite St Gregory Micklegate with St Martin's and this took place in 1586, with St Martin's being the only united benefice to retain a double name. It closed in 1947 and was later being developed as a stained glass centre.

The Priory Church of the Holy Trinity

The Priory Church of the Holy Trinity is more generally known as Holy Trinity Micklegate. It sits on the south-west corner of Micklegate and Trinity Lane. In 1089 the Benedictines from Marmoutier in Normandy, known in York as the 'Alien Benedictines', created a priory here, on the site of a pre-Conquest church, which itself was possibly the successor of Alcuin of York's great Saxon church, the Alma Sophia. The priory was a large monastic complex with Holy Trinity at its heart.

The Priory Church of the Holy Trinity

It seems that the Benedictines built a new priory church adjacent to the ancient church, although the latter remained in use by the local inhabitants even though it was probably small and ruinous. The priory was swept away by the Dissolution but the church, also called Christ Church, survived. It seems that over time the remnants of both churches were built up into one church, with the tower on the site of the original building. Nearby, there was a Christian Spiritualist Church.

All photos on this page kindly contributed by Colin Hinson.



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