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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of the City of York

by Peter Kessler, 6 March 2011

Outer York Part 5: Churches of Wigginton, Haxby & Strensall

St Nicholas Church

St Nicholas Church, Wigginton, is at the south-west corner of Church Lane and Back Lane. The name of the village is thought to be Norse in origin, the root deriving from 'Vikigr-ton', or Viking hamlet. The origins of the church are unknown, but there was a chapel in the village in the middle of the 1200s (1247), when the parish was held by York Minster. The first recorded mention of the church was in 1424, when the bishop of Dromore was given licence to dedicate.

St Nicholas Church

That church of 1424 appears to have been built of magnesium limestone, and roofed with orange clay tiles, many thousands of which can still be found on the site. No record of its appearance is known to have survived. The present church was built in 1860, dedicated as St Mary & St Nicholas Church. Constructed in the Gothic style, it consists of a nave without aisles, a quire, a north porch and a western bell cote containing two bells. It was rededicated in 2008 as St Nicholas.

Haxby & Wigginton Methodist Church

Haxby & Wigginton Methodist Church, Haxby, stands on the western side of The Village, opposite Sandy Lane. The church stands at the point where the two villages of Haxby and Wigginton merge together. The present Wesleyan Methodist chapel was founded in the nineteenth century, as was a Primitive Methodist chapel which probably closed at the Methodist Union. Also in Haxby is St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Church, 3 Holly Tree Lane, founded in 1985.

The Parish Church of St Mary

The Parish Church of St Mary, Haxby, is located on the northern side of The Village, opposite Haxby Shopping Centre. Originally services were probably held in the open, perhaps around a stone cross, the ninth or tenth century base of which survives on the south side of the church. Until the fourteenth century, people generally travelled to Strensall church. A burial ground in Haxby was dedicated on 17 June 1328, and in 1472 the villagers gained their own priest.

The Parish Church of St Mary

A chapel of ease was built here in the sixteenth century, but became very dilapidated and was described as an 'unsightly building, inconveniently arranged inside. In appearance it looked more like a large barn than a temple'. The old church was destroyed by fire in 1876. It was rebuilt in 1878 in the early Gothic style. In 1911 the church tower was moved, the nave was extended to the west and a porch added. The 'new' church was dedicated on 16 November 1911.

The Parish Church of St Mary

St Wilfred's Garrison Church, Strensall, lies on the south-east corner of St Wilfred's Road and Howards Road, which itself is on the edge of Strensall Camp to the south of the village. Formed by the War Office in 1884 for training troops, the camp covers about 1800 acres and stretches to Towthorpe. During the latter half of the twentieth century, the camp was known as Queen Elizabeth Barracks. The date at which the brick-built church was opened is unknown.

Four photos on this page kindly contributed by Colin Hinson, and one by St Nicholas Church Wigginton.



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