MEDIEVAL CHURCHES

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 when William of Normandy crossed the English Channel and defeated the English army and brought about the fall of the last Saxon king, Harold Godwinsson, signalled the start of the medieval period.

For our purposes the end of the period came about on Bosworth Field in 1485 where Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III in battle. Henry was crowned King Henry VII on the battlefield marking the end of the medieval period and the start of the Tudor Dynasty.

Many significant events took place in over 400 years of the period. Great buildings were constructed including the Tower of London, Lincoln Cathedral and of course York Minster. A variety of buildings, which can still be seen in York, are detailed on other pages of this site.

The history of the city is tied in closely with the religious beliefs of it's citizens and it is therefore natural that a number of the buildings, which have survived to the present day, are churches and other religious buildings. Some of the medieval churches are shown below together with the remains of St Mary's Abbey.

Holy Trinity - Micklegate. (Right)

The Doomsday Book describes the original church as 'an unimportant, ruined and poverty stricken church' ultimately destroyed by William the Conqueror. Benedictine Monks rebuild the church but it was again partially destroyed in 1137 by a major fire that swept through York.

The church has undergone significant changes since that time with the tower being rebuilt in 1453.

I like to think that I saved this church from destruction in early 2006, but that's another story!

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St Mary Bishophill Junior. (left)

This church is in fact somewhat older than Holy Trinity above, dating from the 11th century it is said to be the oldest example of church architecture to survive in the city.

The tower dates from the 11th century with the remainder of the building dating from the the 13th century.

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St Mary's Abbey (above). Originally founded c1055 as a Benedictine abbey it became known as St Mary's Abbey, the largest and wealthiest Benedictine house in the North of England.

This church building was begun in 1270 but only fragments remain standing proud in the Museum Gardens.

St Martin-cum-Gregory - Micklegate (Right) With a nave dating from the 13th century and the north aisle and some of the stained glass dating from the 14th the church is said to be one of the best medieval churches in York.

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Holy Trinity - Goodramgate The church dates from the 14th century and lies behind Lady Row, a terrace of the oldest houses in York.

The stained glass was put in place in 1472.

St Mary's Castlegate has the tallest spire in York. Built on the site of an earlier church St Mary's dates from the 1400s.

 

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Another 15th century church St Olave's can be found in the grounds of St Mary's Abbey. It was restored to it's present state after being badly damaged during the Civil War.

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