St George's was designed by Joseph Hansom and his brother Charles and opened on 4 September 1850. A month later, says the church's website, the Catholic Hierarchy was re-established in England (read more on The Victorian Web) and
the See of Beverley was created and St George’s became the cathedral church for the whole of Yorkshire, a status it enjoyed until the present St Wilfrid’s was built in 1864.The church, like its neighbouring girls' school, was built to serve the growing Irish population in the Walmgate area of York. The Walmgate Story describes what the nuns who came to teach their found:
A disorderly crowd of little creatures, for the most part bare-footed and bare-headed, shouting and screaming, mounting every available projection upon which they could perch themselves.The nuns calmed them by singing, as Julie Andrews must have read before me. The church website also records:
The church takes its title from the medieval church of St George at Beanhills which was suppressed in 1547. The Churchyard may still be seen opposite the present church and is the burial place of Dick Turpin, the notorious 18th Century highwayman.And it seems you can still find his grave there - something to look for next time I am in York.