Friday, November 02, 2012

St Lawrence's Tower, York

St Lawrence's in Lawrence Street, York, stands almost opposite the birthplace of Henry Scott Tuke. is a large Victorian church. I recall being a little intimidated by it when I cut through the neighbouring alley as a student.

In its churchyard stands this tower, a remnant of the earlier, church on the site where Sir John Vanbrugh was married in 1719. It dates from the 12th century, though its top storey was added in the early 16th. The Norman north doorway of the nave was re-erected against the east wall of the tower when the rest of the old church was demolished in 1881-3.

It is a valuable survival because, as York Stories says, this part of the city was badly damaged during the siege of York in 1644, so there are few obviously historic buildings in the area outside Walmgate Bar.

The tower has recently been restored, and while I was photographing it I met a man putting up the plaque to commemorate the end of that project.

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