Sunday, October 21, 2012

York's oldest and ugliest churches

One of my favourite parts of York is Bishophill, an enclave of terraced streets within the city walls and near the railway station. It is also home to the York's oldest and ugliest churches.

St Mary Bishophill Junior, says the useful Wikipedia page on the Medieval Parish Churches of York, is:
situated within what was the colonia or civil quarter of the Roman garrison of Eboracum and pieces of Roman tilework can be observed found in the Tower. The tower itself is of the late Anglo-Saxon period with masonry of very mixed materials, including blocks of brown sandstone and limestone blocks, some laid in herringbone fashion; the quoins are mainly of brown sandstone laid in a "side-alternate" fashion and with no buttresses, factors which often mark Anglo-Saxon architecture ...  Inside the church is reported "the finest pre-Conquest tower arch". There are also fragments of pre-Conquest stonework inside this church.
Intriguingly, the page also says:
Adjacent to this site there was formerly St Mary Bishophill Senior, with early Anglo-Saxon features such as monolithic construction, on the base of a Romano-British wall which could possibly also have been a church. There is now no trace of this, although it was reported to stand as a ruin in 1961.
And the ugliest church, formerly known as the Methodist Wesley Chapel (says York Stories), is The Rock of York.

Looking at its website, I find myself irresistibly reminded of Darren Betts in Rev.


Unknown said...

St Mary Bishophill Senior wasn't exactly adjacent, as the Wikipedia page says, but more 'round the corner and down the road'. Its churchyard still exists, next to Carr's Lane. In its churchyard is one of my favourite York memorials, to a man named Gentle Vickers.

Thanks for the links to my website.

crewegwyn said...

That's not a Church - that's a railway water tower, poorly converted!