Sunday, December 29, 2013

Church of the Holy Trinity, York, England

The Church of the Holy Trinity in York is hidden behind a row of shops on Goodramgate. It's a little oasis from the hustle and bustle of shopping, especially when I visited in December.

Church of the Holy Trinity, York

The earliest record of the church is a charter from 1082 that was later discovered to be a forgery! There probably was a small church back then. The currently-standing church began in the 1100s.

Massive renovations happened in the late 1400s at the behest of Reverend John Walker, then rector of the church. The tower was completed in 1495-1496, but the most striking contribution is the stained glass Rev. Walker added.


Main altar with Walker's window

The font also dates from the late 1400s. The cover is oak and dates from 1787.

Baptismal font

The church's most unusual feature is the Box Pews. Such pews were common in Anglican churches but were mostly removed in the 1800s. These pews date back to the 1600s.

Box pews in the north aisle

Inside the box pews

A spot to entertain children!

The larger boxes in the nave

A double-decker pulpit was installed in 1695 so the preacher could see the congregation inside the pews.


At the back of the church are some Mayoral Boards, which record the Lord Mayors of York who had an association with Holy Trinity. The grandfather clock shape is unusual but nice. They hang on either side of the mayoral pew at the back of the church.

Mayoral Board

Just off the south aisle is a chapel dedicated to St. James. The chapel has several interesting features. The stone altar is a rare item to find after the Reformation. The wall has a piscina, a small stone basin used by priests to wash chalices and ciboriums. The hagioscope is an angled window that lets a priest saying Mass at St. James's altar to be in sync with the priest at the main altar.

Stone altar with wooden front


Festively-decorated Hagioscope

The chapel of St. James was decorated for Christmas.

Christmas tree and a wooden altar at the back of St. James's Chapel

Like many churches in England, it is undergoing a bit of repair. The yard is lovely and makes a nice place to relax.

Can't avoid the scaffolding!

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