Sunday, October 19, 2014

Holy Trinity, Micklegate, York

The Priory Church of the Holy Trinity in the Micklegate neighborhood of York was part of a Benedictine Priory established in 1098. A church had existed on the spot 30 years earlier but had been reduced to rubble by William the Conqueror's invasion in 1066. The monastery lost its lands during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 but the church remained as a parish church for York. The church still provides weekly services.

Holy Trinity, Micklegate

The entrance

Before going into the church, it's fun to see the replica stocks in the yard. The sign says the original stocks date back to the 1500s and were used for minor crimes and nuisance cases. The replica outside was put up in 2006, the original is inside. There is a fascinating tree, too!


The originals

Cool tree

The church has two baptismal fonts, though one seems to be there just to hold holy water.

The ancient font

More glorious font

The nave dates back to the 1200s with the south aisle still remaining; the north aisle has been closed in.

Nave with south aisle on the right

13th century pillars

In the north wall is a memorial to the Walker family who had many losses in the First World War.

Walker Memorial

The ceiling is also impressive if more modern than the 1200s.

The main altar sits not far from the high altar, which has a fabulous Victorian-era stained glass window done in the medieval style (including a crucifix in the glass).

Main altar

Victorian East window

A recreation of the medieval Trinity statue (for which the church is named) has a place of honor near the main altar.

Holy Trinity statue

A side chapel from 1453 honors St. Nicholas with a window showing him restoring life to children killed by an evil man who kept their bodies to eat later.

St. Nicholas Chapel

At the back of the church is a large display on the life of the Benedictine monks, including a look at the various habits different monks wore.

Benedictine monk and nun

A Gilbertine, a Dominican, and a Franciscan in the middle

A Carmelite and an Augustinian

The Holy Trinity Priory monks produced a famous illuminated manuscript called a Bestiary or Book of Beasts. The beasts were both real and imaginary. Their descriptions included stories about the animals. Often, the text was used at the monastery as a basis for sermons and teaching, since the stories contained religious or moral lessons. The original book is now in St. John's College in Oxford but some copies of pages are on display.

Two on one page!

Winged beasts

A snake sheds its skin

A unicorn and a big cat?

Donkey and horse

The display includes a religious-themed "Snakes and Ladders" game for the kids.

Really bad snakes!

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