York, Yorkshire

St. Crux Church, York, Yorkshire

In reality, there is no St. Crux Church remaining in York. Drawings from the Victorian period show a massive Italianate tower (of circa 1697) launching up into the sky at the end of The Shambles. In 1736 it was described by Sir Francis Drake as “a handsome new steeple of brick coined with stone” and certainly pictures in the 1880s show an attractive and distinctive tower.

The church had stood since the 1400s and was the largest parish church in the City.

The Victorians, however, decided it was unsightly and allowed it to slowly collapsed – first went the urns at the top of the tower, then the cupola fell around 1872. By 1887 the church was considered unsafe and it was demolished leaving only the small church hall which still stands forlornly at the end of The Shambles and today houses flea markets, boot fairs and the like which was built from the rubble left over from the demolition.

The famous Whip-Ma-Whap-Ma-Gate, York’s smallest street, runs alongside one end of the Church Hall and is about 35 metres long.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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