York, Yorkshire

St. Denys' Church, York, Yorkshire

St. Denys’ in Walmgate is a modest looking church that actually has a long history. It is thought the Romans had a temple on this site and that was then replaced by a Saxon church. The first absolute record of St. Denys’ Church is from 1154. The interior has some of the earliest surviving stained glass in York. Much of what survives today is from the 15th Century, although the doorway is clearly Norman with unmistakable sculptural work on the frame.

The church has a very unfortunate history that has robbed it of something like half its original floor plan. Part of the church subsided after the King’s Fishpool was drained, another chunk collapsed when a sewer was built nearby, the current entrance to the church being where a window once stood. The church also originally had a spire which was hit by cannon shot in the Civil War and struck by lightning in the 18th Century. Twenty years after this it was partially blown down and finally removed as unsafe.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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