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HOMEPAGE for all of Phil and Molly's PicsHOMEPAGE York ScenesCity of YORK SCENES, England

23a. The Fossgate and Walmgate area - St Denys Church, St Margaret's Church, Peasholme Green and some medieval houses

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Fossgate

After passing over the rather fine Fossgate Bridge down on the right is St Denys Road. Foss Bridge was built to a design of Peter Atkinson in 1811-1812 and has some fine stone balusters. There are some fine houses on Fossgate.

 

Looking towards the Minster down St Denys Road across Fossgate Bridge

Cosy Club bar and restaurant, Fossgate, York

York's first purpose built cinema, 'The Electric Cinema', with its ornate arch opened in 1911, now the 'Cosy Club' bar and restaurant, Fossgate, York

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Saint Denys Church, St Denys Road, Walmgate

AN ABSOLUTE TREAT THAT MOST PEOPLE SEEM TO MISS

particularly the medieval stained glass!

St Denys was a Christian missionary bishop who was beheaded by the Romans in AD 258 at a place now known as Montmartre ('Martyr's Hill') in Paris.

The exterior architecture of St Denys Church

St Denys Church, west tower and the grand south door entrance. St Denys was first mentioned in the late 11th century but what you see today is essentially the east end of a great medieval church, in other words, the original church was three or four times bigger that survives!

PLEASE leave A DONATION to help keep this lovely medieval church with its wonderful C15 windows

The north (left) and south (right) aisles, and despite looking medieval, the tower was taken down and re-built in 1846-1847 mainly because the west wall collapsed in 1797 during drainage excavations! but most of the surviving building dates from the mid-14th century.

 

The ends of the north aisle, central aisle and north aisle of St Denys. The original nave has long since gone.

 

The wonderful multi-layered Norman south doorway of St Denys.

 

Details of the top layered carvings of the south door of St Denys with beak heads or raven heads and all sorts of other symbols.

 

A few details of the richly carved south door

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Continuing down Walmgate, York

The medieval Bowes Morrell House in Walmgate, a wonderful example of a late 14th century timber-framed construction.

The medieval Bowes Morrell House, Walmgate, York

Information about the Bowes Morrell House, Walmgate, York

 


Walmgate Bar

Walmgate Bar was probably built in the reign of Edward 1st and is unique in England because of the preserved barbican which was added in the reign of Edward III. It guards the south-easterly approach to York and still retains its portcullis, 12th century archway, 15th century oak doors and a wicket gate for pedestrians.

 

Looking east through Walmgate Bar into the barbican. Walmgate Bar was badly damaged in 1648 in the Civil War but the added wood and plaster house of the 16th century, once occupied by the gatekeeper, managed to survive. It is now the Gatehouse cafe for coffee!

Gatehouse Cafe, Walmgate Bar, York

 

The external entrance to the well preserved barbican.

 

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This massive stonework construction is impressive!


St Margaret's Church

St Margaret's Church near Walmgate which is now the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) from which York's Early Music Festivals are organised for the Summer and Christmas Seasons.

 

It was largely rebuilt in 1852 but the fine Norman south door archway is important.

 

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The east end of St Margaret's church.

 

The main body of the church nave is now used as a concert performance area - quite an atmospheric location between the medieval arches of the nave.

 

On the north wall is a stained glass window has an image of Christ on the left and on the right St Margaret commissioning a boy in scout uniform.

 

The southern Norman doorway, still impressive despite the erosion and some details of the carvings are shown below.

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At the bottom south-west end of St Denys Road is PICCADILLY

In Piccadilly is Dave Dee's Removals and the renowned Banana Warehouse second-hand furniture warehouse - and much else besides quality second-hand furniture.

 

 


The Red Tower

The Red Tower, Foss Islands Road, so called because of the colour of the bricks, lies at the northern end of the most eastern section of the city walls, north of Walmgate Bar. It was built in 1490 and is unique in York being wholly made of brick whereas the rest of the walls and towers are made of magnesian limestone from nearby Tadcastor. It was badly damaged in 1644 during a Civil War siege and has been used as a stable and gunpowder store.

 

The 'rebuilt' city walls lie south from the Red Tower. (for more on the City Walls see page 13)

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St Cuthbert's Church

The redundant, and sad looking neglected medieval Church of St Cuthbert's lies on the north side of The Stonebow in Peasholme Green. Apart from the Minster, this is the 2nd earliest known church in York and mentioned in the Domesday Book. Roman stone is found in the fabric of the building and most of what you see dates from the 15th century built on earlier Norman and Saxon foundations. The external features e.g. the windows and west tower are Perpendicular style.

 

The stained glass window of St Cuthbert

A few fragments of medieval glass can still be seen in St Cuthbert's Church - some nice fine black lined details

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The Black Swan, Peasholme Green

Heading up towards the Stonebow in Peasholme Green on the left is The Black Swan Inn. This is medieval timber-framed building was once the home of the wealthy merchant William Bowes who was elected Sheriff of York in 1402 and Lord Mayor in 1417 and 1428. In the 16th century Sir Martin Bowes was twice elected Lord Mayor of London and goldsmith to Queen Elizabeth I. The parents of the military General Wolfe (famously served in Canada) lived there between 1724 and 1726. The 'pub' was also an important coaching inn.


St Anthony's Hall

On the corner with Aldwark stands St Anthony's Hall, ancient hall of St Anthony which was founded in 1418 and dissolved in 1627. From 1705 to 1946 it housed the York Bluecoat School Boys' School. It now contains the Quilt Museum and Gallery.

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More on St Denys Church

The interior architecture of St Denys Church

Internal architecture and stained glass windows Part 1

PLEASE leave A DONATION  to help keep this lovely medieval church with its wonderful C15 windows

 

Looking across the central aisle to the north aisle and the 15th century stained glass windows. Details of the stained glass windows are given in the order as viewed from left to right in the picture above and then windows shown in the picture below, plus one other. All the windows in the picture are 15th century with the elaborate Decorated style of tracery.

 

Looking across the central aisle to the south aisle and the 15th century and Victorian stained glass windows. The two 14th century windows on the right have lovely tracery of the Decorated period of architecture.

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Medieval stained glass - the window nearest the font - left side of north aisle - facing you through the south door entrance: The two circular medallions in the central light date from ~1200 and are the oldest stain glass in the church, and possibly the oldest in York. Two scarlet demons appear in the upper roundels. In the right light (right pane) is a 14th century panel of St John the Baptist wearing a camel skin coat and palm trees in the background.

 

Medieval stained glass - middle window of north aisle: This is 14th century and the upper parts shown depict St Margaret slaying a dragon with her cross-spear and to her right the Virgin and Child. The three lower lights (lower panes) show three kneeling citizens of York and probably represent Robert de Skelton (~1340), his wife Joan and on the lower right their son John. Robert is holding a model of the window.

 

Medieval stained glass - right window of north aisle: This stain glass window is also 14th century and in the main lights, St Thomas ('doubting Thomas') kneels before the Risen Christ and St John the Evangelist on His right. Below in the middle light is a kneeling bearded donor with a scroll showing in Latin the words "Lord Have Mercy on Me".

The north window of the east wall - to the left of the altar: It is mainly 15th century stained glass and once depicted a branched Jesse Tree showing the descent of Christ from Jesse, father of King David. However the 'branches' are now filled with a patchwork of glass fragments including heads of angels, saints and bishops.

 

Medieval stained glass fragments.

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Medieval stained glass - the upper part of the east window above the altar: This window dates from 1452 to 1455 and depicts a sainted abbot (probably St Leonard), the Virgin Mary, the Crucifixion flanked by angels (one catches Christ's blood in a chalice), St John and the churches patron St Denys, holding his severed head.

 

The rather jumbled 15th? century medieval stained glass of the south window of the east wall to the right of the altar: This originally depicted the life of St Catherine but now consists of a mosaic of fragments including (if you can spot them!), heralds with trumpets, dragon in a chalice, an angel, and a devil whispering into the ears of a triple-crowned Pope.

Medieval stained glass of the east end of the south wall: This 15th century set of panels includes St Catherine, the Virgin Mary below sun rays and ?

 

The brightly Victorian stained glass in the middle of the south wall next to the entrance. This Victorian window of 1877 shows Christ with Nicodemus, the Ascension and Christ at Jacob's Well.

 

In a side chapel is an old font, possibly 15th century?

 

The upper part of the Victorian patterned stamped glass window in the west wall from ~1846.

 

The 15th century timbered roof above the central aisle

 

The four carved 12th century Norman heads (~1160) which have been reset high above on the south side of the south arches of the south aisle arcade (easy to miss them!).

PLEASE leave A DONATION to help keep this lovely medieval church with its wonderful C15 windows

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Bottom right pane of the right window of north aisle.


South window of the east wall

All 12 lower sections are shown below - quite remarkable!

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PLEASE leave A DONATION to help keep this lovely medieval church with its wonderful C15 windows

 


The interior of St Denys Church - Stained glass windows Part 2 detailed images

Details of selected panels of the medieval 13th, 14th and 15th century windows and were selected panes or sections of panes shown on page 23b and they are quite remarkable craftsmanship - nay, this is great artwork and no doubt paid a small wage for their great design and glazing skills.


The middle window of the north aisle

Bottom left pane of the middle window of north aisle - Robert de Skelton. I love the little creatures (only a few inches across) and their wistful expressions and the winged insects.

 

 

Robert de Skelton's son John?


The right window of north aisle

Medieval stained glass - lower pane of the right window of north aisle showing leaves, castles etc.

 

 A kneeling bearded donor in the right window of the north aisle.

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Extra images of selected painted glass panels

 

 


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