York, Goodramgate – Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity is a church in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust – there is a lot about the church at their website.

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The first existing record of the church is a charter of 1082, though it is thought this charter is a forgery! There is some Norman work and C12 tracery still in existence. The east end was rebuilt between 1470 and 80, and the rebuilding probably included the whole chancel of north aisle. The tower was added in 1495-6, and not a lot happened since.

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It was a busy churchyard, full of people eating their lunches in the sun. Inside was a contrast. C17 box pews – never the most comfortable, but they kept the kids in place. There was a proposal to remove them in 1896, but the work was not carried out. The double-decker pulpit, which allows the preacher to see everyone despite the high pews, was installed in 1659 and cost £6. It is made of oak. The bible was read from the lower lectern, and the sermons preached from the top level.

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The picture dates to 1882 and is by John England Jefferson of Malton – it shows the church closest to its Georgian form.

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The font is late C15, with an oak cover of 1787.

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The Mayoral boards commemorate the Lord Mayors of York with connections to the parish. The grandfather clock shape is unusual, and there is a Mayoral Pew.

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This WW1 memorial is to the Bedern Boys, young men who attended the Bedern National School just down the road. According to http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/city-of-york/pp440-460#h3-0011 “This school for boys, girls, and infants was built between 1872 and 1873 by the York National School Society with aid from the state and the central funds of the National Society. The site, at the corner of Bedern and St. Andrewgate, was given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. … There was accommodation for 570 in 3 schoolrooms and 3 classrooms. The attendance in 1873 was 325; fees were 1d. to 4d. for boys, 2d. to 6d. for girls, and 1d. to 2d. for infants. The school first received an annual government grant in 1880. The accommodation had been increased to 608 by 1897; the average attendance was then 544. In 1913 the infants’ department was closed and the school reorganized to accommodate 407 pupils; alterations to the buildings were made after 1914 with the aid of a grant from the National Society. … From 1932 there were junior mixed and infants’ departments only. The school was requisitioned for military purposes in 1939 and closed in 1940.” There is an ongoing project to trace families and fill in some of the history – marvellous!

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Some stone coffins in the NE corner, and a rather nice window (which isn’t mentioned in the guide).

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The East Window is rather nice. It was given by the Reverend John Walker, rector, in 1471. He is the man kneeling beside the crucified Christ. John was a man doing well. He was a Keeper of the York Guild of Corpus Christus in 1471, a prestigious Guild which also had Archbishop George Neville, aristocrats and wealthy merchants as members. Archbishop Neville was given another living at All Hallows, Barking, in London – it makes you wonder if he ever went to Barking. Walker, or fuller or tucking, is a step in woollen cloth-making – so it is possible that he came from a family connected with textile manufacturing. In his will of 1481 he bequeathed numerous cloaks and lengths of cloth to family and friends. He was also a member of the Guild of St Christopher and St George – who both appear in the window. There is a representation of the Trinity – the Son on the left (note the Crown of Thorns), presumably the Father in the middle and the Spirit on the right.

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The Commemorative Slabs in front of the high altar reflect the high status of the men whose graves they mark. Three were Lord Mayors of York, and the fourth (right) Lyonel Elyott was the son of Thomas Elyott, a Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles II.

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This is the altar in the SE Chapel, while the one in St James’ Chapel is ancient and stone – before the Reformation stone altars were common. On this one you can see the consecration crosses. The stone is magnesium limestone, probably quarried in Tadcaster. There is also a Hagioscope, an angled window built into the chapel wall to enable a chantry priest to say Mass in synchronisation with the priest officiating at the high altar.

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Rather a nice postcard blown up and on display – tourists have been coming here for many years, and you can see why.

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