St. Andrew's Hall

Page 10

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1981.

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St. Andrew's Hall

(3) St. Andrew's Hall (Plate 20; Fig. 15), formerly the parish church of St. Andrew, stands on the S.E. side of St. Andrewgate. It consists of a cottage built in the ruins of the former Chancel, and a Nave. The walls are generally of magnesian limestone, with some gritstone which is probably reused Roman material. Postmediaeval work is in brick. The roofs are covered with pantiles.

At the earliest mention of the church in 1194 it was appropriated to the Chapter of York Minster. The chancel was built in 1390–2 by Hugh Grantham, mason (SS, xxxv, 129), and the nave is 15th-century. The church became redundant in the 16th century and the parish was united with St. Saviour's in 1586. By the early 18th century it had become, according to Drake, 'a stable at one end and a brothel at the other'. It was occupied by St. Peter's School from c. 1730 to 1823. By the early 19th century the chancel was ruinous, but before 1850 it was largely rebuilt to form a cottage; this is no longer inhabited as such, but has become an annexe to the nave of the church which is now (1977) used as a meeting house by the Christian Brethren. Though of simple plan, the church is notable as the only one of the city churches declared redundant in the 16th century of which the fabric still stands. An unusual feature is a timber structure at the W. end of the nave roof that formed the lower part of a bell-turret. Because of the early redundancy no fittings survive.

Architectural Description. The Chancel has original work of the late 14th century in the N. wall, which is mostly of lime-stone in courses up to 18 in. deep, but incorporates some brickwork, especially near the top, indicating part rebuilding in the 18th century. There is a chamfered plinth and one original window near the W. end, with splayed reveals, in poor condition and containing a 19th-century hung sash. The E. wall, of stone and brick, has remains of a chamfered plinth but is otherwise rebuilt; it has a blocked doorway and 19th-century windows. The S. wall, of brick, is wholly of the 19th century, with a doorway and two simple windows. The interior is divided up to form a cottage with simple late Georgian fittings.

The Nave has a moulded plinth around the exterior except where parts have been broken away on the S. wall. In the E. wall is the blocked chancel arch, 13½ ft. wide and two-centred, of two chamfered orders; the outer order continues down to the floor, but the inner springs from moulded corbels. The wall to each side of the arch is, externally, of large squared masonry, and of rubble in the gable. The N. wall contains a large amount of reused gritstone, mostly in the lower half; the magnesian limestone above is generally finely cut with narrow joints. The two original windows have square heads, moulded labels and splayed reveals; only the E. window retains tracery, comprising four trefoiled panels above two cinque-foiled lights, but the W. window has an original, though damaged, label head-stop. Further to the W. an original doorway, now blocked with brick, has a plain-chamfered two-centred arch. The S. wall, mostly of reused gritstone, has been much altered. The positions of the two original square-headed windows can be identified, though both were later converted to doorways and then partly or wholly blocked with brickwork. The existing later windows have modern frames. Near the E. end is an early 18th-century doorway. The W. wall is original up to about 3 ft. below the springing of the gable but otherwise of modern brick; in the centre the brick extends further down, infilling a window opening.

The Roof of the nave was four bays long but all that survives of the original are tie-beams with small chamfers. In the W. bay is framing that formed the lower part of a bell-turret, consisting of corner-posts, rails and curved braces. Originally it stood on two tie-beams, but one of these, against the W. wall, has been removed and the other has lost wall-posts and braces which strengthened it below (Fig. 1c).

An enclosed yard S.E. of the church is part of the former Churchyard; the churchyard to N.W. and S.W. was built over with small houses, the last of which were demolished in the mid 20th century, and the land is now derelict.

Fig. 15. (3) St. Andrew's Hall.