Parish Church of St. George

Page 20

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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Parish Church of St. George

Fig. 19. (6) St. Denys. Grave-slab (1).

(7) Church of St. George (R.C.) (Plate 13) stands at the corner of George Street and Margaret Street. The walls are of magnesian limestone, much patched with cement, and the roofs are covered with Welsh slate. It was built to serve a growing Roman Catholic population in the Walmgate area caused by Irish immigration in the 1840s and was opened on 4 September 1850. The architects were Joseph and Charles Hansom and the builder Ralph Weatherley of York; the cost of the structure was £2,300 and of the site £1,250 (Sheahan and Whellan, 552–4). After the restoration of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in England the church was used as a temporary cathedral by the Bishop of Beverley. The adjoining presbytery was built in 1856 and there were alterations and restorations to the church in 1901 and 1923 (YG, 7 Sept. 1901; 8 Sept. 1923).

Architectural Description. The church consists of a chancel with south chapel, north vestry, nave and aisles, and south porch, and is designed in the early Decorated style. The Chancel is of one bay and has an E. window of four lights with tracery of pointed trefoils and encircled quatrefoils; over the chancel arch is a bell-turret with twin openings. The South Chapel opens to the chancel through a pointed arch; it has three-light windows in the E. and S. walls. The aisled Nave, of five bays, has arcades with octagonal piers with moulded capitals and bases supporting pointed arches of two chamfered orders but no clerestorey; over the W. bay is a choir gallery. The N. wall is mostly obscured externally by the vestry and the adjacent presbytery. The S. wall is divided by buttresses of two stages, of which the second from the E. has a niche housing a statue of St. George. The W. wall has three steeply-pitched gables surmounted by crosses, corresponding to the nave and aisles. The central doorway has a moulded, pointed arch and above it is a pointed window of three lights; the aisles each have a two-light window. The South Porch, now used as a baptistry, is steeply gabled and has an arched doorway.