St. Crux Parish Room

Pages 11-12

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. Crux Parish Room

(4) St. Crux Parish Room stands on the N.W. side of Pavement at the corner of Whip-ma-whop-magate; it is on the site and incorporates slight remains of the former Parish Church of St. Crux (Plate 2). The church was mentioned in Domesday Book when it belonged to the Count of Mortain, but by the early 12th century the advowson was held by St. Mary's Abbey, passed to the Crown at the Dissolution and thence to the archbishop in 1868 (VCH, York, 377). Nothing is known of the structural history before the first quarter of the 15th century, when the church was rebuilt; money was left to the new work in 1402, 1404 and 1405 (Raine, 189) and it was dedicated in 1424 (YFR, 238). In the late 17th century a new tower was built, the foundation stone being laid on 1 April 1697 (Drake, 297). By the late 19th century the church was in poor condition and plans for restoration were drawn up by Fisher and Hepper, architects, in February 1884 (Borthwick Inst., R.IV.F. 1884/2). However, it was partly dismantled that year, the parish was united with All Saints, Pavement, in 1885 and demolition was completed in 1887 in spite of efforts to save the church, which was one of the finest in York. It was seven bays long, with north and south aisles; the chancel and nave were structurally undivided, and the tower stood over the W. bay of the S. aisle. The parish room was built on part of the site in 1888, using materials from the demolished church and incorporating a section of the old N. wall; many monuments and other fittings were reset inside. Among these, the Watter monument is notable.

The N. wall of the church survives to a height of about 5 ft. generally, but the westernmost part of it, which directly abuts No. 23 Shambles, remains to the full original height of the aisle. It is of magnesian limestone, ashlar-faced outside and of rubble inside. Towards the E. end is a chamfered plinth, and further W. a blocked doorway with four-centred arch. The window in the E. wall of the parish room is one of the original S. aisle windows, reset, with some of the stonework renewed; it is of three cinque-foiled lights, with vertical tracery, and the outer reveal has a casement moulding.

Pre-Conquest Stone, see Miscellanea (3).

Fittings—Bells: two listed by Benson (Benson, Bells, 10), (1) 'Ic Ben Ghegoten Int Jaer Ons Heeren MCCCCCXXIII', Flemish, 1523; (2) 'Repent, least ye perish, Anno Domini 1673 M. C., M. H., M. W., Churchwardens, SS. Ebor'; both now at St. Andrew's, Bishopthorpe. Brasses: on N. wall, (1) fixed to W. side of Watter monument (see Monument (4)), Sir Thomas Herbert, baronet, 1681, and Lucia his first wife, daughter of Sir Walter Alexander, 1671, large plate in modern wooden frame, with Latin inscription and shield-of-arms of Herbert impaling Alexander and Cutler; (2) William Lane, sometime mayor of the city, 1484, Katherine his wife, plate with Latin inscription; (3) mounted on same stone as (2), Lawrence Rawdon, alderman, 1626, Margery his wife, 1644, Elizabeth Jaques their grand-daughter, 1651, inscription plate; on S. wall, (4) Betty MackGibbon, 1762, inscription plate; (5) Izabell and John Robinson, 1606, inscription plate; (6) Thomas Willans, 1809, plate signed Barker, York; (7) Henry Wyman, mayor of York, 1411, Agnes his wife, 1416, plate with black-letter inscription; (8) Catherine Vane, 1738, inscription plate flanked by two shields, with arms of City of York and merchant's mark. Communion Table, now in All Saints, Pavement (1). Doors: in W. wall, (1) reused original S. door of church, in two leaves, each three panels wide, with blank tracery (Plate 158), early 15th-century; at W. end, inside, (2) late 19th-century internal porch with reset over-door consisting of pulvinated frieze with central panel bearing painted date 1671, and pediment enclosing cartouche-of-arms of Rawdon. Font: octagonal bowl on octagonal shaft with moulded cap and base, 15th-century; now at St. Andrew's, Bishopthorpe. Glass: E. window by J. W. Knowles, 1863; two made-up panels of 15th-century glass now in St. Martin, Coney Street (see Monument (10), Glass, window sVII). Hatchments: on N. wall, (1) of Alexander Herbert, 1668, with arms of Herbert quartering eleven coats; (2) of Henry Herbert, 1667, Lady Lucy Herbert, 1671, Elizabeth Herbert, 1674, with five shields-of-arms of Herbert impaling Harrison, Herbert impaling Alexander, Herbert impaling Cutler, Harrison impaling Darcy, Egerton impaling Stanley, and lozenge-of-arms of Herbert impaling Cutler; on S. wall, (3) of Sir Tancred Robinson, with escutcheon of pretence of Norton. Lectern, Lord Mayors' Tables, now in All Saints, Pavement (1), q.v.

Monuments: on E. wall, (1) Sarah Rhodes, 1813, white marble tablet on slate backing, signed Fishers York; (2) Sir Tancred Robinson, baronet, 1754, Dame Mary his wife, daughter and heiress of Rowland Norton (Plate 43), sarcophagus with Lord Mayor's regalia in relief on side, surmounted by seated cherub with portrait medallion, cross-staff, anchors, cannon etc., obelisk-shaped marble slab behind with cartouche-of-arms of Robinson with escutcheon of pretence of Norton, and below shaped apron with inscription, signed Robt. Avray Eboraci Sculpt.; (3) Thomas Spooner, 1794, Ann his wife, 1809, eight children, white marble tablet; on N. wall, (4) Sir Robert Watter, 1612, Margaret his wife, 1608, limestone monument (Plate 41), formerly painted and gilded, consisting of tomb-chest with recumbent effigies of deceased, surmounted by canopy; on front of tomb-chest, three arched niches with large key-blocks, middle one bearing date 1610, others shields-of-arms of City of York and Haberdashers' Company; in the spandrels, pieces of armour carved in low relief; on each end, single arched niche; canopy, over rear half of monument only, supported by solid walls at back and each side, but the latter fronted by Corinthian columns standing on shaped pedestals decorated with shields-of-arms of Watter and unidentified (a chevron between three towers on each a demi-lion rampant), and carrying entablature which forms front of canopy; the back wall has, below, central kneeling figure of child flanked by two babies lying on cushions under tented canopies; above, tablet with strapwork surround, set within arched motif, flanked on left by figure of bearded man representing Time and Justice and on right by figure of woman representing Mercy and Fame; side walls also highly ornamented, each with two tiers of round-arched niches, upper ones containing figures of Faith on left and Peace on right; above canopy, central achievement-of-arms of Watter and, to each side, standing cherub; (5) Thomas Clifton, 1754, Catherine his wife, 1760, six children and grandchildren, white marble tablet with undulating surface and flanking grey marble pilaster strips set diagonally, surmounted by cartouche with arms (illegible); (6) Roger Belwood, 1694, white marble tablet (Plate 43) with side panels in form of piles of books, moulded cornice and gadrooned plinth, surmounted by shield-of-arms of Belwood; (7) Thomas Bowes, apothecary and Lord Mayor, 1777, white marble sarcophagus-shaped tablet with inscription over festoon, shaped apron with arms of Bowes within wreath; attributed to Fisher by Gunnis (p. 146) but no signature apparent; (8) Thomas Court, 1803, Matthew Court, 1824, Mary his wife, 1826, Margaret Ward, 1846, white marble tablet surmounted by urn, on slate backing, signed Plows; (9) Henry Waite, 1780, white marble tablet (Plate 43) with large portrait medallion between two vertical strips of disc ornament, flanking pedestals with rams' heads and frieze wreathed with ivy garlands, inscription on apron below, whole on backing of red and white marble and surmounted by shaped pedestal which formerly bore arms, signed I. Fisher Sculpt.; on S. wall, (10) Richard Hudson, 1802, Elizabeth his wife, 1804, white marble tablet surmounted by small urn, drops to each side and, below, patera framed by palm fronds, on slate backing, signed Chambers Sculpt. Scarbro.; (11) Francis Hudson and Susannah his wife, both 1800, white marble oval tablet on slate backing; (12) William Hessay, 1808, Elizabeth his wife, 1793, Ann their daughter, 1798, three other children who died in infancy, white marble tablet on round-headed slate backing; (13) Ann Spooner, 1834, white marble tablet with enriched cornice and flanking scrolls. Plate, now in All Saints, Pavement (1). Recess: in N. wall, externally, small tomb-recess with low four-centred arch. Royal Arms, now in All Saints, Pavement (1). Miscellanea: (1) built into N. and S. walls as seating for roof trusses, five carved stone corbel-heads (Plate 29), from aisle roofs of former church; (2) thirteen wooden bosses from the former church roof were taken to the Yorkshire Museum and a further seventeen reused on roof of W. bay of Holy Trinity, Micklegate; (3) found under N. wall of nave in 1887, now in Yorkshire Museum, finial cross, 16 in. by 12¼ in. by 8 in. (YAJ, xx Part 78 (1908), 194–5), probably 11th-century.