Building record MYO1130 - St Michael le Belfrey


Medieval church rebuilt in 1525-37 with additions of 1712, 1785 and 1855. A restoration was carried out in 1867. 6-bay continuous aisled nave and chancel with clerestory; east vestry; west porch and bellcote.


Grid reference Centred SE 6027 5212 (39m by 36m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (19)

Full Description

Parish church. 1525-37 with vestry, west front and bellcote of 1867. C19 alterations by G Fowler Jones.

MATERIALS: limestone ashlar with roofs of lead and stone slate.

PLAN: 6-bay continuous aisled nave and chancel with clerestory; east vestry; west porch and bellcote.

EXTERIOR: double moulded plinth to all sides. East end partly obscured by vestry: east window has 5 cinque-foiled lights and panel tracery in 2-centred head: north aisle east window is of two pairs of trefoiled ogee lights in traceried 4-centred head. North and south sides are articulated by 2-stage buttresses, those on north side only with gargoyles and crocketed pinnacles. Westernmost bay on each side has traceried double doors in 4-centred arch of 2 orders with side shafts, spandrels carved with Tudor flowers in quatrefoils, flanked by standards with crocketed pinnacles. Each remaining bay contains window similar to that in east end of north aisle, with moulded sillstring on south side only. South side has band of cusped lozenge panels enclosing armorial shields beneath windows. Windows have casement-moulded surrounds and hoodmoulds with return stops. Coved eaves string beneath plain parapet with moulded coping, returned at east end.

Clerestory windows, two to each bay, have square heads and tripled trefoil headed lights. West end: crow-stepped gable. West door and window framed beneath 4-centred moulded arch with carved spandrels springing from 3-stage buttress piers with cross-gabled and crocketed pinnacles: arch surmounted by octagonal bellcote of paired cinquefoiled lights capped by pierced embattled parapet. West doorway similar to those in aisles has band of cusped lozenge panels beneath gabled doorhead with carved tympanum. West window repeats east window and aisle end windows repeat those on north and south sides, with moulded sillstrings. Octagonal stair turret at south west has moulded strings at plinth and sill levels, two slit lights, coved eaves string incorporating grotesque beasts, two tiers of blind traceried panels and band of blind quatrefoils at base of pointed octagonal roof.

INTERIOR: nave arcades of 4-centred arches on shafted piers and responds with moulded capitals and bases. Above, continuous hoodmould on heraldic angel stops and spandrels carved with quatrefoils enclosing roses, fruit, etc. Moulded clerestory string and trefoiled panels beneath windows. 3-bay reredos of raised and fielded panelling, articulated by fluted Composite columns with entablature and small segmental pediment filled with cartouche and palm fronts.

Bolection-moulded centre panel has painted representation of the Adoration of the Shepherds, outer panels the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. Communion rails have bulbous balusters carved with foliage and spirals, bowed gates in centre, and heavy flat rail. At west end, gallery with panelled front reached by two staircases cased in raised and fielded panelling, with Gothick balustrades, plain serpentine handrails, wreathed at foot around column newels on shaped curtail steps. 6-panel doors at stair heads, shaped to fit pier responds, give access to gallery. 4-centred chamfered doorway at foot of south staircase, leads to turret. Hatchment of Royal Arms, originally above reredos, attached to gallery front. Benefaction boards: in gallery, 2 in bolection moulded surrounds, 2 with 4-centred heads: in north aisle, 2 with semicircular heads. Lord Mayoral boards: beneath gallery, one 1711-1720, one 1764-1859, one 1872-1969. Glass re-arranged and restored in C19 and C20, includes mid C14 glass in East window and early C16 in aisle windows.

MONUMENTS AND BRASSES: include at east end: carved stone cartouche to Ann, wife of William Walker, d.1687; carved stone cartouche to John White, d.1716/7. North wall: pedimented tablet with floral side scrolls to Mary Grammer, d.1738; scrolled cartouche to Thomas James, d.1732; sarcophagus tablet to Baldwin Wake, MD, d.1842, signed by Flintoft. Brasses to Thomas Dawnay, d.1683; Frances, wife of William Farrer, d.1680/1, signed Joshua Mann. South aisle, east end: large wall monument to Sir Robert Squire, d.1707, and wife Priscilla, d.1711, two sculpted figures beneath swagged open pediment on fluted Corinthian pilasters; shaped tablet with cornice and floriated sides, to an infant Vavasour, d.1728; scrolled cartouche to Mary Woodyeare, nee Drake, d.1728. South wall: pilastered monument with cornice and apron, to Catherine and Christine North, d.1734; tablet with shield of arms to Sir Thomas Fothergill, d.1735; tablet with urn to John Blanshard, d.1770, and wife, Mary, d.1789; tablet with urn in broken pediment to children and wife, Elizabeth, d.1790, of John Metcalfe; separated monument with sarcophagus and military emblems to Lieutenant and Adjutant John Crossland of York City Regiment of Local Militia, d.1813, signed by Fishers, York; oval tablet of black marble to Mary Lawson, d.1774.

(City of York: RCHME: The Central Area: HMSO: 1981-: 36). Listing NGR: SE6028052128

Derived from English Heritage LB download dated: 22/08/2005

NMR Information:

Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid 464100
Unified Designation System UID 1257228

(SE 60285213) St Michael-le-Belfry Church (C of E) (NAT)


Church of St Michael-le-Belfry

SE 6052 SW 27/45 14.6.54


1525-36 when the church was completely rebuilt by John Forman, master mason to the Minster. The facade has a central turret of 1855 by G T Andrews and was largely restored in 1867 by G F Jones.
Nave with broad aisles; gallery of 1785; good reredos of 1712 by William Etty; C19 box pews; some C14 glass in east window and some good C16 glass; standing monument of 1709 to Robert Squire and
wife. Numerous C18 and C19 mural tablets. Guy Fawkes was baptised here in 1570.
(RCHM Vol V, Monument 12).

1 Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 1:2500 1962.
2 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest 230 City of York, June 1983.

Architectural Survey
14-NOV-1995 - 14-NOV-1995

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 5 2021 12:36PM


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