Building record MYO1173 - Formerly the Church of St. John the Evangelist below Ousebridge


Formerly the Church of St. John the Evangelist, the Arts Centre, now a bar. The church is of stone with the earliest fabric dating to the 12th century with 16th century repairs in brick with a timber-framed belfry.


Grid reference Centred SE 6011 5164 (24m by 20m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (21)

Full Description

Formerly known as: Church of St John the Evangelist Ousebridge. Church, now arts centre.

Early C12 lower stage to tower; C14 chancel north arch; north aisle and arcade remodelled, and west end extended, in late C15; late C15 south aisle and arcade. In 1551 part of north aisle and arcade rebuilt following partial collapse of tower; belfry of 1646.

Extensive restoration in 1850, when east end was rebuilt and south porch added; further restorations of 1866, when nave was re-roofed, and c1955. 1850 work by G Fowler Jones; 1866 restoration by JB and W Atkinson; C20 conversion by University of York Design Unit. Re-roofed and further alterations c1990.

MATERIALS: dressed gritstone and magnesian limestone, with C19 work of dressed sandstone; C16 repairs in red brick; timber-framed belfry with red brick infilling. Tile and slate main roof of three parallel spans; tiled pyramidal roof to tower, with wrought-iron finial. PLAN: double-aisled continuous 1-bay chancel and 3-bay nave; south porch; 2-stage internal tower and belfry towards west end.

EXTERIOR: east end: triple-gabled, with C19 windows replicating the originals. 3-light chancel window with cusped intersecting tracery in 2-centred arch beneath corbel-stopped hood; panel-traceried north and south aisle windows of 4 and 3 cinquefoiled lights respectively, in 4-centred arches with corbelled hoodmoulds. North side has angle and intermediate buttresses. Doorway in 2-centred arch towards west end. To east, three windows each of 3 trefoil-headed lights with panel tracery, easternmost blocked. At west end, window of paired cusped lights, repaired in brick. All openings in chamfered reveals. South side: bays separated by offset buttresses with crocketed pinnacles. Towards west end, gabled porch projects, with 2-centred arch of two roll-moulded orders with decaying moulded capitals, beneath head-stopped hoodmould. East of porch are three windows of 3 cinquefoiled lights and panel tracery in 4-centred arched openings, beneath head-stopped hoodmoulds; at east end, similar window of 2 lights. At west end, window of 2 trefoiled lights and panel tracery beneath flattened arch. Window openings are hollow-chamfered. Sill string course and moulded eaves string beneath embattled parapet. West end not visible. Belfry has square louvred openings to south and east; gabled, louvred lucarne to south.

INTERIOR: 3-bay north and south arcades of 2-centred double-chamfered arches, octagonal columns and responds. Responds to easternmost arch of north arcade have moulded capitals. Of remaining arches, the inner order dies into piers, the outer terminates in elongated block corbels. At east end of south arcade is a large opening, probably a squint, with splayed, chamfered reveal. East opening beneath tower not visible; north and south arches are low, 2-centred, continuously chamfered. Above north and south arches, traces of second stage window arches of voussoirs remain. To west, blocked original window in deeply splayed and chamfered reveal. Extension west of tower on two chamfered half arches which act as flying buttresses against tower west face. Original panelled ceilings to aisles survive, with moulded ties and beams, and carved bosses. Nave roof is C19 hammer-beam replacement. MONUMENTS: north aisle: keyed, round-headed marble tablet with winged cherub head beneath, to Nathaniel Wilson, d.1726, and his wife, Elizabeth, d.1736. At east end, altar tomb said to be that of Sir Richard Yorke, d.1498, with panelled sides of quatrefoils incorporating heraldic shields. North arcade: tablet with bands of guilloche decoration, to John Scott, d.1775; white marble monument to Christopher Benson, d.1801, and members of his family, signed 'Stead of York'. South arcade: two cartouches, one to Anne Haynes, d.1747, the other to Elizabeth Potter, "faithful servant 26 years in one family", d.1766. South aisle: marble tablet to Luke Thompson, d.1743, and Grace, his wife, d.1776. At east end, pedimented tablet to Thomas Bennett, d.1773, and Elizabeth, his wife, d.1825, with weeping willow leaning over a sarcophagus and scrolled inscription; signed 'Bennett S.Y." (City of York: RCHME: South-west of the Ouse: HMSO: 1972-: 16-20).
Listing NGR: SE6011251652

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

The church of ST. JOHN, Ouse Bridge End, was included in the papal confirmation of minster properties of 1194. (fn. 71) It appears to have been fully appropriated to the chapter but no record has been found of the ordination of the vicarage. Between 1331 and 1443 the church was annexed with five others to St. Martin's, Coney Street. (fn. 72). It was proposed in 1548 to unite All Saints', North Street, with St. John's, (fn. 73) but this was not done and both churches survived the Reformation. St. John's remained in the patronage of the chapter until the benefice and parish were united with Holy Trinity, Micklegate, in 1934. (fn. 74) In 1956 the church was opened by the York Academic Trust as an Institute of Architectural Study. (fn. 75) The parish comprised a small area round the church west of the Ouse and entirely within the walls.

In 1294 the vicar was said to have all the profits of the church and to pay a pension of 12s. 4d. to the chapter. (fn. 76) The church is not mentioned in the returns of 1291 or in the Valor. In 1649 the church had received a donation of £40 from a Mr. Moreley but there was said to be no other income. (fn. 77) In 1716 the income of the benefice was said to derive from a gift by a Mrs. Moseley to 'a preaching minister in the church' of half the tithes of hay and corn in Askham Bryan (W.R.); from two anniversary ser mons of 10s. each; from the rent of a city property (10s.); and from fees and mortuaries. (fn. 78) By 1764 another anniversary sermon had been added. (fn. 79) No augmentations to the benefice are recorded but by 1863 it was valued at £209. (fn. 80)

There were three chantries in the church. A licence was obtained by John de Shupton of York in 1319 to alienate lands for the support of a chantry at the altar of St. John the Baptist. (fn. 81) This chantry later received from the Briggenhall family, descendants of Shupton, further endowments which brought its stipend to a total of more than £6 10s. (fn. 82) In 1546 the chantry was said to possess rents worth 40s., (fn. 83) the value given in the Valor; the rents included those belonging to the chantry of St. Katherine, valued at 20s., which had been annexed to that of St. John the Baptist. (fn. 84)
The chantry of St. Katherine is said to have been founded before 1327; (fn. 85) a presentation was made to the living in 1379 by a daughter of the founder, Richard de Wateby. (fn. 86) The chantry continued to have a separate existence at least until 1509 (fn. 87) but was later annexed to that of St. John the Baptist.

Licence was obtained in 1320 by Richard le Toller of York to found a chantry at the altar of the Virgin in the church. (fn. 88) The chantry is not recorded later but another chantry was founded at the same altar—and is hence perhaps a refoundation or augmentation of Toller's chantry—at the end of the 15th century by Sir Richard Yorke. (fn. 89) This chantry was valued at £5 10s. clear in 1535 and £8 15s. 4d. clear in 1546. (fn. 90)

The church comprises (fn. 91) a nave with north and south aisles and a tower at the west end. The prevailing styles are of the 14th and 15th centuries. There appears to have been a large-scale rebuilding in the earlier 14th century; the south arcade, the south aisle, and the tower are of late-15th-century construction. The church was restored between 1850 and 1851 when a new east wall was constructed, so that North Street might be widened, and the south wall and porch rebuilt. The steeple fell from the tower in 1551 and was never rebuilt. The tower was reconstructed in 1646 and surmounted by a brick and timber bell turret. The fabric has been converted to its secular use without major structural alteration.

The church was closed in 1939 and the furnishings removed. (fn. 92) The memorials, including one to Sir Richard Yorke (Lord Mayor, 1469 and 1482), and the six bells, three of which are said to have come from St. Nicholas's Church when it was destroyed in the siege of York, (fn. 93) were stored in St. Saviour's Church. A memorial window to Sir Richard Yorke, the east window, and the sanctus bell were given to the minster, the remainder of the glass to the chapel of the North Riding mental hospital. The font, organ, and choir stalls went to St. Hilda's, the pulpit to St. Luke's, the altar to the chapel of St. Peter's School, the pews to St. Barnabas's, and the lectern to Upper Poppleton (W.R.). The plate comprised, in silver, a paten, a flagon, and two cups; and, in pewter, two flagons. (fn. 94) The registers, which, with the plate, were in 1958 kept in Holy Trinity, Micklegate, begin in 1653 but are not complete. There are churchwardens' accounts from 1585 to 1859 and a volume of modern church accounts.

From: 'The parish churches', A History of the County of York: the City of York (1961), pp. 365-404. URL: Date accessed: 20 March 2013.

Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist (Plate 121), formerly stood in a small churchyard in the angle between Micklegate and North Street; this has now disappeared in the widening of Micklegate. The church has walls of gritstone and magnesian limestone, and modern dressings of Whitby sandstone, tiled roofs with some slate over the central and S. aisles, and Welsh slates over the N. slope of the N. aisle.

The tower is notable as the only 12th-century example surviving in York; the upper stage is a rare example of work carried out in the period of Parliamentarian control after the victory of Marston Moor.

The earliest church, of which traces remain, was a simple rectangular cell of the early 12th century; only the western angles remain. On the N. a square plinth 9½ in. wide was found by excavation in 1955; on the W. a similar plinth, 5 in. wide, was seen passing under the tower added in c. 1150. This church is mentioned in 1194 (CPL, 1, 462) and in a charter of 1189–1200 (EYC, 1, 176). A S. aisle was added in the 13th century; in 1319 a chantry was founded by John Shupton at the altar of St. John the Baptist in this aisle (CPR, 1317–21, 312; SS, xci, 79n.); it was augmented in 1338 by his son-in-law Richard de Briggenhall (Skaife MS.). The early 14th-century arch leading from the chancel to the chapel at the E. end of the N. Aisle is to be associated with the foundation of a chantry in 1320 by Richard de Toller (CPR, 1317–21, 420; SS, xci, 79–90; see glass in E. window of N. aisle). The rest of the North Aisle dates from rather later in the same century. The South Aisle and arcade, with the upper part of the tower, were rebuilt late in the 15th century. Soon thereafter the N. aisle was extensively remodelled and the W. side extended in connection with the chantry founded by Sir Richard Yorke at the altar of Our Lady (see glass in E. window of N. aisle) and with money from benefactions of 1492–1506 (SS, xci, 78–9; TE, iv, 135n.; AASRP, xi, pt. ii (1872), 252; Raine, 249–50). In 1519 the chancel was said to be in bad repair.

The steeple was blown down in 1551–2; repairs in narrow red brick of the later 16th century indicate that the tower fell towards the N.E. The present timber-framed Belfry was added in 1646, when the bell cast in 1633 was hung; three more bells, saved by Lord Fairfax from St. Nicholas Hospital without Walmgate Bar in 1644, were hung in 1653 (AASRP, xxviii, pt. i, 439– 40). The works of 1646 also included the making of a Vestry, removed in 1955, in the W. end of the N. aisle. In c. 1763 new steep-pitched roofs were built above the mediaeval timbers. The floor, raised by 1½ ft. after the great flood of 31 December 1763, was again raised in 1819 after Ouse Bridge was rebuilt (ibid., 436; J. W. Knowles MSS.).

Fig. 29. (6) Church of St. John the Evangelist.

In 1850 the E. wall was rebuilt further W. to widen North Street, a Porch was added, and buttresses and windows were renewed on the S. side. The N. side also was restored with Whitby stone, and the whole church repaired and refurnished under George Fowler Jones as architect (Sheahan and Whellan, 1, 517). At this time the Yorke window was restored by J. W. Knowles (J. W. Knowles MSS.). The church was reopened for worship in 1851 (Yorkshire Gazette, 8 March 1851). In 1866 the church was again repaired under Messrs. J. B. and W. Atkinson; in the nave an open timber roof was substituted for the flat panelled ceiling; windows were opened in the W. wall of the tower, and a new organ was made by Postill of York (AASRP, viii, pt. ii for 1866, cii). The church was closed in 1934 and the fittings were dispersed in 1938–9 when the Corporation took over the fabric (Yorkshire Gazette, 25 Feb. and 7 Oct. 1938; YAJ, xxxiv (1939), 113–14), which was later given to the York Civic Trust and restored to form the Institute of Architecture of the York Academic Trust. (T. W. Brode, 'Notes on the History of St. John the Evangelist, York', in AASRP, xxviii, pt. i for 1905, 435–50; also 'The Old Parish Account Books of St. John the Evangelist, York', in ibid., xxix, pt. i for 1907, 304–22; E. A. Gee 'An Architectural Account of St. John's Church, Micklegate', in YAYAS Procs. (1953–4), 65–82). Now (1971) The Arts Centre.

Architectural description—The Church (67 ft. by 56 ft.) is a trapezoid without any structural chancel (Plate 124): the tower is built within the W. end of he nave.

The E. window of the Central Aisle (60 ft. by 17 ft.), two-centred with three lights, has intersecting tracery reproducing that of the early 14th-century original. At the W. end of the N. arcade, on the N. side, can be seen the line where the tower wall abutted on the original aisleless nave; the rest of this wall was rebuilt when the aisle was added in the 14th century. A chamfered water-table shows on the N. side cut into by the 15th-century roof timbers. Above the arches this wall was rebuilt in narrow red brick after the fall of the tower in 1552. The early 14th-century E. arch of the N. arcade is two-centred; it has two chamfered orders and responds with moulded caps; moulded bases exist below the present pavement. To the W. are two bays of rather late 14th-century work, with an octagonal pier and responds without capitals. The arches are two-centred, with two chamfered orders of which the inner merges into the pier and the outer terminates on both sides in simple corbels. The bases have a hollow and roll, partly concealed by the present floor. To E. of the S. arcade is a small square-headed opening with chamfered reveals but no glazing groove; it was probably a squint to the High Altar. The arcade is of three bays with octagonal piers and responds, without capitals. The two-centred arches have two chamfered orders, the outer resting on square corbels. The first pier from the E. has a water-holding base; this and the nine courses above it are probably 13th-century work in situ; the rest of the arcade and the rubble walling above are of the late 15th century, the second pier and the W. respond having bases formed of inverted 13th-century capitals.

The E. window of the North Aisle (65 ft. by 18 ft.) has a four-centred head, and moulded label with weathered headstops; it is of four cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery and reproduces the E. window of the Yorke chantry, of c. 1500. The N. wall is of magnesian limestone, with three buttresses. Sections of 14th-century masonry remain, but to W. of the doorway the wall is later and includes pieces of stone coffins and lids. The window at the E. end, of 1850, cuts into the head of a 14th-century canopy, perhaps the tomb of Richard Toller (d. c. 1335). The remaining windows, of three trefoiled lights with four-centred heads and vertical tracery of c. 1500, have hollow-chamfered reveals. The doorway has a two-centred head with chamfered reveals and externally shows the weathering of a former porch; inside it has a segmental rear-arch, to E. of which is the edge of the splay of an early window, now plastered over. Further W. is a late 15th-century window of two cusped lights without tracery, repaired in brick after the fall of the tower. A Vestry (11 ft. by 18 ft.) was formed at the W. end of the aisle in the 17th century; at the N.W. angle was a 19th-century brick chimney-breast.

The E. wall of the South Aisle (68 ft. by 16 ft.) has a three-light window of 1850 reproducing that of the 15th century. The S. wall (Plate 121) is of magnesian limestone and mainly of the late 15th century, with dressings of c. 1850. The four-stage mediaeval buttresses were renewed in 1850. The original windows have four-centred heads and are of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery and hollow-chamfered reveals. To W. of the modern porch is a 15th-century window with flattened head, two trefoiled lights and vertical tracery.

The Tower (14½ ft. by 15 ft.), built against the W. face of an aisleless nave in c. 1150, was later incorporated within the church. There is a stepped plinth (excavated in 1955) and the lowest courses are of large oblong pieces of gritstone, probably reused Roman material. Above is late Norman masonry of good quality, of magnesian limestone with fine diagonal tooling. The N. and S. walls are pierced by low two-centred archways of the later 14th or 15th century with continuous chamfered orders (Plate 124). Over each arch is part of the rear-arch of a 12th-century window with well cut voussoirs, set W. of the centre of the tower. The N. wall was much damaged by the fall of 1552; at the top of the wall within the aisle is a blocked oblong window with chamfered reveals. The outer face of the S. wall shows the scar of a wall running E., now gone; rubble filling links the tower to the 15th-century arcade wall. Good Norman ashlar extends as high as the aisle roof. The W. wall contains a 12th-century window (Plate 15) with chamfered reveals and an internal splay; rear-arch and jambs have finely tooled voussoirs. The blocking removed in 1955 included an illegible 15th-century black-letter inscription. Above the aisle roofs are small square lights with internal splays in the 15th-century masonry of the N. and S. walls, and in the W. wall is a two-light window of the 19th century. The top stage, of 1646, is timber-framed with studs about a foot apart and with later brick infilling.

The W. wall of the church is rough and incorporates walls of adjacent houses. Internally, two half-arches from the W. wall act as flying buttresses to the leaning tower.

The external Roofs have three parallel ridges. The roof of the N. aisle has an oak ceiling of c. 1500 (Plate 17) at the level of the cambered tie-beams. The moulded tie-beams and purlins form panels, with bosses at the intersections, coloured in 1956. The bosses included (1) arms of Yorke (see Glass), (2) arms of Yorke impaling Mauleverer (both removed in 1850 and placed within panels at E. end) and, (3) in situ merchant's mark on a shield, probably for Sir Richard Yorke; (4) arms of the Merchants' Staple of Calais. There are two trusses together above the third arch of the N. arcade and the roof to W. is of the same form, with similar mouldings, possibly of c. 1510. The ceiling of the S. aisle is similar. At the E. end, 15th-century square bosses set lozenge-wise include: (1) head wearing bishop's mitre; (2) face under liripipe head-dress; (3) eagle set on leaves (for St. John Baptist, whose altar was below).

Fittings—Altar stone with small incised crosses from blocking of canopy in N. wall, mediaeval, removed to Holy Trinity, Micklegate, in December 1955. Bells: six ((4) (5) (6) from St. Nicholas Hospital) and sanctus; (1) treble probably by William Oldfield, 17th-century; (2) inscribed '+ Sancte (rest indecipherable) and with shield with three helmets placed two and one, 14th-century; (3) inscribed 'Jesvs be ovr speed 1633', by William Oldfield; (4) inscribed in black letter '[sanc]te [G]eor[gi] ora pro nobis', and with two crowned shields, one bearing a cross and one ihc, 15th-century; (5) inscribed '+ ad: loca: sancta: trahe: Betris: Ros: tu: Nicholaue'; and above, on the crown, 'Nicholauus', 15th-century; (6) tenor, inscribed, '+ Tome: propicia: sis: UUalleuuorch: Uirgo: Maria: Ao: Di: Mo: CCCCo: UIIIo' and, above, 'Maria'. (5) and (6), by the same founder, have inscriptions in the same Lombardic alphabet; the donors commemorated were Lady Beatrix de Roos (d. 1414) and Thomas de Walleworth, Master of St. Nicholas Hospital (d. 1409). (7) small prayer or sanctus bell, of uncertain date, given to Dean and Chapter of the Minster and removed 1956. (G. Benson, The Bells of the Ancient Churches of York (1885), 4; id., 'York Bellfounders' in YPS Report (1898), 7, 8; YAJ, xxxiv, 114; Terrier.) Bell-frame: oak, for four bells, almost identical with one at St. Martin-cum-Gregory dating from 1681, members numbered and pegged throughout, consisting of two main N.-S. frames and four E.-W. cross-frames, all of same construction and with some ovolo-moulding on top rails of cross-frames, 1646, parts only now preserved in bell chamber. The bells have been rehung in a steel frame. Benefactors' Tables: three, removed in 1955; on W. wall of S. aisle, (1) (Plate 22) large panel with moulded architrave and broken pediment, containing figure of Charity with two children, dated 1725, flanked by tables of Commandments, mid 19th-century; on N. wall of S. aisle, (2) large bolection-moulded panel listing benefactions, 19th-century; on S. wall of S. aisle, (3) table, c. 1804.

Brasses and Indents. Brass: on Yorke table tomb (see Monuments (1) below), at E. end of N. aisle, modern, recording restoration of 1851. Indents: in N. aisle, (1) oblong, in large grey marble slab (for brass to Thomas Mosley, 1624); to S. of E. arch of N. arcade, (2) small, on broken slab (for brass to John Mosley, 1624); to W. of last, (3) large oblong, in decaying slab of yellow sandstone (for brass to Mrs. Elizabeth Mosley, 1640); in centre aisle, (4) for shield and small oblong plate; to W. end of N. aisle, (5) for Evangelists' symbols at corners of large grey marble slab, and for oblong strip, slab reused by Brearey family (see Floor Slabs (13) below, removed in 1956 from S. of (4)); at E. end of S. aisle, (6) for broad fillet on three sides and for figures of man, wife and children and two small shields-of-arms in large slab of blue-grey marble (reused for William Brearey (see Floor Slabs (22) below). Chair: of oak, with shaped arms and enriched panelled back, 17th-century, now in Holy Trinity, Micklegate. Doors: in N. doorway, of planks, perhaps 17th-century; in S. doorway, c. 1850. Font: of limestone, octagonal, with quatrefoils on cardinal faces, moulded bases to bowl and octagonal shaft with moulded and battlemented cap and moulded base, c. 1850. Font-cover: (Plate 28) of oak, 1638, when 'made anew', much restored. Both font and cover now in church of St. Hilda, Tang Hall.

Glass: the important glass was given in 1939 to the Dean and Chapter and placed in the W. aisle of the N. transept of the Minster; other glass was given to the Chapel of Clifton Hospital (YAJ, xxxiv (1939), 113–14). The following summary records the position before 1939, shown in photographs by F. H. Crossley (YPS (1914/15), 144–7; Harrison (1927), 185–9).

N. Aisle, E. window, I. Designed as a memorial to Sir Richard Yorke, Lord Mayor, 1469, 1482 (ob. 1498), his two wives, Joan daughter of Richard Mauleverer and Joan, widow of John Dalton and John Whitfield, both of Hull, his six (or seven) sons and his four daughters. The late 15th-century design incorporated in the bottom range four panels of donors, on a background of leaf sprays, from a 14th-century window, presumably in the same position. Notes of Roger Dodsworth and Henry Johnston (Bodleian MS. Dodsworth 161, f. 36; MS. Top Yorks, c.14, f. 102v) identify the donors as Richard Briggenhall (M.P. for York, 1333–7, d. 1362) and Katherine (Shupton), on oak sprays; John Randeman (Bailiff 1339–40) and Joan (Settrington) on hawthorn; Richard Toller (Bailiff 1316–17, d. c. 1335) and Isabella (d. 1336) with priest officiating, on hops (?); William Grafton (Bailiff 1333–4) and Agnes, on vine.

Above, a two-line inscription, now partly defective, may be restored from Dodsworth and Johnston: 'Orate pro anima Ricardi Yorke militis bis maioris Civitatis Ebor. ac per [... annos maioris stapule Calicie et pro duabus dominabus Johanne ac Johanne] uxoribus suis ac eciam pro omnibus libe[ris et] benefactoribus suis. Qui [obiit.......... die mensis Aprilis Anno domini moccccmo lxxxxo viiio].' Above are kneeling figures of the six (seven in Johnston's sketch) sons; of Sir Richard Yorke in plate armour with arms of Yorke on surcoat; of (lost) his two wives, one with arms of Yorke impaling Mauleverer, and of his four daughters. The lost panel of the two wives is replaced by a small seated Trinity in silver stain (YAJ, xxxvii (1951), 228). The main panels above this inscription, of c. 1498, represent the Trinity, St. George and the dragon (only lower part remains), the Crucifixion (lost but recorded by Gent (p. 170) and confirmed by lead lines), and St. Christopher (Plate 123). In the tracery, angels display shields with arms of Merchants' Staple of Calais, Foster, Stapleton impaling Gascoigne, Yorke, Yorke impaling Mauleverer, Yorke impaling Darcy, Yorke impaling (unidentified 3) and City of York.

The missing parts of the main panels are partly replaced with figures and fragments from the adjacent N. windows, where they were recorded by Dodsworth in 1619 (MS. Dodsworth 161, f. 36). They commemorated [William] Stockton, mercer, (d. 1471; see All Saints', North Street, brasses (1)) and Alice, his first wife, widow of Roger Selby 'spycer' (d. 1425) and Elizabeth, his wife.

S. Aisle, E. Window, II. The three main lights contain 14th-century panels which Browne noted in 1846 as 'mutilated to get them into the Perpendicular window'. In the lower range are three pairs of donors. The inscriptions were lacking in 1670, though the name Richard Orinshead is recorded in 1730 (Gent, 170). The main figures and scenes record the life of St. John the Baptist, whose altar stood beneath: (a) St. Elizabeth holding figure of infant St. John, above Baptism of Christ; (b) St. John the Baptist holding the Lamb, above fragments; (c) Herod's Feast, above the beheading of St. John the Baptist (Plate 31). Tracery contains 15th-century glass including St. George, Coronation of the Virgin (Plate 123), St. Christopher and St. Michael, together with arms of the city of York and of Neville, for Ralf Neville, earl of Westmorland (d. 1425) who held the advowson of a chantry at this altar (SS, cxxv, 130).

S. Aisle, E. window of S. wall, III. Tracery contains some 15th-century glass, including two archbishops and two other figures.

S. Aisle, second window of S. wall, IV. Three panels of 14th-century glass from E. window of sanctuary (J. H. Parker and J. Browne in Archaeological Institute at York, 1846, Procs. (1848), 13). Two have medallions on stems amid oak sprays, one kneeling figure of cleric before altar.

Lectern: of single desk type, of oak panelling with late Perpendicular blind tracery and shield bearing complicated merchant's mark, late 15th-century, greatly restored, now in Upper Poppleton Church, Yorks., W.R. Lord Mayors' Table: (Plate 22), pedimented panel, with enriched and dentilled cornice surmounted by flame between two urns, bearing arms of York between letters 'A R' (Anna Regina); below, panel inscribed: 'Richd. Thompson Lord Mayor 1708', 'Richd. Thompson Lord Mayor 1721', 'J. Wakefield Lord Mayor 1765', and fitted with rests for sword and mace, now in York Minster, at E. end of nave, on S. side.

Monuments and Floor Slabs. Monuments: In N. Aisle, against E. wall, (1) altar tomb (Plate 19), said to be of Sir Richard Yorke, merchant, Chamberlain of York 1460, Sheriff 1465–6, Lord Mayor 1469 and 1482, M.P. at various dates from 1472 to 1490, knighted 1483, died 1498, (fn. 5) N. and S. ends with shields set in quatrefoils and three similar panels to W., all shields having matrices for brasses, at N.W. angle two long, round-headed panels, on top grey marble slab, perhaps modern, with moulded edges and brass fillet; an inscription records restoration in 1851; the tomb has been shortened on S.; on N. wall, (2) Nathaniel Wilson, 'East countrey merchant', 1726, Catherine Wilson, widow, 1736, in pediment shield-of-arms of Wilson impaling Reynolds (Plate 33). In central aisle, over E. pier of N. arcade, (3) John Scott, 1775; over second pier of N. arcade, (4) Christopher Benson, 1801, Margaret Benson, wife, 1795, five infant children, Christopher Benson, eldest son, 1796, of white marble, signed Stead. Over first pier of S. arcade, (5) Anne, wife of John Haynes, 1747, cartouche, over second pier, (6) Elizabeth Potter, servant, 1766, cartouche. In S. aisle, E. wall, (7) Thomas Bennett, 1773, Elizabeth, wife, 1825 (Plate 35), black slab with pedimental head and moulded cornice, with inscription tablet in form of scroll with sarcophagus behind and weeping willow tree of plaster applied to freestone, signed 'Bennett S.Y.'; on S. wall, (8) Luke Thompson, 1743, Grace, wife, 1776, with arms of Thompson with inescutcheon of Bawtry. Floor Slabs: records of twenty-nine noted in 1951 are in the RCHM archives.

Plate: the fine plate includes two cups similar in shape, with plain bowls, both inscribed 'In usum Ecclesiae Sancti Johannis Evangelistae in Civ: Ebor: A.D. 1824', and with the York mark, one for 1807/8, the other for 1824/5; stand paten with gadrooning round edge, with London letter for 1697 and inscription recording its acquisition in 1699 with names of churchwardens, I. Ibbetson and R. Greenupp (vestry minutes of 1699 record 'a compleat silver salver (or some decent patten) be bought to lye the sacrament bread upon'); flagon with straight tapering sides and flat lid with grid-iron thumb-piece, with York mark for 1790/1, given by Dorothy Bowes, 1791; two pewter flagons, one c. 1725, the other with seven-sided body and shaped panels, engraved throughout on exposed surfaces, c. 1620 on evidence of costume of engraved figures (Plate 37). All now kept at Holy Trinity, Micklegate. Miscellanea: In S. aisle, under third window, piece of cusping set in wall; at N.W. corner, moulded springer of arch, 13th-century, reused as corbel.

Derived from RCHME - 'Ecclesiastical Buildings', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 3, South west (London, 1972), pp. 3-48. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2017].

[SE 6011 5165] Church [T.U.]
The church of St. John, Ouse Bridge End, of 14/15th. Century date, was closed in 1939, and re-opened in 1956 as an Institute of Architectural Study for York University.

Use unchanged.

5343 (north side)

City Arts Centre
(formerly listed as Church of St John the Evangelist under Ousebridge)

SE 6051 NW 16/36 14.6.54

Decorated and Perpendicular. 1551 timber-framed bell-turret.
Glass now in York Minster. In use as the City Arts Centre.
(RCHM Vol. III, Monument 6.)

1 Ordnance Survey Map OS 25" 1941.
3 Field Investigators Comments F1 RWE 30-MAY-63
4 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest DOE(HHR) City of York, N. Yorks, June 1983, 208.

613515 Architectural Survey Investigation by RCHME/EH Architectural Survey

BF060213 ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST'S CHURCH, YORK File of material relating to a site or building. This material has not yet been fully catalogued.

Information derived from NMR

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

RCHME, 1972, RCHME City of York Volume III South-west of the Ouse (Monograph). SYO64.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.
  • --- Monograph: RCHME. 1972. RCHME City of York Volume III South-west of the Ouse.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Feb 18 2020 10:45AM


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