Building record MYO1581 - Church of St Wilfrid


Catholic church. 1862-64. By George Goldie. Plan: 5-bay aisled nave and clerestory with polygonal apse, west gallery and narthex; south-east vestry; south-west tower; north-west Lady Chapel.


Grid reference Centred SE 6015 5213 (24m by 45m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Catholic church. 1862-64. By George Goldie. Coursed squared yellow stone with grey ashlar bands and dressings: slate roofs with wrought-iron finials. PLAN: 5-bay aisled nave and clerestory with polygonal apse, west gallery and narthex; south-east vestry; south-west tower; north-west Lady Chapel.

EXTERIOR: east end and north side not accessible. South side: 1-storey pent roofed aisle in front of aisle clerestory: at western end of aisle pent roofed porch projects. Porch has arched opening and diagonally boarded door on fine wrought-iron hinges in moulded 2-centred arch on squat columns with foliate capitals. Windows to east are of 1, 2 and 3 cusped lights with foiled tracery in 2-centred heads beneath coved hoodmoulds on foliate or head stops. Clerestory windows are of paired trefoil-headed lights with cinquefoil tracery in 2-centred heads. Windows to chancel are cusped lancets, paired and tripled and tied by impost string.

Vestry: 2 gabled storeys. Ground and first floors have 4-pane sash windows; on first floor, surround is chamfered and has blind 2-centred head pierced with quatrefoil. Gable has circular window with cinquefoil light in centre. 4-stage tower has 2-stage setback gabled buttresses. South face lowest stage has window of 2 cusped lights in 2-centred arch with squat jamb shafts and plate tracery in the head: hoodmould on head stops. Second stage has single slit light beneath relieving arch on south and west faces: above, blind arcade of four 2-centred arches on slender colonnettes with foliate capitals. Belfry openings are paired lancets with scalloped louvres in 2-centred arches of 2 orders: columns have foliate capitals. Ball flower frieze, cornice with gargoyles, and pierced parapet with oversized crocket finial at each corner: steep hipped roof with wrought-iron finials and crucifix. West end: gabled and flanked by setback gabled buttresses, from which pyramidal pinnacles with oversized crocket finials rise on north and south sides.

West door has paired part-glazed C20 doors in 2-centred arch of 4 orders with stiff-leaf capitals and richly carved soffits: outer order carried carved gabled hood. Between doors, sculpted seated figure beneath canopy rises on column pedestal: above doors, tympanum filled with high relief carvings of four scriptural scenes. Two west windows of paired lights with cinquefoils in 2-centred arches on slender colonnettes flank sculpted standing figures beneath tall crocketed canopy. Above is circular window of four foiled lights in carved surround and crocketed gable cross.

Lady Chapel: 1-storey, with polygonal end. High windows have 2-centred arches on colonnettes with waterleaf capitals. at west end is high relief carving of the Virgin and Child.

INTERIOR: north and south arcades of 2-centred arches on high round columns with moulded shaft rings and waterleaf capitals carved with angels. North wall is blind arcade on square piers with stylised foliate capitals. Clerestory windows in 2-centred arches on shafts with foliate capitals, paired above nave, tripled in chancel. Apse lined with reredos of arcaded tier of biblical busts carved in high relief over tier of carved panels, and incorporating four sculpted figures seated at lecterns beneath canopies. Above are five painted panels. Outer arches to chancel are open and filled with sculpted standing figures. Opulent altar and baldacchino. Chapel at east end of north aisle has carved stone altar in semicircular apse beneath 2-centred arch.

Narthex is vaulted springing from squat columns with stylised waterleaf capitals. Above is organ gallery with plain parapet. Lady Chapel: entered through screen of trefoiled arches beneath tracery quatrefoil in 2-centred arch on columns with waterleaf capitals and hoodmould on leaf stops. Chapel fitted with richly carved panelling to sill height. Altar carved with canopied figure of the Virgin and Child and two angels. Original chairs with pierced traceried backs survive. The church was the Pro-Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Beverley until 1879 when the See of Beverley was divided between the Dioceses of Middlesbrough and Leeds.

(Bartholomew City Guides: Hutchinson J and Palliser DM: York: Edinburgh: 1980-: 162; Parish Bulletin of St George's Church, York: June/July 1988; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Yorkshire: York and the East Riding: Harmondsworth: 1972-: 109).

Listing NGR: SE6015152127

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

NMR Information

613515 Architectural Survey Investigation by RCHME/EH Architectural Survey

BF060229 ST WILFRID'S CHURCH, YORK File of material relating to a site or building.
OP07561 A view of the interior of St Wilfrid's Roman Catholic Church looking towards the altar
OP07562 The west door of St Wilfrid's Roman Catholic Church

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.

Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

May 29 2020 7:02PM


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