City of YORK SCENES * York Area Index
6. St Martin-cum-Gregory, Holy Trinity Priory Church, Micklegate & Bar Convent, Blossom Street
St Martin-cum-Gregory, Micklegate
The embraced brick tower of 1844 of St Martin-cum-Gregory church is at the lower end of Micklegate. It is set back from the road surrounded by trees and is no longer used for services, but it is the centre for Diocesan Youth Service. The church dates from the 12th century (1175 AD mention in the Domesday book) with later additions in the 13th and 15th century. The base of the tower is built from Roman masonry from the Temple of Mithras which stood opposite the gate.
Further up Micklegate on the left is the Holy Trinity Priory Church
Part of the exterior of Holy Trinity, Micklegate showing the walls of the nave and the central tower. All you see is the remains of once a substantial Priory founded in the 11th century. Most of the surviving older stonework is 13th century. The north west tower was built in 1450 reusing earlier Saxon masonry but much of the building, including the chancel, was rebuilt in the 19th century.
The fine arched carved stone entrance to Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate (original medieval or rebuilt work 1902-1905?). Holy Trinity was once the starting point for the York Mystery Plays in medieval times.
The interior of the Priory Church of Holy Trinity, Micklegate, with the massive octagonal piers of the nave.
It has now got some excellent displays on the history of the church.
Three Victorian stained glass window panels in the north wall of the nave (at the west end)
Are they by Kempe 1904-1907, but one is dated 1878?
PLEASE leave a DONATION to help in the upkeep of this lovely old church
The magnificent and imposing Micklegate Bar at the top of Micklegate, built 1196-1230, from which the heads of traitors were displayed!
Looking north down Micklegate from the city walls at Micklegate Bar
The Bar Convent
Moving up the road from Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate, and going through Micklegate Bar gateway you reach the Bar Convent on the left in Blossom Street. It is the oldest living convent in England, founded by Frances Bedingfield in 1686. It was a secret community at a time of much Catholic persecution and was known as the "Ladies at the Bar" and set up a boarding/day school for Catholic girls. The picture above shows the beautiful domed chapel.
A 'mother of pearl' icon in the Bar Convent Chapel. The chapel has a beautiful dome (see above) concealed from the outside world by a pitched roof. There are eight 'escape exits' and a priest hold, in case of a visit from the magistrates! This neo-classical chapel was finished in 1769 and is used daily and open to visitors.
The Bar Convent has a highly informative museum which tells the story of Mary Ward (1585-1645) who founded world-wide institute the "Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Mary". She was a pioneer of education and fought for the right of nuns to pursue a variety of callings outside the convent walls.
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