Building record MYO568 - Ruimed church of St Andrew


This monument has duplicate MYO records MYO11 MYO330. Use MYO568 as main monument record. No trace of original church, thought to have been rebuilt in 1768. All that remains of this building is the facade, a new church was built in 1898-1902, of which all that is now left is the west wall and foundations


Grid reference SE 5978 4773 (point)
Map sheet SE54NE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish Bishopthorpe, City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Ruined church. 1768. Attributed to Atkinson for Archbishop Drummond. Pinkish-orange brick with magnesian limestone ashlar facade. Gothick style. West wall, foundations of nave, trandsepts and chancel walls and traceried head of one window now remain. West end: full-height angle buttresses with off-sets surmounted by crocketed pinnacles. Badly wesathered, Tudor-arched central doorway under hood-mould, quatrefoils in the spandrels. To either side, an ogee-headed niche with head stops ornamented it crockets and finial, that to left containing fluted columnar pedestal with capital and traces of Gothick decoration in flutes. To first floor: 3-light, pointed window under hood-mould with head stops and little remaining tracery. Above: bell turret crocketed to left and with cross at apex.

Listing NGR: SE5978847732

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

NMR Information:

[SE 59794773] St. Andrew's Church [GT] (in Ruins) [T.I.]. (1)

St. Andrew's Church was probably rebuilt in 1768. Of this church only the Gothic facade remains. A new church was built on a new site in 1898-1902. (2)

The church is now a shell. Only the west wall survives to its full height and this is well preserved. See GP AO/62/91/7 for W. aspect. The remainder of the building has been levelled to its plinth. (3)

Condition unchanged. (4)

1 Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 25", 1938

2 VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION Bldgs. of Eng. Yorks.W.R., 1959, 109. (N.Pevsner)

3 Field Investigators Comments F1 ECW 07-MAY-62

4 Field Investigators Comments F2 RL 15-MAY-62

People & Organisations:
EW Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 14-Apr-62
Surveyor ERIC CHARLES WAIGHT Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 07-May-62
Surveyor R L LEWIS Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 15-May-62

The ruined Church of St Andrew is located to the north of The Chantry’s south facing garden on ground that is lower than the platform on which The Chantry is built. The church replaced an earlier church, built on the same site in 1205 by St Andrew’s Priory, which formed part of the medieval settlement. The site, which is directly adjacent The Ouse, is prone to flooding, however, and the first church was badly damaged by the time it was demolished. Nothing was therefore retained and re-used from this church although its replacement was built on the same foundations. The ruined church evident today is therefore built to the plan of the original, 13th century church. The only element of the first church which survived was the piscina which, although was never used in the second church, was salvaged, stored and then located within the third church. The now ruined church was built in 1768 in the Gothick style by Atkinson, for Robert Hay Drummond (Archbishop of York 1761-1776). During the 1760s, Drummond used his private wealth to fund two neo-gothick additions to the manor house; a free-standing gatehouse and a new frontage to the manor house. A small lake was also designed by Atkinson to the north-west of the church which was designed to reflect, simultaneously, the ornamental façade of the church and the gatehouse and main front of the Bishop’s Palace and, in so doing, instil ‘shock and awe’ in visitors to the area.

Issues regarding flooding of the church had continued and the decision was taken to build a third church on a new, higher site to the north-west on what is now called Bishopthorpe Road. Work on the third church, which is still in use today, was carried out between 1885- 1899. The original extent of the original churchyard is not known but it must have been used over and over again by the first two churches. Many extensions were added with extensions getting closer to the river due to a lack of space. Most of these extended parts eventually slid into the river. In 1892, whilst works on the third church were still ongoing, there was a flood which became known as ‘the great flood’. This washed many bodies away from the graves, caused great concern. The Churchyard was no longer considered safe for burials and from 1892 until the second church was not demolished in 1899 the new churchyard was used for burials. As the new church was not yet completed the church yard was recorded in mapping as a cemetery. From this time the old churchyard was only used for the purpose of burials in reserved family graves. The last recorded burial was carried out in the 1920’s. It is also believed that part of the northern garden of the adjoing Chantry property once formed part of the churchyard and may contain historic graves.

The second church was constructed of pink-orange brick with a magnesium limestone ashlar facade. The west wall, foundations of the nave, transepts, chancel walls and traceried head of one window are all that now remain. Full height, angled buttresses surmounted by crocketed pinnacles, a badly weathered Tudor-arched doorway under a hood mould, quatrefoils in the spandrels, ogee-headed niches with ornamented head stops and a fluted
columnar pedestal with capital constitute the main elements of surviving architectural decoration. A bell turret surmounted by a cross also remains. The decision to retain part of the second church as a romantic ruin within the landscape would have been typical of the era in which it became defunct which was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Twenty years ago the Church Commissioners succeeded in obtaining Listed Building Consent to demolish the church ruins from Selby District Council (who at that point held the planning function for this area). Consent was granted due to the structure’s perilous state and the window tracery was removed and scaffolding erected to facilitate the ruin’s wholescale demolition. St Andrews Trust was formed to save the site and is responsible for the subsequent restoration of the window tracery. The ruined church is today set within a curving graveyard which is bounded by railings. Irish and Yew trees were planted in 1871 to make the Churchyard look more attractive and some of these remain. Mature trees surround the church although glimpses are afforded through the church yard, across the Ouse to open countryside beyond.

Derived from SYO2572. 1 Voyage Ltd, 2020, The Chantry, Bishopthorpe

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Record last edited

Oct 28 2020 3:12PM


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