St Denys

This small medieval church, built on the site of a Saxon church and possibly a Roman temple, conceals a fine collection of stained glass, including the earliest in York.

About this church

Inside the sculpted Norman doorway there is a lovely 15th century timbered roof and, almost hidden high above the south aisle arcade, four carved 12th century Norman heads.

St Denys was once a lot larger than it is now, but parts of it subsided after the king's fish pool was drained and a sewer was built nearby, resulting in an unusual square shaped church made up of just the east end with its flanking chapels.

Further mishaps followed: the original spire was hit by cannon shot, struck by lightning and then partially blown down during the 17th and 18th centuries and was only replaced in the Victorian age.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café within 500m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

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The original All Saints was probably destroyed when the current building was constructed in the 11th century, though most of it is 14th and 15th century, with the exterior's most striking feature, the octagonal lantern tower used as a beacon for travellers, added in around 1400.

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Holy Trinity

Visitors could easily miss the gateway to Holy Trinity, at the end of Lady Row cottages in Goodramgate, the most ancient row of humble domestic buildings in York built in 1316.

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St Martin le Grand

St Martin calls itself 'an old church in a modern guise', others have called it a phoenix risen from the ashes.

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