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.

About this church

Regarded by the Victorians as one of the most beautiful churches in the city, St Martin's was burnt out in World War II, in bombing known as the 'Baedeker raids' for targeting historic cities. Only the tower and the south aisle survived.

After extensive rebuilding, the church was rehallowed as a chapel of peace and reconciliation, and a walled garden was created from the remaining shell.

Some strikingly modern elements have taken their place alongside the old. A suitably fiery east window depicting the burning of the church soars above a gold painted aluminium sculpture of the Last Supper, the figures angular and twisted.

The old west window remains. Dating from about 1440 and the largest of any parish church in York, it was fortunately removed into store in 1940 for protection and reinstated in the new north wall in 1967 as part of the triumphant restoration.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

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

Other nearby churches


All Saints North Street

Tucked away from York's busy city centre, near the river Ouse and next to a row of picturesque 15th century timber framed houses, lies this fine medieval Anglo Catholic church.

Help support ExploreChurches by becoming a Friend of the National Churches Trust