St Michael le Belfrey

A special gem, basking in the shadow of York Minster.

About this church

The present church building was built between 1525 and 1537 and replaced a church that dated back to at least 1294.

The church is famous for being the place where Guy Fawkes was baptised on 16 April 1570. Fawkes later became a Roman Catholic, and was part of the gang which led the failed Gunpowder Plot in 1605.

The church was also the scene of the wedding of Christopher Levett of York, the English explorer, to Mercy More, daughter of the Revd Robert More of Guiseley, Yorkshire, in 1608. It is also close to the place where the Emperor Constantine was proclaimed Roman Emporer.

The west front and bellcote date from 1867 and were supervised by the architect George Fowler Jones.

The stained glass in St Michael’s is important, we have one of the largest collections of mid 16th century glass in England. The east window (above the reredos) contains a large collection of glass from about 1330. This came from the demolished predecessor of this building.

The church is known as a centre for charismatic revival.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

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

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