Sunday, July 31, 2011

A day in York: Roaming around town and discovering a special church with box pews

Without a doubt, I have seen so many churches, perhaps in the hundreds already in my lifetime, maybe more, that somehow I have come to the breaking point of enough is enough (I now can relate to the Dutchman). I have made a pact with myself that I will only check out a church if it is special or it has something unique to offer. Now this church, the Holy Trinity Church Goodramgate, I came across while I was roaming the pretty streets of York. I thought she was one of a kind.

This is Stonegate, a busy shopping lane.

I was just done walking the York ruin walls and I am now heading back to the centre. I still have time to wander off a bit before I take a quick lunch break. Not really hungry yet but I was looking forward later in the afternoon to some traditional English scones with clotted cream and jam, and of course tea. While walking on the street I saw an out of sight wrought-iron gate with a signboard in front that says:

‘A rare seventeenth-century survival, box pews like these were once common in Anglican churches. Each family would sit together, renting a pew annually.

The high sides of the pews limited drafts in unheated churches and provided privacy, but also forced the occupants to focus on the content of the sermon.

The widespread removal of the box pews during the nineteenth-century makes them an unusual sight today. Holy Trinity Goodramgate is now the only church in York with box pews.’

Hmm, this is interesting. I need to see these box pews. What do they look like? Curious, I entered the garden and walked into the church and look what I found:

I do not think I have been to a church with box pews. These are indeed a rare find. It is very special to see them being preserved for the sake of history and posterity. I made sure to give a donation before leaving the small church.

Here are some random fotos of York I shot while roaming around:

Fotos above were taken on Goodramgate, Micklegate, Stonegate, Colliergate and Barley Hall.

Next: Not hungry yet so what's for lunch?

Travel Period: May 2011

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