St Mary's Church, Castlegate, York

St Mary's Church, Castlegate, York is a Grade I listed[1] former parish church in the Church of England in York.[2]

St Mary’s Church, Castlegate, York
St Mary’s Church, Castlegate, York
53°57′25.8″N 1°4′49.8″W / 53.957167°N 1.080500°W / 53.957167; -1.080500
Previous denominationChurch of England
DedicationSt Mary the Virgin
Heritage designationGrade I listed[1]
Completed11th century



The church is located in Castlegate, an historical street in the centre of York. It dates from the 11th century, but the current building is mostly 15th century.

Highwayman John Nevison, who was hanged on the Knavesmire, in March 1684 was buried in an unmarked grave in the churchyard.[3]

The church was restored between 1867 and 1870 when the east window was replaced, the church re-roofed and the east end parapet was renewed by William Butterfield.



Details of the installation of the original organ are not known, but it was repaired at a cost of £45 by Hopkins of Heworth in 1884.[4] A new organ was obtained in 1892[5] by Abbott & Co. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.[6] When the church was declared redundant, the organ was moved to St Thomas’ Church, Heigham, Norfolk.

Exhibition space


The church was declared redundant in 1958 and converted by George Pace and Ronald Sims for secular use. It now houses contemporary art exhibitions operated by York Museums Trust.[7] It has hosted exhibitions by Susan Stockwell,[8] Susan Aldworth,[9] and the Aesthetica Art Prize.[10]

In 2016 there were 6,906 visitors to exhibitions in the church.[11]


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "The York Story (Grade I) (1259342)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  2. ^ The Buildings of England. York and the East Riding. Nikolaus Pevsner and David Neave. Yale University Press. 1995. ISBN 0300095937
  3. ^ Wales, Tim (2004), "Nevison [Nevinson], John [William] (d. 1684), highwayman", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.), Oxford University Press, retrieved 12 April 2013 (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  4. ^ "Organ re-opening at St Mary's Castlegate, York". York Herald. York. 1 November 1884. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Dedication of an organ in York". York Herald. York. 8 December 1892. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  6. ^ "NPOR [D06550]". National Pipe Organ Register. British Institute of Organ Studies. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  7. ^ "York St Mary's". York Museums Trust. Archived from the original on 23 June 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  8. ^ Hutchinson, C. (25 June 2010). "Artist Susan Stockwell's Flood, York St Mary's until October". York Press. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  9. ^ Hutchinson, C. (25 June 2010). "Susan Aldworth's pillows talk of dreams as York St Mary's becomes the land of nod". York Press. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  10. ^ Hutchinson, C. (2 April 2015). "2014 Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition, York St Mary's, until May 31". York Press. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  11. ^ Trustees Reports and Financial Statements, Year Ended 31 March 2016 (PDF) (Report). York Museums Trust. 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2018.