Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hidden Treasure in York

Before moving on from York, I wanted to share with you an unexpected find that we stumbled upon during our stay there. Just behind one of the busiest pedestrian streets in York and in the shadow of the towers of Yorkminster, lies a hidden treasure connected by a narrow alley away from the bustle of the city. 

It is the Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate.. Surrounded by a tranquil grassy courtyard, this church, with foundations from the 12th century, dates primarily from the 15th century.

Entering the church, you first notice the original box pews and the uneven flooring which gives it some interesting character. The light floods in from the medieval stained glass just behind the altar. Today the church is only used on special occasions--no electricity has been installed, so any evening services are by candlelight.

I've only seen box pews like this in a few places, since most have been removed since then and replaced with benches. The ones here date from the 18 century,

and were installed in churches to give families some privacy and some extra protection from drafts. Some of them were even considered personal property and were passed down through the generations.

Donated by the rector at the time, the beautiful stained glass dates from 1470 and even includes the rector
himself kneeling under the Trinity.

Just a quiet little gem of a church, tucked away where one can retreat for some contemplative reflection, it's serendipities like this that can make a special trip even more memorable.

Have you ever discovered a secret gem or treasure on your travels?


  1. I do like those quiet little churches that are tucked away from all the crowds. Even though I've been to York on more than one occasion, but I haven't actually seen this one. Lovely pics :-) xo

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  3. Wonderful! What a treat! My family and I were wandering around Rome one time and came across a small church. It was so great! We felt like it was our little secret from the world.

  4. The only time I have seen box pews was in Boston and I found the concept fascinating.

  5. It is nice to happen onto special places like this when you travel. The last time we were in Bellagio, Italy, traveling with a community chorus we happened onto a beautiful small church building on top of the hill there. There were just 6 of us walking along and 3 were in the chorus. Our trio enjoyed singing in the amazing acoustics. Some other tourists happened by and enjoyed us also :) It's a good memory off the beaten path ... not exactly like yours but still I thought of it when you asked.

  6. York is beautiful and your photo's show parts that I didn't visit even though I lived only 40 minutes away when I was in the UK. It's not often that I feel homesick now that I'm in sunny Florida, but your posts have certainly given me a sense of nostalgia as I remember walking some of the same pathways. Thank you for sharing, Sally x

  7. Dear Debi,

    You have taken me away to a special little find that I need at the moment, away from the noise and demands of work. Thank you for this tour of a magical land that I wish still existed today, where taking your time to stroll through the countryside was part of our daily lives. I also want to thank you for your kind words about how you feel about reading my blog. I am a bit discouraged as I went to a writers' guild last night only to feel less of a writer because I blog; there is some snobbery about BLOGGING and somehow I felt less of a writer for it. But my purpose is to write to touch others and not to just sink into my own world; writing is to communicate and thank YOU for communicating to me a special encouragement that I will need to remember when I hopefully put my work OUT there more to receive criticism and editing. HAVE A FABULOUS DAY! Anita