York Walks /2

Converted chapels

Photographed in March 2004

The most interesting discovery I've made while putting these pages together is how many old non-conformist chapels York contains, many converted now for other purposes.

Peckitt Street – former Trinity Chapel

The former Trinity Chapel, Peckitt Street   The former Trinity Chapel, Peckitt Street

The photos above show the Peckitt Street entrance of the former Trinity chapel, now an extension to the Fire Station, which fronts onto Clifford Street around the corner (as you couldn't get fire engines out of that doorway, obviously). The book I'm consulting tells me that this is a "Byzantine-style front" by J B and W Atkinson. It was built in 1856 for the Methodist New Connexion, who used it until 1907.

Aldwark – former Wesleyan Chapel

At the Peasholme Green end of Aldwark, by the hideous Hilary House, is a plain-looking brick building, now a dental practice. This was originally York's first Wesleyan chapel, as the information plaque on its walls reveals (photo, below left).

I photographed its side wall not because I'm interested in drainpipes, but because its side wall is more interesting than its front, and illustrates the following observation from C B Knight's This is York: "If you look at its side wall which faces towards Peasholme Green you will see several bricked-up window spaces with semicircular headings, which make identification quite easy."

He's right, and there they are (below, right).

Sign on York's first Wesleyan chapel.   Side view of former Wesleyan Chapel, Aldwark

Goodramgate – former Monk Bar Chapel

Built in 1859 for the York United Methodist Free Church Circuit, and designed to accommodate 800 people. In 1919 after a change of ownership it became the Monk Bar Central Mission, which closed in 1934 and the property was again sold.

The building used to have a portico over its entrance. Now this has gone, it is easy to walk by this building without noticing it, though once you've seen its tasteful frontage at first floor level, you wonder why you haven't appreciated it more.

  Former Monk Bar Chapel, Goodramgate

In his 1992 book, York's Other Churches and Chapels, Brian Seymour notes that the three shops that make up the ground floor are "a gift shop, a turf accountant's and a clothes shop." Now, in 2004, the turf accountant is the only one that remains, in the centre. There's also a tanning studio, while the other shop sells replica guns and displays them in its window. A drastic change of use, then, for this former place of religious worship.

Information on this page is drawn from C B Knight's This is York (out of print), and York's Other Churches and Chapels, by Brian Seymour (1992).

Related pages:

More old converted chapels are featured in York Walks /3: Former chapels.