York Walks /2

St Saviourgate (revisited)

Photographed on 23 March 2004

I visited St Saviourgate in York Walks /1, but I've called back again, partly to take this view to show the width of the street, as I can't believe that buses used to go down it:

'A quiet mixture of church, chapels, offices, flats and small shops, St Saviourgate runs parallel to the rather dull new artery, Stonebow, but not long ago it was a busy route to the eastern suburbs where double-deck buses fought for supremacy.'

Ronald Willis – A Portrait of York (1982)

Maybe in the past they had very small buses?

  View of St Saviourgate

'A sad example of a very attractive York street which has suffered serious architectural assaults in the last few years', said David Lloyd in 1968. From the view above you can't see the evidence of the assaults he's referring to, as one of them, Hilary House, is behind me, and the other is just out of view on the left at the end of the street – see Stonebow and Hungate. (I couldn't bring myself to take a photo of Hilary House, as it would spoil this page, but you can see its back view on the page about Aldwark.)

As I was here again I thought I'd also try to capture on camera the Unitarian Chapel lit by sunlight.

Bless it, what a lovely thing.

  Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate
Paths reflecting the cruciform shape of the building  

On this visit, I didn't just take a photo through the gate, in passing, but had a little wander in the churchyard. I realised how beautifully simple and neat the path arrangement is in front of the church, and how it mirrors the cruciform shape of the building.

St Saviour's Church – the ARC

Hey, I've touched a real Roman bit of stone and everything!

I've been wanting to get into this churchyard for a while, but every time I pass it's full of schoolchildren, as it is the Archaeological Resource Centre, and designed for them. I couldn't really mingle and blend in, being far too old, so instead I visited here early one morning when it was quiet, so that I could fondle the Roman column without being embarrassed.

  The churchyard of exhibits at the Archaeological Resource Centre (ARC), St Saviour's Church
The sensory garden  

What a fantastic place. The photo above shows the almshouses on St Saviourgate – Lady Hewley's Hospital – in the background, and the exhibits on the benches in the churchyard.

And there's also a fascinating sensory garden, with information signs about the plants and their history.

Puzzle, in the ARC garden   Headstone in the former churchyard of St Saviour's (now the ARC)

There's a puzzle here, in the churchyard, where I think you have to use those pieces to construct an arch.


There are many headstones leaning against the wall of the churchyard. I've never seen a carved image like this before, of the hand, and I wondered what it signified.

Beautiful thing, number 1   Beautiful thing, number 2

Above: two of many amazing pieces of stone carving displayed in the churchyard.

Window, St Saviour's   The church and the Stonebow

The church is in the shadow of the Stonebow building, which looms over it at the back, but the contrast of old and new, above right, is interesting, if not beautiful.

Watch where you put your feet! ARC exit sign  

And as we leave the churchyard, a message from the ARC, on a sign by the gate.