York Walks /3

Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate

Photographed on 29 July 2004

You might imagine that this church is in the middle of some remote village, but in fact it's just off Goodramgate, a busy York shopping street. If you visit out of season, it's a haven away from the hustle and bustle of town shoppers, and a favourite place of mine to sit for a few quiet moments, usually while trying to remember what I came into town for in the first place.

  Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, from the Goodramgate entrance

This photo of the sign provides the important historical fact, which is handy, as I never remember things like this . . .

When I visited in late July, one morning, I managed to have the place to myself for a few minutes, then was just having a quiet cigarette on one of the benches alongside the church when an enormous group of tourists arrived, one of whom appeared to have a video camera which was whirring away, presumably taking in the scenic church, and less scenic me, having a smoke and looking the other way.

  Information sign for Holy Trinity Church

It's funny in York, living here, the way you try really hard to appreciate that tourists are crucial to the future of the city, bringing in income and jobs, and besides that, you do want everyone to share your appreciation of such a beautiful city. But there are times when it's hard to provide a proper Yorkshire welcome, like when there's a video camera pointing at you and a load of people obviously willing you to get out of the way because you're spoiling their photo. (Obviously, as a smoker, I'm now in a hated minority, and should hide myself away at home instead of daring to sit about in public and smoke openly.)

  Holy Trinity Church

I realised that I was on the building's best side. Still I tried hard to hold my ground and ignore them, thinking all kinds of territorial thoughts like "We pay our taxes to sit on this bench!" Yet I could feel this enormous communal will for me to get up and leave, as they starting forming a line of photographers right in front of me.

  Holy Trinity Church – detail

I didn't finish my cigarette, but got up to leave prematurely. Fortunately I'd already got the photos. Including this one, taken around the back area of the church, which I don't recall ever looking at before. Back here I lost my bearings for a minute and couldn't recognise the other buildings – but realised that they are, on the right, the back of the Minster School, which fronts onto Deangate. It was rather peaceful back here – or would have been if it weren't for all the people, and the building site just behind me on Petergate . . .

  Behind Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate

I revisited on another day to get a photo of the rather handsome gate at the Goodramgate entrance to Holy Trinity.

  Gate to Holy Trinity

Related pages:

For photographs of the church interior, and the churchyard in 2007, see Holy Trinity, York, in the Churches section.