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Tours > Ancient York > St. Olave's Church

David Ford, History Editor Ancient York
by David Nash Ford BA,
Editor, History on Britannia

St. Olave's Church
In Marygate, on the edge of the Museum Gardens

St. Olave's Church, York Best approached through the Museum Gardens, this 14th century church, in Marygate, stands on a very ancient ecclesiastical site. Locally pronounced 'St. Olive's,' the dedication betrays its early history as a Viking establishment honouring Olaf, the Norse monarch who embraced Christianity. The local Royal viceroy, Siward, Earl of Northumbria, was buried here in 1055 at the centre of a monastic complex, later taken over by the great nearby Abbey of St. Mary's.

The church suffered much damage during the Civil War when it was used as a gun emplacement. It was largely rebuilt in 1723. The interior is usually open to the public. It houses a series of beautifully carved stations of the cross, a few fragments of medieval glass, a fine modern font cover, a Royal Arms of Charles I's elder brother Prince Henry and a memorial to York artist, William Etty.

Next Stop: The Assembly Rooms



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