Parish Church of St. George
Fig. 19. (6) St. Denys. Grave-slab (1).
(7) Church of St. George (R.C.) (Plate 13) stands
at the corner of George Street and Margaret Street. The
walls are of magnesian limestone, much patched with
cement, and the roofs are covered with Welsh slate. It
was built to serve a growing Roman Catholic population
in the Walmgate area caused by Irish immigration in
the 1840s and was opened on 4 September 1850. The
architects were Joseph and Charles Hansom and the
builder Ralph Weatherley of York; the cost of the
structure was £2,300 and of the site £1,250 (Sheahan
and Whellan, 552–4). After the restoration of the
Roman Catholic hierarchy in England the church was
used as a temporary cathedral by the Bishop of Beverley.
The adjoining presbytery was built in 1856 and there
were alterations and restorations to the church in 1901
and 1923 (YG, 7 Sept. 1901; 8 Sept. 1923).
Architectural Description. The church consists of a chancel
with south chapel, north vestry, nave and aisles, and south
porch, and is designed in the early Decorated style. The Chancel
is of one bay and has an E. window of four lights with tracery
of pointed trefoils and encircled quatrefoils; over the chancel
arch is a bell-turret with twin openings. The South Chapel
opens to the chancel through a pointed arch; it has three-light
windows in the E. and S. walls. The aisled Nave, of five bays,
has arcades with octagonal piers with moulded capitals and
bases supporting pointed arches of two chamfered orders but
no clerestorey; over the W. bay is a choir gallery. The N. wall
is mostly obscured externally by the vestry and the adjacent
presbytery. The S. wall is divided by buttresses of two stages,
of which the second from the E. has a niche housing a statue
of St. George. The W. wall has three steeply-pitched gables
surmounted by crosses, corresponding to the nave and aisles.
The central doorway has a moulded, pointed arch and above
it is a pointed window of three lights; the aisles each have a
two-light window. The South Porch, now used as a baptistry,
is steeply gabled and has an arched doorway.