St Crux's Church

St Crux Tower and Pavement from the Shambles, 1881, by William Richardson, York Art Gallery

1697AD - 1887AD

St Crux Church, with its distinctive Italianate tower, no longer exists.  The only remaining clue is the little church hall at the bottom of the Shambles.  Inside, you can view the monuments from the original church.

In 1736 Francis Drake described the tower as 'a handsome new steeple of brick coined with stone.'

Opinion of St Crux’s tower declined over the years and in the Victorian era it was considered “unsightly”.   Four urns are visible on top of the tower in the ealier depictions but are missing in this 1881 picture, demonstrating the deterioration of the church.  The artist, Richardson, probably worked from other drawings or possibly photographs of the church, as the cupola on top of the tower had collapsed nine years earlier.

It became unsafe, and despite some objections from the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings, the church was finally demolished in 1887. 


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