St Olave's Church, York
|St Olave's Church|
The interior of St Olave's church, facing east
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Parish||St Olave with St Giles, York|
|Priest in charge||The Reverend Jane Nattrass|
The church is situated within St Mary's Abbey walls, which was ruined in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It is dedicated to St Olaf, patron saint of Norway. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 1055 records that ‘This year died Earl Siward at York; and his body lies in the minster at Galmanho, which he had himself ordered to be built and consecrated, in the name of God and St. Olave, to the honour of God and to all his saints.’ Galmanho is a former name for the area where the church stands and Siward, Earl of Northumbria, is believed to have had his York residence. This is the earliest date for a church dedication to St Olaf (Olav in Norwegian) anywhere.
The church was extensively rebuilt in the 15th century. Substantial repairs were carried out in the 1720s including the insertion of windows in the north aisle, the wall of which had earlier served as part of the abbey and later city defences. A new chancel was added in 1887-9 by George Fowler Jones, a York architect, and later extended in 1906. This contains the five-light 15th-century east window. Despite these changes the architectural style is broadly 15th century.
St Olave's has a strong musical tradition, with a large choir and recently restored organ, as well as a ring of six bells hung for change ringing. In addition the orchestra of the Academy of St Olave's performs three concerts each year and plays for one orchestral Mass on Remembrance Sunday. The Sunday sung eucharist is at 10.30 using Common Worship (order one, contemporary language).
- The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Part 5 : A.D. 1052 - 1069  The Online Medieval & Classical Library
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