History of York St Mary's Church

History of York St Mary’s

York St Mary’s is a beautiful medieval church which opened as a contemporary art venue in 2004.

Each year, York Art Gallery aims to commission a different artist to create a site-specific installation within this unique space, or invites an artist to show an existing work.

From 2013 – 2015, York St Mary’s opened for a longer season with even more exhibitions during the closure of York Art Gallery for a major re-development project.

The church itself could date back as far as 1020 and a dedication stone inside bears an inscription saying it was built by ‘Efrard & Grim & Aese’. The remains of the original Saxon church are limited to stonework in the body of the church close to the chancel.

The bulk of the building dates to the early 13th century, with 14th and 15th century modifications and alterations. Records of burials in the church suggest it was a fashionable church towards the end of the medieval period. It has the tallest steeple in York at 47 metres high.

York St Mary’s was deconsecrated in 1958 and between 1975 and 2001 was a heritage centre.

 

Information for Artists

Our York St Mary’s artists are normally approached by York Art Gallery.

However, if you are an established, professional artist with a history of exhibiting in private/public galleries or site-specific spaces and wish to submit an idea, CV and/or low-res images, please email us at enquiries@ymt.org.uk.

Please be aware that due to the high volume of enquiries we receive we may be unable to reply to all correspondence.