Thursday, January 25, 2007


After the best coffee (Kenyan) and cake so far in Osmotherly we went on to the viking town of Jorvik, better known to us today as York. The photo above shows the oldest surviving row of houses in York. They were built in 1316 in the churchyard of the Holy Trinity to endow a chantry of the Blessed Virgin. They are on a street known as Goodramgate, which is derived from Gutherungate - a twelfth century anglicisation of the old Scandinavian name.

Passing a lot of Vikings on the way we headed off to the Shambles where St Margaret Clitherow lived. Margaret was executed for giving shelter to Catholic priests. There is now a shrine in her honour on the Shambles. Fr Richard explained that although the shrine purports to be the place where she was captured, in fact she lived in the houses opposite. Here is a photograph of numbers 10 and 11 where Margaret Clitherow actually lived and where she was caught giving shelter to a priest hidden in a priest hole:

After ptaying at St Margaret Clitherow's shrine and asking her intercession for an increase in vocations for our country, we took our time to investigate Jorvik. The city's Catholic heritage is witnessed to by the large number of pre-reformation churches. Some of them are very beautiful as you can see from this magnificent lantern. The other photo shows York in flood.

Part of the reason for waiting was to get into the Minster without having to pay! Once in we were able to have a good look round before Vespers started although photography wasn't allowed. In the Chapter House I found this beautiful carving of Our Lady with the Child Jesus which had somehow escaped the Reformers' hammerblows:

Finally we rounded off our day by visiting the old Abbot's House. St Mary's Abbey was a Benedictine community in the City. At the Reformation the Abbey was dissolved and the Abbot's house became the home of the Council of the North which was charged with the total destruction of Catholicism in Yorkshire. The House, which remains in the hands of the civil authorities, testifies to the importance of the former Abbey:

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