- 1538-2002 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.45 cubic metres
Name of creator
The church of St Olave, Marygate, was founded prior to 1055 and was given to Alan, Earl of Brittany, at the time of the Norman Conquest. In 1086 Earl Alan gave it to the monk, Stephen of Whitby, as a foundation grant for what would become St Mary’s Abbey, York.
Work on the abbey began in 1089 and the Benedictine community there were closely linked to St Olave’s throughout the medieval period, providing its chaplain until at least the late 15th century. The rights of the abbey over parishioners of St Olave’s were the subject of a grant dated 1161-1184 and attempts to make the parish fully independent were successfully resisted by St Mary’s in 1390. At this time, the parish is believed to have included parts of Clifton, Rawcliffe and Heworth.
Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the sixteenth century, the Crown granted the advowson and rectory of St Olave’s to the Archbishop of York. In 1578 it was granted to Thomas Eyms and then to Sir Christopher Hatton in 1586, before passing to the Robinson family in the 17th century. In 1586 the parish was united to that of St Giles Gillygate and in 1767 and 1786 the benefice was augmented through Queen Anne’s Bounty. It later received additional funds from the parliamentary fund in 1810 and 1814.
By the 19th century the patronage of St Olave was held by the de Grey family, who retained it until 1871 when it returned to the Archbishop in exchange for an advowson outside of York. At some point between 1764 and 1825 the parish of Fulford was created, in part from a chapelry of St Olave, and in 1855 another part of the parish was severed with the creation of St Thomas’ parish.
In 1870 a further part of the parish was transferred to the new consolidated chapelry of Holy Trinity, Heworth, and in the following year it lost another part to the consolidated chapelry of St Philip and St James, reducing it further. In 1910, St Luke the Evangelist, a chapel of ease for St Thomas’s parish on Burton Stone Lane, separated from St Thomas and was united with St Olave until 1930 when it formed its own separate parish.
The parish church of St Olave dates to the twelfth century. It was largely rebuilt in c.1466-1470, and the arcades and south aisle rebuilt in 1721-1722. The chancel was rebuilt in 1887-1889 by George Fowler Jones and the south vestry was added in 1898 by James Demaine and Walter Brierley. The stained glass includes work by J. W. Knowles of York and Harry Stammers.
Today the parish is known as St Olave with St Giles.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Uploaded finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Yorkshire Parish Register Society, 'The parish registers of St Olave, York. 1538-1644.' Transcribed and edited by Walter Jenkinson Kaye and H. Harrison (Leeds, 1923).
Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 'The parish registers of St Olave, York. 1650-1785.' Transcribed and edited by Norman Pace and Barbara Whitehead (Leeds, 1993).