What's in a Name......?

The Spurriergate Centre was opened in 1989 as a Christian Centre offering refreshment and a listening ear to the many people who live, work in or visit York.

 

It is named after the original church building it now occupies - St Michael's Spurriergate. The name Spurriergate refers to the tradesmen who occupied this street in the 15th Century - the spur makers.

 

There has been a church on this site since the time of the Norman Conquest, and the building has seen many changes in its long history. The oldest parts of the building are the slender pillars holding up the roof dating from the 12th Century.

 

The building has also seen a number of structural changes including the foreshortening of the building when the East wall was rebuilt in 1821. This work was done to widen the street and resulted in the half arch that can be seen near the main entrance to the Centre.

 

The tower was lowered in the 1960's and the Centre still houses a full set of bells which are rung frequently.

The Spurriergate Bells:-

 

The top stage of St Michael’s tower was removed in 1968, when it was shortened because the structure had become unsafe. This included the belfry stage and the six bells were removed at this point. A new belfry was created in the pyramid cap of the shortened tower and the tenor bell was hung in it for chiming by and electric hammer. The smallest five bells were placed on the floor of the church. The original oak bell frame was removed at this point and destroyed.

 

In 1986 a full restoration of the peal of six bells was carried out, and the bells re-hung for change ringing on new bell fittings in a new cast iron and steel bell frame.

 

The six bells are of great importance. The largest or tenor bell was cast in 1466 by Thomas Innocent who cast bells in Leicester and York. It is the only remaining mediaeval bell from York Minster. Bells 2 – 5 were cast in 1681 by Samuel Smith of York and also hung in York Minster – they are recastings of four bells cast for the Minster in 1471 by John Hoton. The smallest bell was cast in 1765 specifically for St. Michael’s when the other five were transferred from the Minster in exchange for Spurriergates’s three larger bells. It was cast by George Dalton of York.

Souce: David E Potter, President,York Minster Society of Change Ringers.

For more info

The Spurriergate Centre houses the oldest bell in York.

 

“SUM ROSA PULSATA MUNDI MARIA VOCATA”

(I being rung am named Mary the Rose of the World).

Tenor Bell rung down and up on its new fittings in St Michaels’ new belfry.