St. Saviour Church

Now the home of DIG – An Archaeological Adventure, the church of St. Saviour has a fascinating history that can still be explored today

St. Saviours ChurchHistory of the Church

The church of St. Saviour has stood on this site since the 11th century. The present building dates from the 15th century, although some earlier stonework survives.

During the Georgian and Victorian periods, St. Saviourgate was one of the most fashionable streets in York and St Saviour’s was a very popular place to worship. In 1845, the church was extended to accommodate its growing congregation.

By 1901, the parish was in decline and the church bordered on one of the main slum districts of the city. St Saviour’s was eventually declared redundant in 1954, and the medieval glass and church fitments were dispersed.

A new lease on life

In 1975, the building was acquired by York Archaeological Trust. At first it was used for the storage of finds, and then, in 1990 the Trust set up the Archaeological Resource Centre (ARC) to complement its existing York attraction, JORVIK Viking Centre. Over the following decade, thousands of people visited the ARC, and now DIG continue to explore the history of York through the amazing archaeology discovered in the city.

Children digging in the re-created excavation pits at DIG, York