The mosaic floor of the chancel at St Paul's, Heslington, York, by Antonio Salviai. While Salviati’s reredoses are quite often seen (there is another at nearby St Oswald’s, Fulford), it is not so common to find a pavement. Without the gold background and pure colours of the reredos, the tones here are subdued, but the designs are clear and traditional. At the entry from the nave, the first roundel has a pelican feeding her young with her blood.

The central roundel is the IHS monogram for Christ, while the one nearest the altar step has three fish making a triangle, symbolising the Trinity.

The steps have various border patterns. A very different pavement, black and white, was made by Salviati in 1902 for the nave at St Edith’s, Bishop Wilton; it was designed by Temple Moore and is said to be based on a floor in the Vatican (Pevsner and Neave 331-2).

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Photographs and text by Rita Wood, with formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


Mott, Peter. Churches and Chapels in Heslington, 2019. Web. 31 October 2021.

Pevsner, Nikolaus, and David Neave. Yorkshire: York and the East Riding. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002.

Created 31 October 2021

Last modified 10 January 2022 (link added)