All Saints stands on the corner of Pavement (so named probably because it was the first medieval street in York to be paved).
The Domesday Book (of 1086) records the church as being held by the Bishop of Durham, gifted by the King. The position of the church, bordering Coppergate and High Ousegate, suggests that a church already stood on the site by the 10th century, though a carved Anglo-Danish grave cover (revealed during excavation work in 1963) strongly suggests that a burial ground with an earlier associated church had been on the site from Viking times.
All Saints was a prestigious medieval church, and many of its parishioners were important city figures – either civic leaders or local merchants. The church was completely rebuilt in the late 14th century when it was much larger than it is today.
In c. 1400, the west tower was added, and the distinctive blue panelled nave ceiling was installed later in the 15th century.
By the end of the 18th century, the chancel was in need of repair. The city wanted to expand the thriving grain market in Pavement so, in 1782, the chancel and its aisles were demolished.
The church (including the lantern tower) was heavily restored between 1835 and 1837 – and, in 1848, new pews replaced the existing box pews (which now line the walls of the aisles).
In 1887, stained glass windows by Charles Kempe were installed at the east end of the church. In 1957, the west window (dating originally from 1370) was installed, having been restored by the Minster glaziers following its removal from the redundant Church of St Saviour.
In 2015, the Afghanistan Memorial Window (designed by Helen Whittaker of Barley Studios) was created in memory of service men and women from the York area who had served in Afghanistan, particularly Marine David Hart, Lance Bombardier Matthew Hatton, and Trooper Ashley David Smith.