Heslington Church


Heslington Church (St. Paul’s) is a Methodist church situated on land where a church has been present since the 11th century. By the mid 19th century the building was considered too small and the material was in poor state. This led to the construction of what makes up the modern church on this site. When new housing estates and the university were built nearby, the church was once again considered too small and extensive extensions and alterations were made to the building in 1973. Of special note in these most recent alterations is the conversion of the chancel to a side-chapel, and the moving of the high altar to a large nave on the main space’s side wall. The end result was the complete reorientation of the church from the traditional lengthways layout to an unusual ‘landscape’ orientation, with the congregation facing the nave on the side wall. The reorientation of the space was a main reason we chose this location for our acoustic measurements. The unusual position of the priest’s speaking position relative to the congregation could give interesting results (especially for speech intelligibility) in a space originally acoustically designed for a more traditional church layout. The loudspeaker was set up in the nave just in front of the altar at standing head height. The first five receiver positions were situated in the middle of the front row of each set of pews at seated head height, allowing for measurements of speech intelligibility from typical listener positions in the new orientation of the church. A sixth receiver was positioned in the central rear section of the church, providing impulse responses intended for creative musical use. The seventh receiver position was in the corner of the room, in order to capture all of the modes of vibration present in the space.

Measurement Team: 

Marc Ciufo Green
Michael James Lovedee-Turner
Yuchen Gong

Capture Date: 

Thu, 19/02/2015


2000 m³

Source Sound: 

Swept Sine; 20Hz – 22kHz ; 15 Seconds.

Source Sound Category: 

Swept sine (logarithmic)


Genelec 8030


Soundfield ST450

Space Category: 


Generation Type: 

Real World

Waveform Example

This impulse response was taken from the middle rear section of the church. Receiver Position: 905 cm from right wall, 101 cm from rear wall, 160 cm High. Source Position: 1,134 cm from right wall 353 cm from front wall 157 cm high. Temperature: 13°C. Humidity: 52%.

Audio Examples

Anechoic voice

Attribute this work to: 

University of York AudioLab
Marc Ciufo Green
Michael Lovedee-Turner
Yuchen Gong

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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