Rudston is a small village to the west of Bridlington on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds surrounded by fertile farmland. The area has been settled since neolithic times and in the churchyard is the Rudston Monolith which is the tallest standing stone in Britain. Standing 26’ high with a possible 10’ below the surface, this is a massive stone weighing in at over 26 tons. It was quarried from the Cleveland Hills about ten miles away and brought here around 2000BC. It stands in an ancient landscape of banks and ditches. It was capped with a lead cap in the C18th.
The first church was built here in the C12th add it has been suggested that the early church builders specifically chose a site close to the monolith following the edict of St Augustine in AD 597 to “build your churches alongside the pagan temples and show them the love of God”.
Only the base of the tower with its Norman windows, survives from this church. The top was aded later. Side aisles were added in the C13th and the chancel is C14th. The church was restored in the C19th.
It is a large church with an arcade of round pillars with pointed arches separating side aisles and nave. The wooden roof is supported on carved stone corbels.
At the back by the door is the C12th Norman tub font covered with carvings of crosses for redemption and circles representing eternity.
There is a rather nice three seater sedilia and a piscina in the nave. Across the east end is an arcade of trefoliate arches containing brightly coloured Minton tiles which was part of the C19th restoration. The stained glass is modern as the C19th glass was destroyed by a land mine during the Second World War.
Winifred Holtby was born in the village and is buried in the graveyard. Her best selling novel ‘South Riding’ was based on the area.
The Rudston monolith is an awe inspiring structure. The church is pleasant but nothing special apart from the Norman font. It is open daily although there is a 10.30 communion service on a Wednesday. We waited for it to finish and the parishioners were delighted to see visitors and very keen to talk about their church. There is parking in the road by the church.
There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/yorkshire/east_riding/east_three/rudston/index.html