Church of St Mary the Virgin

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Things to do


Date of travel

July, 2014

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The very tall and slender spire of St Mary’s church can be seen for miles around over the flat landscape of the Ouse valley. There was a church here in Domesday Times but the present building dates from the early C13th and the outside is a good example of the Gothic style.

It is a cruciform church with central square tower topped by the glorious C15th spire. Side aisles and tower are battlemented and the side aisles topped with pinnacles.

Inside it is a big church and the architecture of the nave feels Norman rather than Gothic with round pillars and round arches separating nave and side aisles. Walls are covered with stone memorials

The transept crossing has the more typical pointed Gothic arches and the chancel is also Gothic.

At the back of the south aisle is a C12th Norman font.

The south transept has a C14th cadaver tomb, a reminder of man’s mortality.

The pulpit is Jacobean and has lovely carved arches on the panels.

The C15th pews are one of the highlights of the nave with their beautifully carved ends with heads, animals and arches. The choir pews also have carved ends and one of them still has a misericord. Dating from around 1200, this is one of the oldest in the country.

On the north wall of the chancel is a carved wooden panel with men and mythical beasts. Its origin and date are unknown.

Inside this is perhaps rather a plain church but the quality of the wood carving is outstanding and makes it well worth visiting.

The church is usually kept locked but a key can be got from the post office. There is plenty of parking on the road by the church. The nearest post code is YO8 6QU and the grid reference is SE673306

There are more pictures “here.”:

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