Holy Trinity Church

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Although it gives its name to the dale, Wensley is a small rather sleepy village of lovely old stone houses. The church is at the edge of the village and surrounded by the churchyard which was covered in wild flowers when we visited.

It is a lovely old church, built in the C13th on C8th Saxon foundations, with a sturdy tower at the west end and heavily buttressed walls. The church was sensitively restored by the Victorians.

Inside, octagonal pillars and pointed arches separate nave and side aisles.

Just inside the door on the north wall is a C15th wooden reliquary box. This came from Easby Abbey and contained relics of St Agatha, patron saint of Easby Abbey. On the wall beside it are Saxon carved stones and a massive grave slab from 1514, commemorating two members of the Scrope family of nearby Bolton Castle.

There are also the remains of two wall paintings. Only the legs survive from the C14th painting of ‘The Three living and the Three Dead’. The square painting depicts St Eloi shoeing a horse.

At the end of the north aisle is the splendid C17th family pew of the Scropes from Bolton Castle, surrounded by a tall, beautifully carved screen. This was rescued from the Scrope Chantry at Easby Abbey after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Round the sides of the screen is what looks to be a very uncomfortable bench. The arches facing the nave are screened with scarlet curtains. Above, hanging from the roof is a round family crest.

The box pews at the front of the nave and the double decker pulpit are C18th. There is a simple rood screen across the chancel arch. The choir stalls date from 1527 and have elaborately carved ends and poppyheads. On the south wall is a three seater sedilia and a piscina. The east window contains fragments of medieval glass. Beneath is a wooden reredos.

At the back of the south aisle is the octagonal font, dated 1662. The font cover was rediscovered under a pile of rubble in the tower. At the east end is a simple altar with a blue curtain acting as a reredos.

This is a lovely old church. It is no longer used and is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and is open every day. There is on road parking near the church.

There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/yorkshire/north_yorkshire/north_yorkshire_three/wensley/index.html

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