St Mary’s Church is in a lovely setting behind the houses along the busy B1248 between Wetwang and Malton. It is surrounded a large graveyard and looks out across the Yorkshire Wolds.
It is a very attractive church with tall Saxon tower with tall narrow nave, north aisle and chancel. The east wall of the chancel contains many pit marked stones, although there is no mention of these in the information sheet inside the church or on the web.
The church was built on the line of the Roman Road between Malton and Beverley. There is some confusion about the date of the tower, although the general consensus of opinion is that it is late Saxon. The tall narrow shape would confirm this as well as the double windows at the top.
The rest of the church is Norman, being built between 1120-2. The west door on the tower is typically Norman and was probably added later. It has now been blocked in with a window at the top. The north aisle was added in the C14th. The chancel was rebuilt in the C19th when the south porch was added.
Entry is through the south door with a round Norman arch with some carving. There are two small steps into the church.
Inside it is a very attractive church with an arcade of pointed arches between the nave and north aisle. The chancel arch is pointed and was built on Norman pillars with carved capitals. There is a simple wooden table altar under the early C20th stained glass east window.
At the back of the nave a simple Norman archway leads into the base of the tower.
At the back of the church is a simple round tub Norman font. At the back of the north aisle is a large wall monument to James Fox who died in 1790.
This is a lovely church, plain and simple. It is definitely worth a visit if passing.
The church is open daily. It is reached down a rough track to the left of the main road just after the crossroads coming from the south. We parked in the small parking area by the crossroads. There is some parking at the end of the track to the church but we were unsure as to the status of this.
There are more”here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/yorkshire/north_yorkshire/north_yorkshire_three/wharram_le_street/index.html pictures