North Grimston is an attractive village which straggles along the busy B1248 between Wetwang and Malton. The church is to the west of the village set back off the road and reached down an avenue of lime trees.
It is an long, low building with a narrow west tower. There is little information about the early history of the church which seems to have been built on a C12th foundation. The tower is C13th although superficially does look a lot older. The nave was widened shortly after the church was built which explains why the chancel arch is off centre. The line of the original roof can be seen on the east side of the tower. The south door is typically Norman as is the now blocked off north door. On the outside of the north wall of the chancel is a corbel shelf. The cavings are now very eroded but include a sheelagh-na-gig and also a male figure masturbating.
Entry is through the south door with two steps to negotiate into the porch. There is a second door inside.
The main reason to visit the church is the carved font. It is described as Norman although the carving looks more like Saxon than Norman, in which case the font would predate the church.
Standing at the back of the nave, it is a massive round tub font with cable carving round the top. Most of the carving is a depiction of the Last Supper with Christ and the twelve disciples sitting at a table ladened with food, chicken, fish and bread. Their feet can be seen underneath. Christ is in the centre of the group and is larger than the other figures. He has a halo behind his head and his hands are raised in blessing. His feet are placed on a cushion.
There are three other carvings. There is a bishop with crozier, thought to be St Nicholas. Then the remains of a spiral carving followed by the Crucifixion. Christ is on the cross with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus beside him. This is most unusual and the only carving of the Crucifixion on a font.
It is a simple church with whitewashed walls and a king pin beam ceiling. The flat Norman chancel arch has chevron carving and is supported on pillars. There are simple pews and plain wooden pulpit. The chancel contains a large organ on the north wall. The simple altar is set below the C19th stained glass window of the Good Shepherd, which has large memorial tablets on either side.
This is a very satisfying church and the font is superb. The area is renowned for its carved Norman fonts and there are other good examples at “Cowlam,”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/yorkshire/east_riding/east_one/cowlam/index.html “Kirkburn”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/yorkshire/east_riding/east_two/kirkburn/index.html and “Langtoft.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/yorkshire/east_riding/east_three/langtoft/index.html This is by far the best.
The church is open daily and reached through a small lych gate off the B1248. There doesn’t seem to be a parking area so we parked on the side of the road.
There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/yorkshire/north_yorkshire/north_yorkshire_two/north_grimston/index.html