St Peter’s Church

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This is set in the depths of the Howardian Hills with rooks cawing. It is a tiny church set in a walled graveyard. It is unusual as it has a massive stone chancel which heavy stepped buttresses and battlements. It looks more like a Northumbrian pele tower than a church. Attached to it is a simple nave with gable roof with a tiny bell cot at the west end.

The church was built in the 13thC and doesn’t look as if it has been touched since. Entry is through the south porch which has a stone base and open wood slats above. The old oak door is studded with big hinges.

The church is equally simple inside with beamed ceiling and plastered walls. There is the remains of an inscription on the north wall. The Royal coat of Arms is above the south door

At the back of the church is a round tub font. Furnishings are 19thC. There are a few stone memorials on the walls and a roll of honour to the dead from the First World War.

A narrow stone arch separates nave and chancel. This is a solid stone built structure with with very thick walls and a stone barrel ceiling. By now we had lost the sun and the wind was howling round the outside of the church. Inside here felt a refuge from the storm. The chancel is bare of furnishings apart from two old benches on the north wall and altar with a small carved reredos. The aumbry cupboard on the south wall still has a wrought iron door.

Dalby is not easy to find and isn’t marked on road atlases. There are just a few houses and the church. Take the unclassified road west from Terrington heading towards B1363. A short distance after the steep drop down into the valley and back up again, you pass a couple of houses. After them, look for the next turning on the left, which has a slmall wooded sign “church”. It looks more like a farm track. The church is just beyond the bend. There is a parking space off the road. OS 1;150,000 Sheet 100 GR 637 712.

The church is always open and is a delightful place. There is virtually no information about it on the web and I couldn’t find a guide book in the church. It is definitely worth finding.

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