Found some more churches

St Peter’s Church, Wintringham, North Yorkshire

Heading out at the crack of dawn to Whitby on Sunday, it obviously would have been an opportunity wasted had we not taken in some more Churches Conservation Trust churches to tick off some more of my Fifty before Fifty challenge.

We selected three and first on the list was St Peter’s at Wintringham, North Yorkshire. Easy to find, very peaceful and with pheasants hopping around on the gravestones – until, that is, you got your camera out and then they ran and hid.

This church was built and added to between Norman times and the 15th century. It has some really unusual carvings and a great font.

It also had a carved poor box from the 17th century.

And this.

A comedy wall poem on the penalties of not playing nicely with the bells.

It reads:

“I pray you Gentlemen beware

And when you ring ye Bells take care

For he that Rings and breaks a Stay

Must pay Sixpence without delay

And if you Ring in Spurs or Matt

You must likewise pay Sixpence for that”

– Michael Gill Clarke, 1723

I like a man with a sense of humour.

Our second stop was St Andrew’s Church, East Heslerton, North Yorkshire.

This one wasn’t open. We could have collected the key from the farm round the corner, but we didn’t want to disturb people on a Sunday morning.

This one is Victorian (finished in 1877) and has a tall spire with statues carved into each aspect. It’s a lovely location and there are beautiful views around it.

It also has a very striking lamppost.

Quite Narnia-esque. It was a very pretty church.

But we were heading to the Goth weekend in Whitby (for photographic purposes) and had one more church to take in.

The Old Church of St Stephen, Fylingdales, North Yorkshire.

This is the Old Church of St Stephen at Fylingdales, just outside Whitby.

It is absolutely amazing and easily my favourite church to date.

It sits on a hillside overlooking Robin Hood’s bay and it’s graveyard is packed with weather-worn graves of locals, of strangers who died at sea. It’s an incredible little place.


Inside there are painted box pews and a three-decker pulpit. There is a gallery packed with pews on two sides of the church and, going inside, you could just imagine hundreds of villagers from these little fishing villages packed into the pews on a Sunday listening to the sermon being preached from on high.

It is so atmospheric I could almost see them sitting there.

It has a collection of rare maidens garlands.

These hoops, decorated with brightly coloured ribbons, were carried in front of the coffins of chaste, unmarried women who died.

There is a list nearby of all the unmarried women who are buried in the graveyard, ranging in ages from teenagers to pensioners.

And some of the gravestones are pretty amazing too. The stonemason who carved this must have been pretty talented.

Visiting here is like stepping back into a Victorian novel. The church also has a couple of interesting little history books and a facsimile of the census for the area from 1901.

Very definitely my favourite Churches Conservation Trust church so far. And I may well have found the location for that novel I keep threatening to write. It was beautiful.











  1. The exquisite detail in some of the churches is so amazing Dory. It history just reaches right out and touchs. Really It’s like walking about yesteryear!

    • I’m finding it really interesting. Each church is so different, and all lovely in a different way.

      • That is missing so much in many buildings today I think.

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