English Churches - East Riding of Yorkshire

St Andrew’s Church, Boynton


The memorial chapel of the Strickland family with their family emblem of the turkey cock.


William Strickland sailed to America with John Cabot in the C16th in search of gold. They didn’t find any gold but came back with the first turkeys to be seen in England. William was supposed to have looked after the turkeys on the voyage and when granted his own coat of arms in 1550, chose a turkey cock. He purchased the manor at Boynton and his descendants were responsible for building the church. It is decorated with turkey cocks.

There is little known about the early history of the church. The first recorded records are of an C11th chantry chapel attached to the Priory of Bridlington. The tower dates from the C15th. By the C18th the church had fallen into disrepair. Parts had collapsed and the rest was so dangerous that services could not be held in it. Sir George Strickland, the 5th Baronet obtained permission to rebuild the church on its existing foundations. John Carr of York was chosen as the architect. The stone built tower was in good condition and kept. The rest of the building is brick.

St Andrew's Church, Boynton

The line of the original roof can be seen on the east wall of the tower. The carved figure on the south east corner is St Andrew and is C19th.
St Andrew's Church, Boynton
A chantry chapel was added beyond the chancel as the Strickland mortuary chapel. The Strickland monuments from the old church were replaced here.

Entry is through the west door at the base of the tower into  vestibule. Inside it is a most attractive Georgian church, with tall columns forming a colonnade around the chancel.

St Andrew's Church, Boynton

At the back of the church is the Strickland family pew which was formed from the bell ringers chamber in the tower and reached by a lovely curving staircase.

St Andrew's Church, Boynton

This gave the squire an uninterrupted view down on his tenants and employees during the service. No longer used, this is a bit of a dumping ground although there is a beneficiary board propped up on a bench recording that Dame Elizabeth Laetitia Strickland left the interest from one hundred and ten pounds, to be distributed to the poor of Boynton and Carnaby parish.

St Andrew's Church, Boynton


Below, at the back of the nave is the C12th Norman tub font which looks surprisingly modern with arcading carved round the base. The painted wooden lid is 1930s.

St Andrew's Church, Boynton

The olive green pews were originally arranged facing inwards. This arrangement was unpopular with the parishioners who hated being stared at across the aisle and they were repositioned in the C19th. The pulpit is the top half of a two tier Georgian pulpit, again repositioned at the end of the nave in the C19th. Next to it is the splendid turkey lectern carved by a local craftsman in memory of Sir Fred Strickland who died in 1934.

St Andrew's Church, Boynton

The chancel is separated from the nave by an iron railing. There is an olive green painted altar with three red and gold crests on the front. Beyond, separated by another iron railing, is the mortuary chapel of the Stricklands.

St Andrew's Church, Boynton

On either side of the east window are two huge baroque monuments from the original church.

That on the left commemorates Sir William Strickland, the first baronet who died in 1673 and his wife Francisca. At the top, above the family crest is a splendid turkey. On the other side of the window is the memorial to Elizabeth, wife of the second baronet.

St Andrew's Church, Boynton     St Andrew's Church, Boynton 

Looking at the monuments, that of Sir William has a garland at the base. That of Elizabeth has symbols of war. This has led to the suggestion that when the memorials were reassembled in the church, the base carvings got muddled up.

On the north wall is a large sarcophagus with a blank inscription and another turkey on the top. This may have been intended for the third baronet. The memorial of the fourth baronet is on the south wall opposite it. There are other monuments to later Stricklands on the walls. By the C19th, the family chose to be buried in the churchyard and their memorials are near the south east corner of the church near the yew tree.

This is a very attractive church and well worth finding. It is by the Hall at the end of a side road to the south of the B1253 which cuts the village in half. The church is open daily and reached up a short flight of steps from the road. There is some parking by the steps. The post code is YO16 4XJ and the grid reference TA 136680.

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