English Churches - East Riding of Yorkshire
A lovely small and very intimate Norman church
Underdale is a very attractive small church at the edge of
the village in the depths of the Yorkshire Wolds set on
a slope leading down to a small stream. The church dates from the C12th although the arcades are later. It was sensitively restored in the C19th by GE Street.
The small square west tower has a low battlemented top and a cockerel weather vane. The nave is very tall with a steep pitched roof with dormer windows which extends over the side aisles. The chancel is nearly as long as the nave.
Entry is through the north porch which has a large tombstone to Roger Wilberfoss (d1532) of Garrowby propped up against the inside wall. This was originally in the centre of the chancel but when the church was rebuilt in 1870, it was removed to the churchyard. It remained there until 1929 when it was moved into the porch to prevent further deterioration.
Inside, arcades of round pillars with narrow bands of carving round the top and pointed arches above separate nave and side aisles. Above the arches are the remains of small round topped Norman windows of the original C12th nave. The dormer windows in the roof were added in the C19th.
A round arch leads into the base of the tower which contains a big square stone font on legs.
There are small altars at the ends of both side aisles. That in the north aisle has a reredos with a carved scene of the Annunciation. Above it is a tiny Norman window with a stained glass image of the Virgin Mary.
The stained glass is C19th.
At the back of the north aisle, set into the wall is a small Roman carving of Mars. This is 2nd or 3rd century and was discovered in the rectory garden in 1916 and placed here.
A simple round Norman arch with carved capitals leads into the chancel. Above is an elaborate painted crucifix with the Virgin Mary and St John on either side. The wall above the chancel arch is painted a pale cream with IHS and flower motifs. The roof at in front of the chancel arch is painted pale blue with gold stars. Chandeliers with candles hang from the roof. By the chancel arch is a rather nice C19th carved wood pulpit.
Steps lead up into the chancel which has a simple altar with a small reredos of blind arches below the east window.
The ribs of the wagon roof are brightly painted.
The church is open daily and is a delightful small church with a lot of character. There is parking on the road. The post code is
YO41 1QY and the grid reference is SE 808586.
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