English Churches - North Yorkshire

St Agathaís Church, Easby - Part One


The church


St Agathaís is a lovely old church set in the Otter Hills Beck valley, just south of Richmond. With only Easby Hall and the ruins of Easby Abbey next to it, it has a timeless feel, miles from anywhere.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

Even though it has a large car park, it receives few visitors. This is a shame as the chancel has one of the most complete set of wall paintings in England.

There has been a site of worship here since the C8th. The nave and chancel date from the early C13th and the south aisle is C15th. It is a long, low building with a simple bell cote at the west end.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

Entry is through the south porch which has a priestís room above it.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

Just inside the door is an old stoup for Holy water.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

Inside the church, an arcade of octagonal pillars with pointed arches separates nave and south aisle. These are painted with dark red chevrons.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

At the back of the nave is the C12th font. Round the base of the wall is the original stone bench used by the sick or infirm before churches had pews.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

At the end of the south aisle is a small chapel with a wooden parclose screen round it.  At the back is the remains of a painted inscription.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

St Agatha's Church, Easby

In the nave is a replica of the Easby Cross. The original C8th carved cross is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. This is a very poor plaster copy. Even the paint is the wrong colour and is beginning to chip off. Quite frankly it looks naff.

Ignore this and quickly pass on to the chancel with its lovely barrel roof.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

The wooden reredos beneath the east window  has a painting of the Annunciation in the centre.

St Agatha's Church, Easby

The chancel walls are covered with C13th wall paintings. These were covered with whitewash at the Reformation and were rediscovered and carefully restored by the Victorians.

This is a very attractive church and definitely worth finding. It is open daily from 9-6. Easby Abbey,  LINK open similar times, is also worth a visit. The nearest post code is DL10 7EU and the grid reference is  NZ 578087

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