English Churches - North Yorkshire
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
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.
Entry is through the south porch which has a priestís room above it.
Just inside the door is an old stoup for Holy water.
Inside the church, an arcade of octagonal pillars with pointed arches separates nave and south aisle. These are painted with dark red chevrons.
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.
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.
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.
The wooden reredos beneath the east window has a painting of the Annunciation in the centre.
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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