English Churches - North Yorkshire

St Mary the Virgin, Hemingbrough


An elegant church with a lovely spire and some superb carved pew ends


The very tall and slender spire of St Maryís Church can be seen for miles over the flat landscape of the Ouse valley. There was a church here in Domesday Times but the present building dates from the early C13th and the outside is a good example of the Gothic style of architecture.

St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough

It is a cruciform church with central square tower topped by the glorious C15th spire. Side aisles and tower are battlemented and the side aisles topped with pinnacles.

Inside it is a big church and the architecture of the nave feels Norman rather than Gothic with round pillars and round arches separating the nave and side aisles. Walls are covered with stone memorials.

St Mary's Church, Hemingbrough

The transept crossing has the more typical pointed Gothic arches and the chancel is also Gothic.

St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough

At the back of the south aisle is a C12th Norman font.

St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough

St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough

The south transept has a C14th cadaver tomb, a reminder of manís mortality.

St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough

In the south aisle is a small C14th carved credence table which would have been a stand for an Easter Garden. It has been moved here from the chapel which now houses the organ.

St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough

The pulpit is Jacobean and has lovely carved arches on the panels.

The C15th pews have beautifully carved ends with heads, animals and arches.

St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough   St Mary's Church,                HemingbroughSt Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough   St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough

The choir pews also have carved ends and one of them still has a misericord. Dating from around 1200, this is one of the oldest in the country.

St Mary's Church,
                Hemingbrough

St Mary's Church, Hemingbrough

On the north wall of the chancel is a carved wooden panel with men and mythical beasts. Its origin and date are unknown.

St Mary's Church, Hemingbrough

Inside this is perhaps rather a plain church but the quality of the wood carving is outstanding and makes it well worth visiting.

The church is usually kept locked but a key can be got from the post office, just down the road from the church. There is plenty of parking on the road by the church. The nearest post code is  YO8 6QU and the grid reference is SE 673306

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