English Churches - North Yorkshire

St Mary’s Church, Wharram-le-Street


A Norman church with a Saxon tower


St Mary’s Church is in a lovely setting behind the houses along the busy B1248 between Wetwang and Malton. It is surrounded a large graveyard and looks out across the Yorkshire Wolds.

St Mary’s Church,
                Wharram-le-Street

It is a very attractive church with tall Saxon tower with tall narrow nave, north aisle and chancel.

St Mary’s Church,
                Wharram-le-Street

The east wall of the chancel contains many pit marked stones, although there is no mention of these in the information sheet inside the church or on the web.

St Mary’s Church,
                Wharram-le-Street

The church was built on the line of the Roman Road between Malton and Beverley. There is some confusion about the date of the tower, although the general consensus of opinion is that it is late Saxon. The tall narrow shape would confirm this as well as the double windows at the top. The west door on the tower is Saxon/Norman. It has now been blocked in with a window at the top.

St Mary’s Church,
                Wharram-le-Street

The rest of the church is Norman, being built between 1120-2. The north aisle was added in the C14th. The chancel was rebuilt in the C19th when the south porch was added.

Entry is through the south door with a round Norman arch with some carving.

St Mary’s Church, Wharram-le-Street

Inside it is a very attractive church with an arcade of pointed arches between the nave and north aisle.

St Mary’s Church, Wharram-le-Street

The chancel arch is pointed and was built on Norman pillars with carved capitals.

St Mary’s Church,
                Wharram-le-Street   St Mary’s Church,
                Wharram-le-Street

There is a simple wooden table altar under the early C20th stained glass east window.

At the back of the nave a simple Norman archway leads into the base of the tower.

St Mary’s Church,
                Wharram-le-Street

There is a simple round tub Norman font.

St Mary’s Church,
                Wharram-le-Street

This is a lovely church, plain and simple. It is definitely worth a visit if passing. The church is open daily. It is reached down a rough track to the left of the main road just after the crossroads coming from the south. We parked in the small parking area by the crossroads. There is some parking at the end of the track to the church but we were unsure as to the status of this.

The nearest post code is YO17 9TL and the grid reference is SE 864659

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