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St MARY’S, Lastingham

St MARY’S, Lastingham

St Mary’s, Lastingham, is a really unusual church, with an ancient apsidical crypt (it has an apse), which is said to be unique, and a wonderful vaulted roof.  It is early Norman, dating from 1078, but built on or near the site of a 7th century monastery founded by St Cedd, brother of St Chad.  Cedd was from the Lindisfarne Celtic Christian tradition and attended the Synod of Whitby in 664 AD when it was determined that the Roman Christian method should prevail.  He was buried at Lastingham – according to Bede “to the right of the altar.”  The first stone church was built in c725 AD.  The current structure, begun by Stephen of Whitby, was never finished – for reasons unknown.  Standing in the churchyard, it can be seen that the nave is truncated – it was originally planned to extend this much farther west.  There was extensive repair and refurbishment in the 19th century – this is when the vaulted roof was installed. The crypt is extraordinary, like stepping back a thousand years, with massive round columns and side aisles – the only crypt in England to have these features, apparently. It also contains various relics, including the remains of a large, 9th C, cross.

North Yorkshire
Post Code:
YO62 6TL
Main Historic Period:
Useful Website Address:
North York Moors, Hutton-le-Hole, Ryedale Folk Museum, Malton
Primary Management:
Church Authorities

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