The present St Oswald’s church was founded by the Augustinian friars of Bridlington on the site of an older church probably destroyed by the Vikings.
St Oswald was King of Northumbria, one of the founders of Christianity in the North who was killed in battle in 641.
Building started in 1180 and the church was substantially completed by 1230. The nave and aisles were built first in the Transitional style. In the 13th century an eastern extension of the chancel was added with a tower and transepts on a grand scale. Norman porches and battlemented parapets were added to the North and South doors in the 15th century.
The church was restored in 1839 when many of the original features were removed and the walls whitewashed. The plaster was removed in 1885 and the original stonework revealed. Look for the pre-reformation stone altar, the reredos, stained glass windows, the front panels of the altar and the figure of the boy bishop.
Notice the unusual fish weather vane on the church tower. The churchyard too has many stories to tell.
Next follow the path down to Church Bridge.
NB From April through the summer, the church is open to visitors on Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings – 11am-1pm.