• CONTACT US if you have any problems registering for the forums.

Yorkshire St Gregory's Minster, Kirkdale, North Yorkshire

St Gregory’s Minster is a delightful small church tucked away in a deep valley of the off the Hodge Beck in Kirkdale. Set off the main A170 road and away from habitation, the only sound is bird song. It is an enchanted place.

Surrounded by trees with sheep grazing in the churchyard it has a timeless quality. There has been a church on this site since 750AD. The present church was built between 1055-65. The tiny square west tower with small pointed top looks as if it ought to be ancient, but isn’t, having been built in 1827.


The smooth stone work of the chancel indicated this was rebuilt by the Victorians, and fortunately it retains the lancet windows and Norman style priest’s door with sanctuary knocker.


The highlight of St Gregory’s is the thousand year old Anglo-Saxon sundial above the south door.


It is remarkably well preserved as it was covered with plaster for several centuries and was also protected by the porch. The centre portion with the sundial has an inscription which translates as “This is the day’s sun-marker at every hour”. On either side are carved inscriptions in Old English which give information about the foundation of the church telling that it was rebuilt by Orm Gamelson, replacing an earlier church, during the period when Tostig was Earl of Northumbria, 1055-1065.


Propped up in the porch are two grave markers dating from the C9th and probably belonged to someone of great status and prestige.


The nave is basically the C11th church. On the side walls are the stone benches used by the old and infirm before churches had pews.


At the back is the original Saxon doorway into the church. On either side of the arch are painted boards with the Lord's Prayer, Creed and Ten Commandments.


Go through and admire the pillars and cushion capitals supporting the arch.


The North aisle was added in the C13th and is separated from the nave by an arcade of round pillars with low pointed arches. The Royal Coat of Arms hangs at the east end. The pillars have wrought iron bands round them holding candles.


At the back of the north aisle propped up against the wall, is the C19th rood screen, left here when it was removed from the chancel arch in 1967. Near it is the remains of a C15th statue of Mary and Jesus which had the heads removed, possibly during the Reformation. It was found buried in the churchyard.


Also in the north aisle are remains of carved masonry with spiral designs, including parts of Saxon crosses.



The Archer stone has part of a carved bow, and may have been part of a tombstone of a medieval huntsman.


Between the pillars of the arcade are two large tomb markers thought to be C10th Anglo-Scandinavian design.



The furnishings in the chancel are early C20th. Choir stalls have carved ends and poppyheads. They still have the candlesticks on the bookshelves. On the north wall is a large organ with panelled front. The open carved altar rail has quatrefoil designs in the panels.


Beneath the three lancet east windows is a panelled reredos. In the centre is a carving of the three kings presenting gifts to the Christ Child.


When we first visited the church over 30 years ago it was still undiscovered. Now it is signed off the A170 and has a large overflow car park. It is still used for worship, open daily and very much on the map. It is still as beautiful and timeless as ever. We love this place.


Kirkdale is off the A170 between Nawton and Kirbymoorside. It isn’t the easiest place to find! There is a small sign off the A170 just to the east of Nawton. Coming from Nawton, continue straight on along the unclassified road when the A170 bends right. Continue straight at the next two road junctions and then bear left at the fork to find the church, whiuch is marked by a black square and cross on the map.

Kirkdsale m ap.jpg

church symbol...

How to Find Information

Search using the search button in the upper right. Search all forums or current forum by keyword or member. Advanced search gives you more options.

Filter forum threads using the filter pulldown above the threads. Filter by prefix, member, date. Or click on a thread title prefix to see all threads with that prefix.


Booking.com Hotels in Europe
AutoEurope.com Car Rentals

Recommended Guides, Apps and Books

52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata by Valerie Fortney
Italian Food & Life Rules by Ann Reavis
Italian Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
French Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
She Left No Note, Lake Iseo Italy Mystery 1 by J L Crellina

Share this page