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Church of St Mary and St Germain (Selby Abbey), Selby

Description: Church of St Mary and St Germain (Selby Abbey)

Grade: I
Date Listed: 16 December 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 325718

OS Grid Reference: SE6156832376
OS Grid Coordinates: 461568, 432376
Latitude/Longitude: 53.7841, -1.0671

Location: A63, Selby, North Yorkshire YO8 4PU

Locality: Selby
Local Authority: Selby District Council
County: North Yorkshire
Country: England
Postcode: YO8 4PU

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Listing Text

1. (north side)
5342 ------------
Church of St Mary and
St Germain
(Selby Abbey)
SE 6132 SE 5/1 16.12.52


Parish Church, formerly the church of Selby Abbey, a mitred abbey, one of the
three most important Benedictine houses in the north, and (traditionally) the
earliest. Founded, according to tradition in 1069. Dissolved 1536.
The church was begun by Abbot Hugh de Lacy (1097-1123), and from his campaign date the earlier part of the nave and transepts. The west part of the nave
and the lower part of the west front appear to be late C12. The north nave gallery and the upper parts of the west front appear to be mid-C13. The
chancel and some of the tracery elsewhere are of later C14 date.
The tower collapsed in 1690, and was repaired circa 1701-2, probably by "Mr
Hall, a local builder of some note".
The church was restored in 1871-3 by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and again in 1889-90 by J Oldrid Scott. In 1906 a serious fire prompted the most drastic restoration of all, also by J Oldrid Scott, which included a new crossing
tower (1908), south transept (circa 1912), and west towers (1935).
The following monuments are outstanding.
1. Three mediaeval sarcophagi. The D'Arcy Tomb (south aisle): C15: badly
eroded torso, on panelled tomb chest with angels holding shields. A
crusader (north nave arcade): late C12 or early C13. A lady (south nave
arcade): C14: under life size, with crocketed canopy and four shields.
2. Tomb slabs in south-east corner. Abbot John Shireburn (1368-1407):
alabaster. Abbot Lawrence Selby (1486-1504): eroded. Abbot Barwic (1522-6)
3. Various other tomb slabs, of which the most unusual are four dated 1604,
1613 (both in south aisle), 1614 (on north transept west wall), and 1630
(on north aisle wall), which still use black letter inscriptions at this
late date. Another is to Frank Raw (buried 31 March 1706), gravestone
cutter (south aisle).
4. Three distinguished C17 or early C18 tablets, viz:- Richard Spencer of
Leeds (1662-1690) (north aisle): skull and crossbones over. A swagger
cartouche with a skull (north aisle): soft limestone: inscription
obliterated. Two conjoined oral laurel wreaths framing tablets to Robert
Morrit, merchant (died 22 November 1705), and Robert Morrit, his 12 year
old son (died 1 May 1704).
5. The following signed neo-classical memorial slabs. To John Dobson (died
6 March 1837) and Mary Dobson (died 18 December 1847): south aisle: signed
by W Bradley, Selby. To Ann Elizabeth Morrit of Cawood (died 1 December
1795): north aisle: very finely carved sarcophagus on black ground signed
W Mason. To Samuel Staniland (died 28 June 1852) and Betsey Staniland (died
17 July 1852): north aisle: signed by Waudby, York. To Samuel Staniland,
mariner, (died 21 April 1800), his wife Dinah (died 27 April 1809), and
their sons Thomas Staniland, ship owner (died 6 January 1799), Jonathan
Staniland, ship owner (died 24 September 1802), and Stephen Staniland,
gentleman (died 9 November 1834): north aisle: signed by W Plows, York.
To Thomas Eadon died 18 June 1835): north aisle: signed by M Taylor York.
To John Audus (died 29 January 1809) and Jane Audus (died 23 December 1830)
north aisle: large and fine quality, the carving suggests the later date,
but the design suggests the earlier date: signed by W Plows, York. To
Nicholas Smith (died 19 January 1787) and Eleanor Smith (died 6 September
1816), and other members of their family (no dates): north aisle: signed
by Y Plows. York. To Morley Wharrey (died 4 September 1797), his wife
Elizabeth (died 31 December 1842), and their daughter Sophia Theresa
Buchanan (died 1 August 1877): north aisle: signed by W Plows, York. To
the Hawdon siblings, William (died 14 December 1835), Ann (died 9 February
1855), Elizabeth (died 22 August 1825), Sarah (died 19 February 1806),
Richard (died 25 October 1852): north aisle: signed by G Bailey, Hull.
6. The grave-diggers alab: south aisle: to John Archer, died 15 September
1768: with a charming doggerel inscription.
7. Various other neo-classical and some Gothic slabs.
The principal furnishings are as follows:-
Font: apparently C12: very plain, circular, moulded base.
Font Cover: C15: wooden: very tall and elaborate: three storeys: traceried openings: crocketed gablets, pinnacles and crocketed spire.
Chair: oak: "Yorkshire" type: inscribed "PO 1693 MO": scene on back appears
to combine the Ascension and the Resurrection.
Lectern: mid C19: brass: good.
Screens, Stalls, Organ, and Pulpit: elaborate but conventional Gothic of
1906-9 by J Oldrid Scott.
Hatchment: one in south aisle.
Chest: mediaeval: a single piece of oak.

Listing NGR: SE6156832375

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.