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23. The Village of Ampleforth and St Hilda's Church

AND Ampleforth Abbey and Ampleforth College

 

Ampleforth is a small village set in pleasant surroundings below the edge of the North York Moors.

To the east of Ampleforth village is Ampleforth Abbey and College.

 

Coram Cottage dated 1856, like many buildings in the village, it is built of the characteristic attractive honey coloured limestone of the area

Coram Cottage dated 1856, like many buildings in the village, it is built of the characteristic attractive honey coloured limestone of the area (there is also a pale grey limestone too). There is a smashing guide to the village which you can obtain from the Church or Village Shop etc. produced by the pupils of St Hilda's CE Primary School and St Benedict's Primary School. There is much to explore in Ampleforth, but we only had time for St Hilda's church on this occasion, but we'll be back!

 

St Hilda's Church, Ampleforth

 The site of St Hilda's Church, Ampleforth dates from Saxon times where a wooden thatched building probably stood. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The present structure is based on the church built in the 12th-13th century with extensive alterations and additions in the 19th century. The unbutressed west tower was added in the 16th century. Full details of the church are given in a detailed guide pamphlet so PLEASE purchase it and leave a donation for the upkeep of this historic building.

 

the arch of the blocked up north door

As you enter through the gate you see the very weathered beakhead arch of the blocked up north door.

 

Detail of carving on the arch of the disused north doorway.

Detail of the carvings on the arch of the disused north doorway, some are signs of the Zodiac.

 

The stump of the old Saxon Market Cross by the south entrance door shows the ancient origins of the church.

The stump of the old Saxon Market Cross by the south entrance door shows the ancient origins of the church.

 

Within the 19th century porch is the beautiful and elaborately carved 13th century rounded arch of the main south entrance door.

Within the 19th century porch is the beautiful and elaborately carved 13th century rounded arch of the main south entrance door. Prior to the 19th century it got a bit weathered, but the work of the master stone masons is there for all to see.

 

Looking down the nave to the chancel, alter and east window

Looking down the nave to the chancel, alter and east window, with the arches of the north aisle on the left, which were built in 1866 (not Norman) when the nave and chancel were both rebuilt.

 

The magnificent medieval stained glass east window dating from 1390  beautiful wooden carving of Madonna and Child, carved by the late Professor Heu  stone statue effigy of a praying knight dressed in mail armour with belt and sword, overlooked by a lady

Left: The magnificent medieval stained glass east window dating from 1390. Centre: On the north wall near the organ is a simple but beautiful wooden carving of Madonna and Child, carved by the late Professor Heu, an Austrian refugee during the Second World War and given to St Hilda's by the family he stayed with in the village. Right: In the vestry is a stone statue effigy of a praying knight dressed in mail armour with belt and sword, overlooked by a lady (female figure of ?). The engraved name reads Gilianus/Wilhelmus/Willelmus de Jarpenville? and believed to depict a soldier-knight of King Edward II's time, who fought and died in the Battle of Byland in 1322, from where the King fled.

 

The carved font dates from the 12th century.

The carved stone font dates from the 12th century and still in use today.


Ampleforth Abbey and Ampleforth College

The mighty structure of the 'New Church' of Ampleforth Abbey designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and built between 1922 and 1961.

 

The chancel, tower and transept of Ampleforth Abbey Church.

 

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THE GOOD SAMARITAN sculpture by John Bunting

 

The sculpture of ? by ?

 

Another sculpture of ? by John Bunting

 

There has been a Benedictine abbey on this site at Ampleforth since 1802.

 

The 'new' Ampleforth church is built in a Gothic style, though not that elaborate.

 

Looking from the south transept into the crossing, where a rehearsal for Haydn's 'Creation' was going on in 2014, a concert we thoroughly enjoyed in the evening at Ampleforth Abbey.

 

The monks assembling for prayers in the chancel.

 

Stained glass windows in Ampleforth Abbey

 

Stained glass windows in Ampleforth Abbey

 

Stained glass windows in Ampleforth Abbey

 

Stained glass windows in Ampleforth Abbey

 

Looking down the grounds of Ampleforth Abbey and Ampleforth College.

 

Looking back up from the playing fields to Ampleforth Abbey.

 

The cricket pavilion of Ampleforth College, which is a co-educational Catholic day and boarding school for 13 to 18 year olds.

 

Every important tree is numbered in the grounds of Ampleforth Abbey and College.

 

The lovely Cafe in Ampleforth Abbey, great place for a snack or main meal!


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