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St Martinís Church, Burton Agnes, Yorkshire

See also Burton Agnes Hall

St Martin's church tower by Barbara Ballard The church roof by Barbara Ballard The church of St Martin, in the grounds of Burton Agnes Hall, is centuries old. It is thought a wooden church once existed on the same site. When it was rebuilt in the 1125-50 time period it had a nave with no aisles, a chancel, and may have had a western tower. Parts of this church remain at the four angles of the nave and the chancel arch.

Interior of the church by Barbara Ballard The church has had many alterations including adding an aisle on the north side of the nave, the piercing of an arcade of three bays through the wall of the nave, and the doubling of the north aisle. It was rebuilt in the second quarter of the 12th century with the aisleless nave, a chancel and a western tower. A south aisle was added 1200-50. Early in the 14th century the walls of both aisles were taken down and they were increased in width.

The church aisle by Barbara Ballard The chantry of the Virgin Mary was placed in the north aisle in 1314. It was founded in 1314 by Sir Roger de Somerville and his tomb is in the arched recess in the north aisle wall. In the 15th century the church was altered extensively with the clerestory added to the nave and the western tower rebuilt; a chapel was added on the north-west bay of the north aisle (now destroyed).

The church pews by Barbara Ballard Around 1730 Sir Griffith Boynton beautified the church adding the present pews of the nave and aisles and the arch opening from the nave into the family pew (Burton Agnes Hall). An arcade of three bays was pierced through the wall of the nave, and the eastern bay of the arcade was altered in the 18th century.

Tombs in the church by Barbara Ballard Charlotte Bronte visited Burton Agnes in 1839. There is a connection with the famous Wilberforce family in that the second son, Robert Isaac, was rector of the parish. He restored the church and had the chancel rebuilt, and also presented the east window in memory of his father.

Visitor Information

Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens
Driffield, off the A614 near Bridlington
North-east Counties
Tel. 0 1262 490 324
Open: April-end Oct, daily, 11am-5pm; gardens also open some days in Feb, Nov, and Dec
Historic Houses Association member; tea-room; village church; shops; parking; special events; weddings
Web: Burton Agnes Hall

Photos © by Barbara Ballard

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