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St Michael, Bempton, Yorkshire, East Riding

(54°7′51″N, 0°10′43″W)
TA 191 721
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
15 June 2004

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Feature Sets

Situated on the east Yorkshire coast, and in close proximity to North Yorkshire, St Michael's parish church at Bempton is a modest village church. It has a 4-bay aisled nave with a S porch, a W tower and a 2-bay chancel. The nave arcades are c.1200, the W tower 14thc. and the porch and chancel date from the 19thc.. The interior has interesting fittings and enjoyable modern colour.


Pre-Conquest, the only estate was held by Ligulf. In 1087 there was one estate, of 6 carucates, held by the Count of Mortain: this went to the Paynels. The King, the Earl of Chester, and possibly the Gants, held land in the area. There always seem to have been many small freeholders in Bempton. A document of 1444 says that ‘the inhabitants had of old, with licence of the priory and convent, built a chapel in Bempton in honour of St. Michael, and at their own charges had undertaken to have it and the cemetery consecrated, in order to receive the sacraments and be buried there. They further undertook to keep the chapel in repair…’. Bempton was a chapelry of Bridlington until 1441.


Interior Features



The two nave arcades are dated c.1200 by the Victoria County History, where the base of the tower with tower arch is also said to be of that date.

Sykes and Mount suggest that the church was already in being from pre-Conquest times and that arcades were cut in this contemporary with the application to the priory for improved rights.


N. Pevsner and D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed. London, 1995.

T. Sykes and J. Mount, St Michael’s, Bempton. Bridlington n.d.

Victoria County History, A History of the County of York: East Riding, Volume 2, London 1974, p. 15.

Victoria County History, A History of the County of York: East Riding, Volume 3, London 1976, p. 203.

Victoria County History, A History of the County of York, Volume 2, London 1912, p. 10, 11, 14.