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Holy Cross, Gilling East, Yorkshire, North Riding

(54°11′3″N, 1°3′27″W)
Gilling East
SE 616 769
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, North Riding
now North Yorkshire
  • Jeffrey Craine
September 2011

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Gilling East is a village in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire, 2 miles south of Oswaldkirk. Holy Cross is a substantial church, consisting of nave, chancel and west tower, though much rebuilt during the 14th and 16th centuries. Surviving Norman parts are restricted to the nave arcades, which have cylindrical piers and square capitals.


The village is dominated by Gilling Castle, which was mainly constructed during the 16th century and remodeled during the 18th century. There are, however, significant parts dating from the 14th century, but no evidence of an earlier building. The land around Gilling East appears to have changed hands frequently from the Conquest to the end of the 13th century, including the Mowbray family, who had significant holdings throughout this region. It is reported that the church and surrounding land were granted to St Mary’s abbey in York, by a member of the Vescy family, who were tenants of the Mowbrays. Eustace (Vescy), who confirmed this donation, died in 1157.


Interior Features





It would appear that a church was in existence on this site prior to 1157. There are some elements in the nave walls, which would appear to have been either part of an earlier structure or reused. Whilst it is difficult to be specific, this may indicate a building from the latter part of the 11th century. The nave arcades are clearly from a period towards the end of the 12th century, probably c.1190. The type of carving in the capitals and the early pointed arches is consistent with other similar arcades in this region of a similar date.

  1. N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire, The North Riding (Harmondsworth, 1966), pp.166-167.

A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, ed. William Page (London, 1923), pp. 478-485.