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St Mary, Ebberston, Yorkshire, North Riding

(54°14′15″N, 0°37′58″W)
SE 892 833
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, North Riding
now North Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Jeffrey Craine
September 2004

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This substantial church consisting of a nave, chancel and W tower is now some distance from the centre of the village. It would appear that the original 12thc building consisted of a simple nave and chancel, with an aisle added to the N nave wall c.1200. There has clearly been an on-going programme of repair and restoration, particularly in the latter part of the 19thc. The three-quarter attached nook shafts in the doorway in the S wall of the nave are modern insertions but amongst the surviving 12thc features are the Romanesque N nave arcade and the doorway of the S wall of the nave.


No church is mentioned in the Domesday Book.


Exterior Features



Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features



Interior Decoration





The differences in the capitals in the S nave doorway pose an interesting question. The capital on the R is part of a larger masonry block that extends into the wall and is similar in dimensions to the block on the L. This block was either put in place to replace a capital, although not recently, given its condition, or it was intended to be cut in a similar fashion to that on the L. Although this doesn’t conform to the general view of capitals being cut prior to installation, the very basic and rudimentary method of cutting that was required to produce the form on the left may reflect a practice of carving such blocks whilst in situ.

The corbel head in the S chancel wall is probably 14thc, but it does have features, such as the deeply undercut eyes and hair and moustache represented by stylised spirals, which are strongly reminiscent of Romanesque carving.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 114.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England - Yorkshire - the North Riding, Harmondsworth 1966, 154.

Victoria County History, North Yorkshire, Vol. II, 434-437.