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St Oswald, Flamborough, Yorkshire, East Riding

(54°6′47″N, 0°7′33″W)
TA 226 702
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
medieval St Oswald
now St Oswald
  • Rita Wood
11 May 2004

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The church has an aisled nave, aisled chancel and west tower. It is mostly of limestone ashlar, but the N aisle wall is made with cobbles. The N and S arcades are early 13th c. In 1864-9, the Norman chancel arch, which was subsiding, was rebuilt (VCHER, ii, 162). When visited by Sir Stephen Glynne in 1857 the church had ‘no tower, only a wooden belfry... the chancel arch has good mouldings', but he does not mention the font (Butler 2007, 182-3, with illustration of the exterior c.1840). There was an Early English pointed arch in the W wall of the nave until 1897, suggesting a tower by about 1300 (VCHER, ii, 162). It is said that the W tower fell in 1515 (Brearley 1971, 24); the present tower was built in 1897.

The choir screen and other woodwork is thought to have come from Bridlington Priory at the Dissolution. Sculpture of the Romanesque period is on the chancel arch and the font.


In 1086, there were two estates, one held by Hugh earl of Chester. The tenant of the other, larger, estate was Hugh son of Norman, then it passed to William son of Niel, perhaps the Niel who was made constable of Chester (VCHER, ii, 154).

The church is first mentioned in a charter of 1094-1100, which records that it was given by Hugh, earl of Chester to Whitby Abbey, but this is thought to be spurious, as there is no further evidence that Whitby held Flambrough church. By 1130, when it was next mentioned, the church had been given by William son of Niel to Bridlington Priory (VCHER, ii, 160).


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches




Borthwick Insititute, Fac. 1868/10

F. Brearley, A History of Flamborough. Driffield 1971.

L. A. S. Butler, ed., The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874). Y. A. Soc. Record series 159, Woodbridge 2007.

J. E. Morris, The East Riding of Yorkshire. 2nd ed. (1906) 1919.

N. Pevsner & D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed. London, 1995, p. 421.

Victoria County History, A History of the County of York East Riding, ii. London 1974.