Saint Marys with Holy Apostles Scarborough
Religious Place Scarborough North Yorkshire

Saint Marys with Holy Apostles Scarborough

Religious Place In Scarborough, North Yorkshire

A 12th century church which was the scene of a Roundheads and Cavalier's confrontation and is also the final resting place of Anne Bronte.

St. Mary's with Holy Apostles, Scarborough, usually referred to as St Mary's, sits below the castle but is still high above the town. It is a pleasant walk up narrow streets and steps from the town to reach it.

You may seek out St Marys for Anne Bronte's grave or you may stumble upon it as visiting the castle or in our case taking a shortcut to Ray Longsdale's artwork.

St Marys was built around 1150 probably by masons working on the castle with round pillars in the church dating back to Norman times with the octagnal ones being later.

Richard I, the one they call Lionheart gave the church (in the year of his succession to the throne) in 1189 to The Cistercian Abbey of Citeaux in France. When I asked my husband (who is quite the historian) why, his reply was "Because he was the king and he could do what he liked!"

The Church had been extended a few times. By 1200 north and south aisles were created. In the mid-14th century, small chantry chapels were built due to the Black Death and paid for by the wealthy. Priests could pray for the souls of the dead (if they hadn't died giving the last rites to many suffering from the bubonic plague and then catching this highly infectious disease themselves). These chapels had an altar and usually an ornate screen.

At the start of the 15th Century, the church was given to The Augustinians of Bridlington Priory. Later it became the Parish Church due to the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536 to 1541)

Outside the ruins are that of the great original north transept and quire. It shows how big this church was. St. Mary's was used during the English Civil War (1642 to 1651) as a Parliamentary base for the Roundheads who had the largest cannon in England.

The cannon was placed inside the east window to launch an attack on the castle and Royal Cavaliers. The Cavaliers in turn launched an attack on the Roundheads and destroyed parts of the Church. The five month siege ended with the Royalists surrendering.

Unfortunately, all the stained glass windows were destroyed during the time of the Civil War. The replacements are 19th and 20th century. The stained glass window at the altar was replaced in 1958 as a German mine did much damage.

It looks as you would expect, but take a look at the quirky section at the bottom; On the left is a lady with a cat and on the right is a man with a dog. In between are a selection of God's creatures: green crocodile, giraffe, kangaroo, lion, monkey, and fish to name a few.

There is much to see inside, along with nice refreshments and an upstairs ladies' loo, with a rear view of a stained glassed window.

You also have a rare view of a church interior from above.

Anne Brontë wrote under the pen name Acton Bell and was known for Anges Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She was ill and wheelchair-bound when visiting Scarborough with her sister Charlotte and a friend. A doctor advised she was unlikely to make the journey home and died there.

The funeral was two days later and only one other person attended; Miss Wooler a former School mistress who happened to be in Scarborough.

The original inscription had errors and is now illegible. The Brontë Society has since laid a gravestone with the correct inscription:

Here lie the remains of Anne Brontë, daughter of the Revd P. Brontë, Incumbent of Haworth, Yorkshire. She died Aged 28 May 28th 1849.

There is a section of St. Marys set aside to commemorate Anne Bronte along with the death certificate..

Around the outside, there are many pleasant vistas, including The Towers Hotel, built circa 1860 for a local brewer with rather pleasing machicolated turrets.

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How To Find Saint Marys with Holy Apostles Scarborough

Where Is Saint Marys with Holy Apostles Scarborough?

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54.286586, -0.393593

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Where To Park For Saint Marys with Holy Apostles Scarborough?

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54.286317, 54.286317

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Car park adjacent, but worth walking from/to the town.

Contributed by Rosalind Parker

Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.

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Rosalind Parker

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