Romantic Old St Stephen’s Church Wedding Venue in North Yorkshire
It’s been compared to an old sailor gazing out to sea. Old St Stephen’s Church, Fylingdales stands on the hillside between Whitby and Ravenscar in Yorkshire. Overlooking Robin Hood’s Bay.
Built in 1821, not one of the older churches in historic Yorkshire, the church nevertheless resonates with the history of the resilient North Sea fishing community. Much has survived. The painted box pews, full-length gallery and a three tiered pulpit, designed for the preacher are still present as well as a gorgeous old organ.
The church is constructed in sandstone with a purple slate roof. It features a six-bay nave, a small sanctuary, a south porch and a north vestry. At the west end of the church is a bell-cupola. It’s architectural style if Gothic Revival.
Decorating the porch is a sundial bearing the dates 1736, 1864 and 1919. Wooden benches are inside the porch. The nave has windows with pointed arches. There is a square-headed door in the south wall of the sanctuary. The east window is similar to those in the nave, and it is flanked by diagonal buttresses. The wall of the vestry sports a 15-pane window.
The sea is a recurring theme and there are memorials to the shipwrecked in both the church and churchyard. Successful lifeboat rescue missions are listed and there is also a touching display of rare maiden’s garlands’ – ‘crowns’ used in the funeral processions of young – and chaste – women.
Outside, windswept gravestones huddle tightly round the church walls. Some recall tragedies: strangers who drowned on the coast or locals whose lives were cruelly claimed by the sea.
Ideal for an intimate celebration
Beautifully maintained, this small church will appeal to the seafarers and those who feel the pull of the ocean. Add to this a nautical theme that follows through at the reception and you could have a superbly romantic event.
Bring in old sea bells, shells for decorations, sea lanterns for the lighting and dried seaweed for an extra touch. Serve scrumptious sea food and share some hearty ale. For entertainment try some pirate visits and see if you can’t rustle up a band or DJ who is prepared to get dressed up a little. A fabulous occasion. And fairly cost-effective too.