St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church
4.5
About
St Mary's is an active church in the center of Thirsk. The building has been described as a fine example of a medieval church. We love the building and want to allow others to enjoy it as well, either to meet with God, enjoy the architecture or soak up the history. Our team of volunteers look forward to welcoming you! Find out more at www.thirskparishes.org or via our facebook page facebook.com/Thirskparishes.
Duration: < 1 hour
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles133 reviews
Excellent
88
Very good
39
Average
6
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Invernesstraveller
Inverness, UK221 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
I like looking around old churches and this one was full of interest.
Many thanks to the two lady volunteers who spent time with us telling stories and explaining the history of the church. Lovely to seek out the mice and the beavers!
Well worth a visit.
Written August 31, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard J
London, UK1,626 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Gothic with dark wooden interior fittings. One of the bells is said to have come from Fountain Abbey dating from 1410. Interesting plaques detailing former incumbents and notable locals. The nice lady guide was very helpful.
Written June 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bruce L
Roberts Creek, Canada1,720 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
After visiting the nearby World of James Herriot, we just had to stroll down the street to see the church where James married Helen (Joan) and more recently, the authors granddaughter was married. The church was quiet and except for the kindly volunteer in attendance, we had the entire building to ourselves. We were provided information brochures and shown where parts of this Norman structure were added to where the small(er) Nave was as evidenced by the inlaid stones and the ingenious cover over the baptism water that could be lifted with 1 finger thanks to an overhead cable attached to a hidden lead counter weight. The exposed ceiling beams and soaring tower (80' in height!) along with the stained glass windows we are always drawn to in structures of worship all add to this impressive church. Enjoy.
Written August 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mmills522
Columbia, SC71 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
If you love history and old cathedrals - this is a must see. Stunningly beautiful architecture and original door and font from the Middle Ages. It’s free and volunteers give tours but you’ll want to leave a donation in appreciation of the beauty. You will want to tour the church yard as well. I can’t say enough about this beautiful church and the volunteers who give tours
Written October 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

thomas g
York, UK497 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
Clearly a hub of the Thirsk community, it has some wonderful stained glass and fascinating architecture. Grand without being Grandiose, a friendly place to visit.
Written August 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

preglad
New York3,508 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
From the curious entrance itself , St Mary is a most interesting old Church with much history. I'll try to restrict myself to stories I've not read here in other accounts. We met a wonderful parishioner caretaker, Peggy, who shared some of its wonderful accounts with us.

That referenced door contains another -smaller and slightly higher of wicker within - where there's a bit of a dip from people resting their feet possibly. One theory on why a second door is framed within the first is that it kept animals out, but nobody's absolutely sure.

Of course there's the whole hermit monk Thomas Parkinson and Catherine of Aragon saga which held quite the attentions of so many its day. It's far too complex a tale to spin more fully here but one of amazing interest, well worthy of looking into for itself. Suffice it to say that for a period of his life this ascetic destitute of a man lived within the upper floor walls of St. Mary until his life was temporarily rescued by the efforts of Catherine of Aragon. There are fuller accounts of his altogether bizarre life available on the internet and beyond.

Transitioning from a Roman Catholic Church of another name and subject to the destructive propensities of a very political forces, we see stain glass collected into but one sector as part of that consequence. Similarly in more modern times, the old clear glass had to be gratings protected from vandalous kids with a propensity to throwing rocks.

Alf and Helen Wight were married here during wartime and he in the military, so it was a very quiet affair with witnesses only and no photos remembering the occasion. Parish members remember the whole family well with very positive warmth. The pews in which they and others were and seated were carved in most patiently elaborate patterns using antiquated tools.

A half century of Middle Ages years were devoted to completion of this lovely wool church, but only moments were involved when Hitler's Air Force completed a Roundheads' destruction of the area including St. Mary's statue, only the pedestal of which remains. It took a major restoration and help from a major cathedral to reset and replace damaged 15 C. stain glass.

It's a marvelous structure and fascinating history at Saint Mary's Church. We were equally impressed by the devotion and kindness of one lovely parishioner who took the time to proudly and patiently show two American travelers about.
Written July 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Curatorial
21 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Solo
Now over 500 years old, this beautiful little church just a few minutes walk from Thirsk town centre, is remarkable for the fact that the building has hardly altered since work first began on it in 1430. The interior and exterior have much to engage the eye, and those with a thirst for history will not be disappointed. Social historians too can easily pass an hour in the churchyard where many distinctive headstones tell us something of local people buried there, some dying tragically young, some living to a venerable old age. Volunteers run a cafe in the crypt serving hot drinks, soup, cakes etc and there's a selection of pretty photographic postcards available to buy as mementos of your visit.
Written September 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Markku M
Espoo98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Solo
This church is really interesting, it is in beautiful condition. When I visited it, there were very helpful and friendly people inside guiding me to some very nice details and stories: hermit hole, font cover (with excellent mechanism) and expert organist. Be sure to stroll in churchyard and Kirkgate to get very nice views to this fine and noble building.
Written August 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christine A
Norfolk, UK308 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
The church was closed when we visited but a stroll round the ancient grave yard is a history lesson. Impressive building and a shame we couldn’t go in.
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

freddiedoncaster
Stockton-on-Tees, UK2,596 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
This church has to be in my top ten. I called in here when I was visiting Thirsk back in August. The grounds are well cared for, the church itself inside and out is truly magnificent.
Worth a visit.
Written May 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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St Mary's Church, Thirsk

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