St Stephen's Church, Fylingdales, North Yorkshire

Address: Robin Hood's Bay, Fylingdales, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4PN
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A fishermen’s church overlooking the sea

Likened to an old mariner gazing out to sea, St Stephen's stands majestically on the hillside between Whitby and Ravenscar, overlooking Robin Hood’s Bay. Built in 1821, its appearance can be severe but the church resonates with the history of a resilient North Sea fishing community.

Inside, painted box pews, a full-length gallery and a three-decker pulpit, designed for the preaching of the Word, have all survived. The sea is a recurring theme throughout 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, windswpet 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.

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

5 miles south east of Whitby; take the B1447, the church is on the right before the road descends into Robin Hood's Bay.

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Whitby (4.9 miles). Arriva Bus 93 runs a regular service from Middlesborough bus station to Scarborough rail station going past the church.

OS Reference No.

NZ 942 059

What’s on & news

News

16/07/14 Wendy Leaney impressed the judges with her skillfully sculpted creation made out of homemade lime and elderflower cordial

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Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

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Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Images from Flickr

The CCT is grateful to the Flickr group, Friends of the Churches Conservation Trust, for the images shown here. CCT is not responsible for the quality or content of images taken from Flickr.


Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walkround guides we have for this church.

 

 

 

 

PDF iconYorkshire County Guide (PDF, 4.9mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in North, South and West Yorkshire. Printed copies of the county guides are also available at the church.

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Have you visited this church?

Why not share your experience with us?

Comments

  1. Mrs. H. Greenstreet (19 Aug 2011, 23:37)

    Just browsing through information on robin hoods Bay. I lived at Raw Pastures as a child until I think I was about 8years old. My father was a sea Captain "Capt Percy Tradewell" and I have an inkling that I may have been christened either at St Stephens or at a church within Eskdale. How can I find out this information?

  2. Anonymous (05 Sep 2011, 09:21)

    I visited on 2/9/11 and was very touched by the ethereal beauty of this wonderful old church. As I walked through the churchyard, there were sheep happily grazing between the gravestones it is so quaint. Inside this splendid building the original painted pews still retain the soft blue -grey colour and the washed out pine floor boards that echo the colours of the sea in the distance. There was currently a textile exhibition on which had responded to the history about the maidens garlands which was truly fascinating and very beautiful indeed. At the top of the stairs which was flooded with light, there was a display cabinet with remnents of the original maidens garlands that had been kept by the old vicar which was very touching. I could have stayed a lot longer delving more into the history but sadly had to go; I enjoyed this visit and it made my day.

  3. Lyda (03 Mar 2012, 06:32)

    Researching family history and my ancestor George James Watson
    Farsye and Hannah Hutton both of whom are buried here.

    Will visit this beautiful old church one day.

  4. Wendy North (20 Oct 2012, 07:31)

    Should the address be Fylingthorpe rather than Fylingdales?

  5. Cheryl & David (12 Mar 2014, 23:24)

    We visited today for the first time, and found it to be a very interesting old church, flooded with natural light through the many large clear glass windows. So many pews, all with numbered doors, the stairs leading to the upper level are complex but the upper level itself is a labryinth. Lovely atmosphere, and what stories those walls could tell.........

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

St Stephen's Church, Fylingdales, North Yorkshire

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as 'Keyholder nearby', this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Disabled access

Visitors with disabilities may need assistance. There are uneven pathways from both entrances to the churchyard which can be slippery in wet weather. There is a good level of natural light inside the church.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.