St Stephen's Church, Fylingdales, North Yorkshire

Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4PN
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Conservation works are ongoing at this church. Please contact our Local Community Officer Laura Bonnington on 07392 087023 for further information or if you wish to arrange a visit.
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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, 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.