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Church of the Holy Cross at Whorlton



The ruined Church of the Holy Cross at Whorlton is, along with the nearby castle, one of the only remnants of the abandoned village of Whorlton.

In its final form the church consisted of a nave 52ft 9in long by 23ft 6in wide, and a chancel 32ft long and 18ft wide. There was a small chapel built out from the northern side of the chancel and a tower, which also served as a porch, to the south of the nave.

The church underwent a series of modifications during its existence. It was originally built in the twelfth as a fairly simple structure, with just the nave and chancel, both of the same wide as above but shorter than in their final form. In the late 12th century the nave was extended to the west, while the chancel was extended to the east late in the 13th century. The tower and possibly the chapel were both added in the 15th century. The town is free standing on three sides, but it may originally have been flanked by a south aisle which was dismantled in the same period. The church was altered slightly in 1593 and the tower was repaired and reroofed in 1722.

The fate of the church was sealed when Whortlon village was abandoned. A new church was built in Swainby in 1876-77. Since then the chancel and the tower have both been maintained and are still roofed but the nave is in ruins. The arch between the nave and the chancel was walled up in 1877.

The chancel contains a tomb for a member of the Meynell family, dated to the first quarter of the 15th century by the seven arms bearing the coats of arms of the Roos, Latimer, Darcy, Greystock (x2), Nevill and Fitz Hugh families although the figure of a knight on the tomb comes from the early fourteenth century.


Grid Reference: NZ 483 024
The church is to the east of the castle ruins and just to the west of the farm.