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Bedale Church of St Gregory

In the civil parish of Bedale.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire North Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE26558845
Latitude 54.29099° Longitude -1.59361°

Bedale Church of St Gregory has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Church, comprising nave, chancel, north and south aisles, west tower and crypt. The nave dates from C12. In the late C12, the chancel was rebuilt and the north aisle added. The south aisle and south chapel date from around 1290, while the north aisle and north chapel were rebuilt circa 1340. The west tower was built as a fortified structure, also circa 1340, and at the same time the chancel was extended to the east and the crypt constructed below. The tower was heightened in C15. Fragments of late C9 carved stonework can be found in the crypt. (PastScape)

The doorway still possesses its portcullis groove in front of the doorway with its narrow iron studded door. Unfortunately, the portcullis was removed when it fell during a storm in 1830. As with all such churches much of the 'fortification' is symbolic of Gods dominion, through the Church, over man on earth. However the portcullis is an unusual feature although it should be realised that portcullises are just rather awkward sliding doors. This part of the church dates from the C13 when the Fitzalans live in the lost adjacent manor house sometime called Bedale Castle and the church still contains monuments to the Fitzalans including a particular fine one to Brian Fitzalan (1243-1306). As sometimes sheriffs and as local lords the threat to the church may have been from locals targeting Fitzalan monuments although as a active participant in Edward I Scottish War Bedale may have been a specific target for the occasional long distance raid from Scotland. However it is more likely that the expensive portcullis and the rooms in the church tower it guarded had sometime to do with FitzAlan lordship (possibly parish and manorial deeds and documents)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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