St. Andrew's Church, Aysgarth
OS grid reference:- SE 004 883
St. Andrew's Church at Aysgarth, located on the south side of the River Ure, was largely rebuilt in 1536 and restored in 1866. IOt is quite a large building and consists of a chancel, a nave with aisles, and a Lady chapel. The church once boasted the stone head of a century Saxon cross which dated to the tenth century but this was stolen in 1996. It is uncertain whether this imlies that a church occupied the site at that date or merely a local preaching place.
The churchyard is reputed to be the largest in the country at four acres. A fourteenth century stone coffin lid is positioned above the south-east doorway. It is engraved with a hunting horn and was probably for a verderer or forester of Wensleydale.
Aysgarth Church contains fittings saved from Jervaulx Abbey at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, including the great Rood Screen and the Abbot's Stall. The brightly coloured ornate screen, a rare survival, was said to have been carried from Jervaulx Abbey by 20 men. It was once positioned between the chancel and the nave but now adjoins the Lady Chapel. The Vicar's stall contains only parts of that belonging to the old Abbots, but there are exquisite poppy-headed benchends, one bearing the hazel bush and barrel (or tun) rebus of Abbot William Heslington. Both were made by the Ripon School of carvers.
The church also has a superb ornate reredos of Caen stone with a carving of the Last Supper. There are many interesting stained glass windows and the ones above the reredos are particularly magnificent.
Parking is available adjacent to the church in the Pay & Display Car Park.