YorkshireFYLINGTHORPEOldStStephen(humphreyboltonCC-BY-SA2.0)1 HumphreyBolton

Old St Stephen

A fishermen's church overlooking the sea.

Fylingthorpe, Yorkshire

Opening times

Open daily.


YO22 4PN

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.

This church is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Social heritage stories

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • On street parking at church

  • Parking within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Churches Conservation Trust

Contact information

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