One of only three complete Saxon churches in Britain, this wonderfully preserved church sits in a sunken circular enclosure bordered by battered walls, an influence from Celtic Ireland.
Reputed to be the largest parish church in the Diocese of Durham. Internally it is grandly spacious, broad as well as long and lofty, reflecting its importance from the days when it became a college receiving some of the canons who had to leave Durham Cathedral when it was made monastic in 1083.
It is almost all basically 13th century but with Perpendicular alterations which have given it low pitched roofs throughout with battlement or straight parapets. In plan it is cruciform with an aisled nave and west tower. The chancel is notably long with large north and south transepts, the south transept is a Victorian rebuild to the original design. The chancel contains a fine set of twenty four stalls, known to be given by Cardinal Langley in 1416-17, with beautiful traceried fronts, poppy head ends and carved misericords. In the northwest corner are many interesting architectural fragments and two fine 14th century effigies: one of a lady in stone and one of a knight in oak.