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All Saints, Old Byland

All Saints is an ancient church lying just off the picturesque village green of Old Byland. The church stonework dates back to Norman times, late 11th and early 12th century. Old Byland is about one mile above Rievaulx Abbey in the North York Moors.


The church is mentioned in the Doomsday Book but evidence from the coping stones and carvings suggest it was a Saxon church before the Norman alterations. The Byland monks were granted land at Tylas in 1143, but after disagreements with the Cistercian monks at Rievaulx moved first to Stocking, then Kilburn and finally Byland. However, throughout the Middle Ages the village and church remained in their possession. There is a very rare Saxon sundial on the church tower, 12th century Saxon tiles and font in the Sanctuary, and a Cistercian font is used for baptisms. The village was the scene of a fierce medieval battle -the Battle of Old Byland - between the Scots and the English on 14 October 1322 and was a significant victory for the Scots. However, this devastated the area and led to parts of the church being rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries.

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