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image for Church item typeOld St Stephen's Church

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St Stephen's Old Church, Fylingdales

St Stephen's Old Church, Fylingdales


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, windswept 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.

Accepts groups


The Churches Conservation Trust

01132 441 689


Church House,
Church Lane,
WHITBY, North Yorkshire,
YO22 4PN



See location of Old St Stephen's Church on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: NZ 941056  Lat: 54.43714 Long: -0.55023

By Road:
Coming from the North (Whitby) on the A171 follow signs for Robin Hoods Bay.
Coming from the South (Scarborough) on the A165, follow signs for Robin Hoods Bay.


  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups