THE Norman period started disastrously with William the Conqueror's 'Harrying of the North', but then a new era began, with the rebuilding of many churches by the new masters. Most of the older stonework in the parish churches of Ryedale dates from this period. The Norman arches of All Saints at Helmsley, built under the lordship of Walter L'Espec of Helmsley Castle, are particularly impressive. The Norman tradition of architecture changed to early English style in the 1200s, and the church at Barton le Street has some fine examples of stone carvings from this period. In the days before printing and general education, churches were often decorated with paintings of stories from the Bible. Some very fine paintings can be seen on the walls in Pickering Parish Church.
Wall painting Pickering
Stone Carving Barton le Street
Page prepared by Ryedale Christian Council Autumn 2000. Updated December 2016
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