All Saints

From the earliest days of Christianity in northern England there has been a place of worship in Driffield.

About this church

The beginnings of faith here would have led to the building of a simple wooden structure. But as faith grew and wealth became available, grander buildings were built to the glory of God, many of which have left their mark on the building that still stands proudly above Driffield today.

There was a church here (probably in ruins) at the time of the Domesday survey in 1086. Some large blocks of masonry, with a rather crude type of torus moulding are built into the inner wall of the tower ringing chamber. They may have come from this Saxon building.

A Norman church, without side aisles, was probably built on the site about the beginning of the 12th century and the church received its present general pattern about 1170-1200. Between 1878 and 1880 and extensive restoration was carried out by George Gilbert Scott Jnr.

The tower is a dominant landmark in the area and it gives the church its own special air of distinction. It combines grace and splendour with strength and solidity. Much of its effect depends on the skilful way in which the buttresses are designed: set in right angled pairs at each corner. The tower was probably built in the middle of the 15th century. Like many of the great towers of East Anglia it is probably a ‘wool tower’, the result of devoting sheep farming profits to the greater glory of God.

There are many points of interest. The carved stones in the Lady Chapel are set out on the sill of the side windows. They are all of the late 12th century date, perhaps of the original chancel arch.

Now in the chancel, the chandelier was originally in the centre of the nave and is a graceful piece of Queen Anne or early Georgian craftsmanship. The chancel and Lady Chapel screens were designed by Temple Moore in 14th and 15th century styles.

Nearly all the windows were designed by the once famous glass painter Victor Milner, some 60 to 70 years ago. His two colourful and attractive windows in the south wall of the chancel showing scenes from the parables are particularly interesting.

A carving is on the outside wall of the Vestry overlooking the main street. It is a bas relief (much weathered) of as bishop, with mitre and crosier, and appears to be late 12th or early 13th century.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Non-accessible toilets in church
  • Café within 500m
  • Space to secure your bike
  • Wifi

Other nearby churches

St Mary

St Mary's is thought to have been built around 1130 and many Norman elements remain including a spectacular south doorway and a delightful font with a cat with a mouse.

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