St Mary

Off the beaten track on the gloriously remote Holderness peninsula, discover a 14th century tomb and associations with the Gunpowder Plot.

About this church

The 14th century tomb stands in the south aisle and is astonighing. It bears a distinct resemblance to the fabulous Percy tomb at Beverley Minster. But, the Welwick tomb doesn't have any apparent dedication. It has an elaborate ogee canopy, with extravagant decoration. In the niche is a highly decorated table with an effigy in long robes. It was originally thought to be a woman but is probably a cleric in vestments.

There is a long held tradition that it is a member of the Albermarle family. Others think it could be William de la Mare, Provost of Beverley Minster between 1338 and 1362.

Beside the tomb is a 13th century stone coffin found under the chancel. There is also a fragment of 14th century coffin lid found at nearby Plowlands Farm. Finally there is a very fine brass set into the floor. The brass commemorates William (d1621) and Ann Wright, of Ploughland, and shows Ann wearing an Elizabethan ruffed collar and an elaborate headdress.

William Wright had stepbrothers named John and Christopher Wright. Both attended St Peter's School in York, Christopher attended at the same time as Guy Fawkes. Both brothers became involved in the Gunpowder Plot and tradition suggests that Plotters' Barn, near Ploughland Farm, was used as a meeting place by the conspirators. It was Christopher Wright who discovered that the Plot had been revealed, and the brothers fled to Holbeche, in Warwickshire.

Other features of note at Welwick include the east window, with lovely Victorian stained glass. The chancel screen dates to 1460-1480 and the 17th century porch has a much worn carving of the Madonna and Child in a large canopied niche above the entrance.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

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