Fylingdales, St Stephen's Old Church
Fylingdales, St Stephen's Old Church
On a hill overlooking the old smuggler's haven of Robin Hoods Bay stands this early 19th century church. St Stephen's was built very much as a preaching church; the focal point of the interior is a superb triple-decker pulpit, which dominates rows of box pews. There are galleries at both the east and west ends.
The church building is a very simple affair, looking very like a hall, with only the odd little cupola bell turret over the west gable to remind you that it is a church.

Reminders of the coastal heritage of the area are everywhere; the interior and the churchyard are full of memorials to shipwrecked sailors, as well as a more uplifting list of successful lifeboat rescue missions. One interesting feature is an old 'maiden's garland', a floral nosegay traditonally carried in a funeral procession for a young unmarried woman.

St Stephen's is no longer in regular use and is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. Note that the church is sometimes called Old St Stephens to differentiate it from the later Victorian church (New St Stephens) built by GE Street in 1870.