Sledmere, St Mary's Church
Sledmere, St Mary's Church
The parish church of Sledmere stands immediately beside historic Sledmere House. There is no access from the House, though, only from the main road through the village. The church is the largest to be built by that incorrigible rebuilder of ancient churches, Sir Tatton Sykes II.

Over the years 1893-98 Sykes, with the aid of one of his favourite architects, Temple Moore, created a lavishly decorated building, at a quite staggering cost for the time of £60,000.

The new church swept away an earlier 1758 rebuilding of a Norman church on the site. The design is ornate Decorated Gothic in style with a lavish interior and elaborate reredos. There is lovely woodwork throughout and a very finely vaulted south porch.

Throughout are monuments to the Sykes family, rescued from the earlier church. The grave of Sir Tatton Sykes himself is outside the church to the north.

It is, perhaps surprisingly, a fairly subdued monument. Perhaps the real monument to Sir Tatton Sykes is the many churches around East Yorkshire that were rebuilt and preserved under his patronage.