Bempton, St Michael's Church
Bempton, St Michael's Church

St Michael's church in Bempton is built mainly of chalk and sandstone, with later additions in red brick. The oldest parts of the church are the nave arcades and the lower section of the tower, which date to about 1200. The upper section of the tower is 14th century and is constructed to an odd octagonal design.

Much later still is the red brick Georgian chancel and chancel screen. The screen is quite striking, with slender columns supporting a rectangular top divided into three sections. The flanking sections are painted with the Ten Commandments text, while the centre section shows a royal coat of arms on a painted red background.

At the west end is a simple Norman font in a chalice shape, with a wide bowl set on a low plinth of four steps.

The other very noticeable feature is how squat the thick Norman columns in the nave are; the largely unadorned columns rise only to about head height and support low, wide arches. This gives the nave a very low feel, very much at odds with the bright and airy Georgian chancel.

A lovely modern touch is a bright and cheerful stained glass window set into the north wall, depicting St Francis standing atop the Bempton Cliffs, surrounded by seabirds.