Selby Abbey

Selby Abbey

Parish church
name=Selby Abbey

caption=The West End and Central tower from SW
dedication=St Mary the Virgin and St Germain
denomination=Church of England
tradition=Broad Church
priest=Rev Canon Keith Richards
asspriest=Rev Robb Wainwright
canon=Rev Roy Matthews (retired)
curate=Rev Gareth Wardell
organistdom=Dr Roger Tebbet
website= []
Anglican Portal

Selby Abbey is an Anglican parish church in the town of Selby, North Yorkshire. It is one of the relatively few surviving abbey churches of the medieval period, and, although not a cathedral, is one of the biggest. It was founded by Benedict in 1069 and subsequently built by the de Lacy family.


Like York Minster, the church rests on a base of sand and has suffered from subsidence. Many sections collapsed entirely during the 17th century, and further serious damage was done by a fire of 1906 which melted the bells in the central tower. Nevertheless, extensive rebuilding and refurbishment has made the church one of the most impressive in the country. The tower is Norman, but the eastern end is in Decorated Gothic style, and the west front a mixture of Norman, Gothic and Victorian.

The interior bears some similarity to that of Durham Cathedral, on which the design was modelled. Richly-carved and moulded capitals are found throughout the church. A major feature is the east window, which contains original medieval glass and depicts the Tree of Jesse, a popular subject of that period. The chancel stonework is thought to have been designed by Henry Yevele.

A notable feature of the abbey is the 14th century Washington Window, featuring the heraldic arms of the ancestors of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The design featuring three red stars above two red bands on a white shield is said to have been the model for the US flag, and is the model for the flag of the District of Columbia.

Current Restoration

The Abbey is currently undergoing an extensive restoration, costing several million pounds. Stage 6, the restoration of the Scriptorium is underway at a cost of £795,000. The £400,000 cost of restoring the South Choir Aisle and the 'Washington Window' was met in full by British American Tobacco. [ [ Restoration - Progress so far] , Selby Abbey. Retrieved on 2007-11-13.]


The church contains an organ by William Hill dating from 1909, with restorations by Hill, Norman and Beard in 1950 and John T Jackson in 1975. A specification of the organ can be found on the [ National Pipe Organ Register] .


*Edward Johnson Bellerby 1878 - 1881
*Frederick W Sykes ca. 1906
*Henry Oswald Hodgson ???? - 1928
*David Gedge 1962 - 1966
*Roger Tebbet

Bishop of Selby

The Bishop of Selby is a Suffragan Bishop to the Archbishop of York and is head of the Archdeaconry of York.

Selby Abbey is one of nineteen members of the Greater Churches Group.


External links

* [ Selby Abbey Online Gallery]
* [ Official website of Selby Abbey.]
* [ Views of Selby Abbey.]

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