St Mary



Methodist Chapel




North Pier Frieze

drawing by

Chris Owen


St Mary Magdalene

Church from Corby Rd, B&W.jpg (35946 bytes)

From Corby Road


From Corby Road


1960s, from North


From Church Street, 1940s

Sylvia and Eva Bailey pictured


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View from the South, 2003


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View from the South, 2003

The parish church of St Mary Magdalene dates from the 13th Century, although most of what we see now was built in the 15th Century. The tower and spire were built in the 13th and 14th Century, and there is a Norman window above the tower arch. The church underwent major restoration in 1850 when a transept was added.

In the north arcade of the church (left hand side as you walk in) there is a column with an interesting frieze around the top (pictured left). It depicts four figures lying head to head - a lady, two armed knights and a clergyman. They are thought to be St Mary Magdalene, the Abbot of Peterborough and the Medieval Lords of the Manor for Cottingham and Middleton, symbolising the authority of the church, the parish and the two manors. (from the 1976 notes on the church by J Tipper).

There is a second pillar engraved with a dwarf, a mythical beast and  a third depicting two more ladies, again lying head-to-head.

At the front end of the church, there is a plaque to a former Lord of the Manor, Thomas Medlycott (died 1761) erected by his daughter Barbara. At the belfry end is a wooden board from 1760 with the will of William Downhall, who left 18 acres of land in his will for the poor of Cottingham and Middleton.

The church also has a 'Green Man' carving, a pagan symbol of renewal and rebirth which was adopted by the Medieval church (example shown below). Not sure exactly where though!

The 13th century Easter sepulchre is also worthy of note. 

The church has five bells, each weighing just over 11 CWT. The bells have a key note of G#. 

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 StMarydraw.jpg (120931 bytes)

         Green Man' carving                                                   Drawing by Chris Owen






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