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.
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).
is a second pillar engraved with a dwarf, a mythical beast and a third
depicting two more ladies,
again lying head-to-head.
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
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!
13th century Easter sepulchre is also worthy of note.
has five bells, each weighing just over 11 CWT. The bells have a key note of G#.
Green Man' carving Drawing
by Chris Owen