Impressive sundial celebrates 200th anniversary of St Stephen’s Church at Fylingdales

A new fixture on a village church in the Whitby area is marking a special anniversary and will help visitors tell the time – as long as the sun shines.

By Phil Hutchinson
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 4:38 pm
The official unveiling ceremony outside St Stephen’s Church at Fylingdales. Photo submitted
The official unveiling ceremony outside St Stephen’s Church at Fylingdales. Photo submitted

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the rebuilding of old St Stephen’s Church at Fylingdales. To celebrate this historic event a large painted sundial, created by local craftsmen, has been erected over the church porch.

Old photographs of the church taken during the last century clearly show that there was a gate into the church porch and a large wooden sundial fixed above the entrance.

The sundial was nearly a metre square, painted white with black lettering.

The new sundial on St Stephen’s Church at Fylingdales. Photo submitted

It disappeared in the 1980s around the time the church was taken into the care of the Redundant Churches Fund, now the Churches Conservation Trust.

A spokesperson for the church said: “Around 50 people gathered at the old church on Saturday, June 25 to witness Sir Frederick Strickland-Constable, Lord of the Manor of Fyling, perform the official unveiling ceremony.

“The Fylingdales Folk Choir performed several songs, enhanced by the marvellous acoustics of the building, a poem and a sonnet were read and the old organ was played. Refreshments were enjoyed at the end of an historic day.”

The early sundial displayed the dates 1736 and 1864 together with various initials. Later, these were repositioned and the year 1919 and the initials GW and JWB added.