Selby Abbey

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are no visible remains

NameSelby Abbey
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishSelby

Benedictine Abbey founded circa 1070 and dissolved in 1539, when all buildings other than the church were demolished. Situated on the site of an earlier hermitage or chapel built by Benedict of Auxerre, who came to England with a relic of St Germanus to build an abbey here. He was living in a hut here in 1069. The abbey church was made parochial in 1619. The west part of the nave and the lower part of the west front appear to be late 12th century. The north nave gallery and the upper parts of the west front appear to be mid-13th century. The chancel and some of the tracery elsewhere are of later 14th century date. The tower collapsed in 1690, and was repaired circa 1701-2. The church was restored in 1871-3 by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and again in 1889-90 by J Oldrid Scott. In 1906 a serious fire prompted the most drastic restoration of all, also by J Oldrid Scott, which included a new crossing tower (1908), south transept (circa 1912), and west towers (1935). (PastScape)

An unclassified moat appears to have surrounded Selby Abbey as described in a valuation of abbey timber in 1543. (PastScape ref. La Patourel, 1973)

Gatehouse Comments

Obtained a licence to crenellate in 1375. The abbey gateway was removed in 1792. The location of Selby on the navigable Ouse might make it more susceptible to ship borne raiders than some other religious houses. However there is nothing to suggest that the Abbey''s defences where are more than that of other religious house or the threat to it anything more than that to any other great landowner and rent collector. The Gatehouse, as drawn in 1778, was not in anyway defensive and was not crenellated.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE615323
Latitude53.7841300964355
Longitude-1.06703996658325
Eastings461500
Northings432300
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

Selby Abbey-8 16062017 142019.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 45' 38.86" Longitude 0° 20' 9.74"

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Books

  • Hass, Jeffrey D., 2006, Medieval Selby A new study of the Abbey and Town (Yorkshire Archaeological Society Occasional Paper 4)
  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 319
  • Le Patourel, H.E. Jean, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire (The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 5) p. 127
  • Knowles, David and Hadcock, R Neville, 1971, Medieval religious houses in England and Wales (Longman) p. 57, 76
  • Pevsner, N., 1959, Buildings of England: Yorkshire: West Riding (London) p. 435-42
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1913, 'Houses of Benedictine monks: Abbey of Selby' VCH Yorkshire Vol. 3 p. 95-101 online transcription
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 417 online copy

Journals

  • Coulson, C., 1982, 'Hierarchism in Conventual Crenellation: An Essay in the Sociology and Metaphysics of Medieval Fortification' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 69-100 see online copy
  • Hodges, C.C., 1893, 'The Architectural History of Selby Abbey' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 12 p. 344-94 esp. 371-2 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1916, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1374-77) Vol. 16 p. 192 online copy