Selby Abbey
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 of Auxerre 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.

The Abbey is currently undergoing an extensive restoration, costing several million pounds. Stage 6, the restoration of the Scriptorium was completed 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.

A new organ was built by John Compton in 1906 but was soon afterwards destroyed by the fire. A new organ was built by William Hill dating from 1909, with restorations by Hill, Norman and Beard in 1950 and John T Jackson in 1975.

  • Edward Johnson Bellerby 1878 - 1881 (afterwards organist of Holy Trinity Church, Margate)
  • Frederick William Sykes ca. 1893 - 1912 - ????
  • Herbert Hill ca. 1921
  • Henry Oswald Hodgson ???? - 1922? (afterwards organist of St. Mary's Church, Nottingham)
  • Walter Hartley 1922 - 1949 - ????
  • David Gedge 1962 - 1966
  • Mervyn John Byers 1966 - 1976 (previously @ St Andrews cathedral, Sydney, Australia.)
  • Peter Seymour - 1976 - 1978
  • Dr Anthony Langford 1978 - 1981
  • Mervyn John Byers - 1980 - 1987
  • Geoffrey Pearce - 1987 - 1996 Previously Organist and Master of the Choristers St Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral. Aberdeen from 1974
  • Roger Tebbet - 1996 -

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 twenty members of the Greater Churches Group.

Building Activity

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