Aylton Church


Directions & Larger Map


  • Off the A4172
  • Postcode: HR8 2RQ
  • OS Grid Ref: SO 658 377
  • Open Access
  • Parking Available

Aylton church is a tiny but lovely medieval church in a tiny and scattered parish (pop. 144 at the last census). It is set in glorious  countryside alongside the early-17th-century Court Farm and its magnificent thatched manorial barn, dated from tree-ring evidence to 1502–3 and recently restored with help from English Heritage. On summer Sundays it is a delight to attend service here with sun streaming through the open door, background sounds from hens and bees, and sometimes a visit by the Court Farm cat. 

The origins of the church are lost in history, and we have no record of its dedication. Aylton is mentioned in a legal document from King Canute’s time, before the Norman Conquest, but the church of that period, which was probably wooden, has not survived. The oldest part of the present building is early 12th century. A striking feature of the interior is the rood screen: Pevsner’s guide dates it to about 1400 and comments on the “purity” of its tracery forms, but explains its lack of symmetry by saying that at some point it has been “Wildly (re-)assembled”!

Visitors often comment on the deep sense of peace filling Aylton church. It is easy to feel a continuity with the generations of country  folk who have worshipped here for the past nine centuries.

There is room for a few cars to park on the track to the churchyard gate. Please be careful opening and closing the church door, and use  your left hand — otherwise you risk getting painfully nipped. We have no loos, sorry (this isn’t London, you know!) But bottles of apple juice and pots of jam made from the fruit in parishioners’ gardens are often on sale at the back of the church.

Aylton Church