Winteringham, St Peter
This exceptional Grade I listed medieval church, dedicated to St Peter, is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. The Norman chancel is the earliest part of the church and the rest of the building has remained essentially unchanged since the C15th.
The beautiful interior, with its white-washed walls and faded Jacobean oak pews, is light and airy. The furnishings include a Norman limestone tub font with painted timber cover dated 1736, and C15th traceried screens at the east ends of both aisles with a charming “squint” in the north aisle screen. The misericords and choir stalls in the chancel look medieval but are actually Victorian. If you visit, see if you can spot a dragon and other mythical creatures among the carvings.
Painted on the wall below the bell tower is a humorous poem dating from 1723, outlining the fines for bell ringers who misbehave. Other features include C18th wall paintings and a C19th wagon coffin.
Bats use the church all year round, as a breeding roost in the summer and for hibernation in the winter. There are at least three species present—Natterer’s, brown long-eared and pipistrelles. Droppings are scattered throughout the main body of the church, and the Jacobean woodwork and other important heritage features are extensively urine stained.
The Bats in Churches Project is working with the CCT and the North Yorkshire Bat Group to find ways of engaging more people with the church and its bats.