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Church originally constructed circa 1120-35. St Mary's Church was granted to Citeaux Abbey, Burgundy in 1189 by Richard I, and was supervised by a proctor and one or two monks. They became 'custodes' or wardens of the church, responsible to the abbot for adminstration of rectorial revenues and payments, but divine service and maintenance was delegated to a secular priest. The nave is Cistercian in character and its erection was probably supervised by the monks. The small community of Cistercian monks, probably never more than three, consituted an alien cell or priory of Citeaux. The monks probably occupied the 'rectory house' according to Hamiliton Thompson. After the suppression of alien houses, circa 1407, the church and rectory manor passed to Bridlington Priory (TA 16 NE 15). Excavations located the layout of the early church comprising a rectangular building measuring 40 ft by 25 ft with walls 3.5 ft thick. The excavations also located three inhumations outside this building. Medieval and later pottery and 13th century tile were also recovered. The church later comprised a nave, double aisles, transepts and chancel, with two west and central towers, but was largely destroyed during the siege of the castle in 1645. Rebuilding and restoration took place in the late 17th and 19th century.

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