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North Riding
Lastingham Village.jpg
Lastingham village
Grid reference: SE729904
Location: 54°18’16"N, 0°52’51"W
Population: 233  (2011)
Post town: York
Postcode: YO62
Dialling code: 01751
Local Government
Council: Ryedale
Thirsk and Malton

Lastingham is a village in the North Riding of Yorkshire, at the foot of Spaunton Moor on the southern fringe of the North York Moors. It is to be found five miles north-east of Kirkbymoorside, and a mile and a half east of Hutton-le-Hole.

This is a little place: the 2001 census recorded just 96 people in the parish, and in 2011 there were 233 when Spaunton was included.

Lastingham was a missionary centre in the early Anglo-Saxon period; home to the early missionary saints Cedd and his brother Chad, who went out to convert the heathens of Essex and Mercia.


There is reason to believe that the original name for Lastingham was Læstingau.[1] The name Læstingau first appears in history when King Æthelwald of Deira (651-c.655) founded a monastery for his own burial. Bede attributes the initiative to Ethelwald's chaplain Caelin, brother of Cedd, Chad and Cynibil. Bede records that Cedd and Cynibil consecrated the site, and that Cynibil built it of wood. Cedd ruled the monastery as the first abbot until his death, combining this position with that of missionary bishop to the [[Kingdom of the East Saxons; Essex. In 664, shortly after the Synod of Whitby, in which he was a key participant, St Cedd died of the plague at Læstingau. Bede records that a party of monks from Essex came to mourn him and all but one were all wiped out by the plague. Cedd was first buried outside the wooden monastery but, at some time between 664 and 732, a stone church was erected, and his body was translated to the right side of the altar.

The crypt of the present parish church was a focus for veneration of Cedd until the Reformation. This crypt is generally held to be the only complete crypt in the United Kingdom containing a central aisle, two side aisles, and an apse.</ref>

Cedd's brother Chad, the apostle to the Mercians, took his place as abbot.[2]

Not much is known of this house, though all who spoke of it spoke well. Perhaps the best indication of its standards is that, in 687, one of its graduates, Trumbert, transferred to Wearmouth-Jarrow and became scriptural tutor to a youthful Bede.[3]

The altar in Lastingham crypt

It is not known what became of the original Anglo-Saxon structure. Destruction by the Danes is nowhere attested, and seems to be entirely the product of modern conjecture. An attempt was made to rebuild the monastery in 1078, when St. Stephen, prior of Whitby, and a band of monks moved from Whitby due to a disagreement with William de Percy, who was abbot of Whitby at the time.[4] They received support from King William I and Berenger de Todeni in the means of one carucate of land in Lastingham, six carucates at Spaunton, and other lands in Kirkby. They remained on the site only eight years due to persistent harassment by bandits. In 1086 they moved to York, and founded St Mary's Abbey, to which they annexed the lands of the monastery at Lastingham.[5]

The monastery remained in the ownership of the Abbey of St Mary in York until its dissolution at the Reformation..

Most of history thjen seems to pass Lastingham by.

The village War Memorial commemorates soldiers from Lastingham and Spaunton who served in the First World War.[6]

Parish church

The parish church, St Mary's, was built as the church of the monastery.

A major restoration was undertaken in the 19th century by the architect JL Pearson RA, under the direction of Dr Sidney Ringer, a London physician, who had married Ann Darley, the daughter of the Lord of the Manor. The work was done in memory of their daughter Annie who had sadly choked to death on her seventh birthday.[7]

Stone cross at Lastingham, part of the millennium commemorations

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Lastingham)


  1. Ekwall, Eilert, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 1960. p. 289 ISBN 0198691033
  2. Bede: Historia Ecclesiastica, iii, 25.
  3. Bede: Historia Ecclesiastica, iv, 3.
  4. Simeon of Durham: Historia Regum Angliae (part two): 1074
  5. Information on Lastingham  from GENUKI
  6. WWI Yorkshire: Lastingham
  7. St Mary's, Lastingham: history