From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

St Mary's Church, Scarborough

54°17'11.5"N 0°23'35.7"W
TA 0469389069

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St Mary's Church is a parish church in Scarborough, standing high above the old town, below Scarborough Castle in Yorkshire.

The church was built in the 12th century. It became a large church with two towers, west and central, with the chancel being rebuilt around 1450. St Mary's was mostly destroyed during the siege of Scarborough Castle in the English Civil War, with some remains on the east end. During the civil war, the churchyard was used as a base to fire cannons at the castle, with the castle returning fire. The tower collapsed in 1645.

The church was rebuilt in 1670, but due to the restoration in the mid 19th century, it is now about half the size it once was. The building now has a square tower at the east end, replacing the former central tower and a series of stone vaulted side chapels on the south side.

The large graveyard has burials mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Anne Brontë is buried here, after she died in Scarborough in 1849. Charlotte Brontë commissioned a stone to be placed over her grave, engraved with the inscription 'Here lie the remains of Anne Brontë, daughter of the Revd P. Brontë, Incumbent of Haworth, Yorkshire. She died Aged 28 May 28th 1849'. Charlotte visited the grave three years later, discovering multiple errors on the headstone, which was then corrected. Anne's age at death is still written as 28 when, in fact, she was 29 when she died. In 2011, the correction was finally made when a new inscribed plinth was laid by the Brontë Society in front of the eroded headstone.