BUILDING & CHURCHYARD
The font bowl is made of York stone and dates from the Norman period or perhaps earlier to the Saxon period. It is set on a relatively modern pillar, and was moved from the far southwest corner of the nave to its present position by the door in 1962. The cover was made from wood recovered from the former reredos in 1963. The slate stone in the floor by the font is decorated with an apprentice’s practice lettering on the part of the stone that would have been buried.
As already mentioned, in the north east corner of the nave is the outline of the arch which led into a transept. This gives an indication of the original position, being left there when the wall was rebuilt after the transept collapsed. Part of the pillars supporting it can still be seen. On the exterior of the wall a little of the western half of the original arch is visible and above it tracings of the lead flashings. The two sides remain of a triangular window above the arch which dates from around 1050. The small buttress marks the position of the western wall to the transept.
The pulpit was erected during the 1866 restoration.
The chancel has two unmatched pedestals on the east wall. The one on the north side bears a cartoon face. These possibly came from the north transept. There is a piscina on the south wall of the chancel, near the altar, which was used for washing communion vessels.
These are surmounted by brass crosses and were given by Revd. TCH Clare as part of the memorial to his mother in 1965.
This was hand-wrought in brass around 1920 and was the gift of the Revd. LW Foster, Rector of Burton Overy. It came to Grimston from Crawley in Sussex.
The marks of masons' tools can still be seen on the two pedestals on the eastern wall which have been ascribed to Norman days. They probably carried rods for curtains to frame an altar and it is possible that this chapel was originally used as a mortuary or chantry in which masses for the dead were sung. In the south wall is an attractive double piscina with a miniature arcade of pointed-trefoil arches dating from about 1220. Before the village school (now a private house) was erected in 1866, a class was held in this transept. It is now used as the vestry with the organ at its entrance.
The fourteenth century beams of the nave roof are in good order and the carving on the spandrels of the beams is clear as are the bosses on the main beams. In particular notice the comic face on one of the bosses with its tongue protruding. The roof was re-leaded in 2009 with the aid of grants from English Heritage and other charities.
There are four gargoyles, one at each corner of the roof of the tower. These decorate the spouts of drains leading rain water away from the roof and the masonry of the tower. They probably date from the restoration carried out in the 1860s. The most notable is the gargoyle in the southwest corner of the tower, which resembles a crocodile (or possibly a whale) with a gaping mouth. Others appear to represent a human face and a bull.
Best viewed from the chancel step, from where its lofty and fine proportions can be most appreciated. It dates from around 1390.
The silver chalice, which is simply but beautifully chased, is Elizabethan and bears the maker's initials, R.W. with the London assay date of 1581. The plain paten dates from about 1605. Repairs were made to the chalice and the paten in 1938 and again in 1955. The brass alms-dish was given in 1960. (Neither the chalice nor the paten is kept in the church).
The oak Glastonbury-style chair was presented in 1956 by Mrs LAH Wright and family in memory of her husband, Captain LAH Wright, of Saxelbye Park.
A field of approximately 5 acres, known as the Church Field, was allotted to the churchwardens by the Act of Parliament by which the parish was enclosed in 1765. Presumably before 1765 the churchwardens would have had grazing rights on the common land of the Parish, in lieu of which the field was awarded to them on enclosure. For some years the field was let by candle auction each Easter Tuesday. At present the field is let to a local farmer.
So legend has it...
There is a story that a woman of the village became lost in the fog one evening, and was guided home by the chiming of the church bells. In gratitude she is reputed, in one version of the tale, to have given the land where she found herself to the church. However there are versions of this story throughout the country. In another version she is reputed to have donated to the church in order that the bells should ring a curfew each night. One would like to think one or the other version may be true. In favour of the bells are notes in the churchwarden’s accounts referring to the fee for ringing of the curfew bell; the first mention after 1869 is in 1901, when it was noted the bell should be rung at the usual time. In 1902 it was specified the bell should be rung between 10th October and 25th March. There were then regular mentions of the curfew bell in the accounts until 1934, when they ceased. Accounts before 1869 have been lost.