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The church stands centrally in the village and is set on rising ground from the main road and looks across to Monk Fryston Hall, former home of the Hemsworth family, through whose generosity the church was restored in 1889-91.
There is evidence that there was a pre-conquest church on the site and in all probability. Archbishop Thomas re-built the church around 1080.
Building work continued into the 15th Century and on the 12th May 1444 the then Archbishop issued a commission to John, Bishop of Philippopolis to dedicate and consecrate the parish church and churchyard at Monkfriston. There is documentary proof that would suggest the church was originally dedicated to St Mary.
In two 16th century parishioners' wills they state - William Wheldale in 1547 desired to be buried "in the church yerde of our ladie in Monkfriston" and Ralph Horsman in 1553 "within the churche of oure blessed ladie at Monke Friston".
There is a fragment of medieval glass inscribed S Wilfridvs de Repvn, and this is to be found below a modern figure of St Wilfrid in the middle light
of the east window of the north aisle. This has given rise to the idea that he was the dedication saint of this church.
A full history of the church is available in booklet form in the church itself.
Today the church is central to the community with a full calendar of events. To find out what is on visit: bit.ly/wandm-calendar
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