Selby Abbey is one of the few remaining Abbey churches of the medieval period and is rated as one of the best twenty churches in the Uk. Like York Minister it is built on Sand and has had problems with subsidence. Certain parts collapsed during the 17th century and it was severely damaged by fire in 1906, which melted the bells in the central tower. However rebuilding and restoration has made it one of the most impressive in the country.
The Tower is Norman but the eastern end is Decorated Gothic. The west front is a mixture of Norman, Gothic and Victorian.
The interior is similar to Durham Cathedral on which the design was modelled.
The workmanship of the interior is fantastic with rich carvings and mouldings throughout. There are pagan symbols including pentagrams, green men and march hares situated on the columns and ceilings, left by the workmen who built this fantastic building.
The Abbey was founded by Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 and built by the De Lacy family.
A major feature is the East Window which contains medieval glass and depicts The Tree of Jesse a popular subject of that period.
A notable feature, that may interest my American friends, is the 14th century Washington Window, featuring the heraldic arms of the ancestors of George Washington. The design features three red stars above two red bands on a white shield is said to be the inspiration for the US flag and the model for the flag of the District of Columbia.
Selby Town itself is a small market town some 12 miles south of York. What is not known is why this small town has such a large auspicious church at it's centre. It's a bit of a mystery.