One stop beyond Flamingo Land: Pickering and Middleton

I recently took the Coastliner bus to Pickering in order to see Pickering’s parish church and castle. Most of the other people on the bus were either going to the seaside or Flamingo Land (an amusement park of some kind). A gaggle of girls were headed to the park dressed in shorts and fluorescent tees, and I have never heard a group be more excited to be on and get off a bus! It did make me, in my tights and cardigan feel as though I might be doing summer wrong, but then it rained while I was in the church and I felt more secure in my decisions.

My first stop was tea.

But then I quickly made it to the church, which was the primary reason for going to Pickering it has amazing late medieval wall paintings.

I quite like St. George’s dragon and how his tail is trying to take down the horse and I had a ‘discussion’ with an older women about why the arrow struck saint was not St. Sebastian but clearly St. Edmund (It’s all in the crown, and where it says Edmund in the painting).

The south side of the nave had many scenes devoted to St. Catherine and her ever famous martyrdom.

And here we have Jesus, the Harrowing of Hell and the Hell Mouth. He is quite special looking, particularly his curly haired chin!

It is quite difficult to show the scale at which these are painted, but it was very impressive looking.

Dubious Anglo-Saxon font and stone slab shown in background. I was not sold the potential dating given, they are Norman at best.

Cross-Stitch cushion for Queen’s Silver Jubilee, as seen in summer of the Diamond Jubilee.

Jesus popping out of his tomb.

I then went up the hill to Pickering castle. Pickering is placed on the border between the North York Moors, some forest lands, and the Vale of Pickering. So a rather convenient location for William the Conqueror to build a castle after the Harrying of the North.


The castle was given to the youngest son of Henry III, Edmund, the Earl of Lancaster as he was an avid hunter, but it always remained primarily defensive and was not updated as a palatial residence.

Pickering is only a mile from the village of Middleton, which has another church that I had seen on the Viking stone sculpture field trip last year. So I stopped in to take another look at some of my favorite Anglo-Scandinavian sculpture.

But then I headed back to Pickering to catch the bush back to York but along the way I saw some topiary at an old house:

A flea market:

With Victorian Whitby Jet:

I also stopped by the train station to watch one of the steam trains take off, but mostly because I like the aesthetic of a good train station.

Pickering was quite charming but then I was once again back on the bus to York, and somehow managed to be on the same return as the fluorescent tee wearing girls, who appeared to have had a great time. To each their own, I suppose.


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