Thomas Parkinson the Hermit of Thirsk


By Frank Bottomley, published 31st May 2002

About the year 1430 the citizens of Thirsk decided that their ancient parish church of St. Mary was old-fashioned and unworthy of the developing town, so they decided to build a new one. As a result, over the next eighty years or so, they produced what Pevsner described as ‘without question, the most spectacular Perpendicular church in the North Riding’. Among its many beauties was a handsome south porch with a roomy chamber or parvise above. The use of such chambers is often a matter of speculation but we know that, for a time at least, this room at Thirsk provided a hermitage.

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