Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Yorkshire  /  North Yorkshire  /  Selby District  /  Selby  /  Historic Sites  /  Selby Abbey

Selby Abbey, Selby

(260+ reviews on the web)
Church Historic Site
Selby Abbey is an Anglican parish church in the town of Selby, North Yorkshire, England.Monastic historyIt is one of the relatively few surviving abbey churches of the medieval period, and, although not a cathedral, is one of the biggest. It was founded by Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 and subsequently built by the de Lacy family.On 31 May 1256, the Abbey was bestowed with the grant of a Mitre by Pope Alexander IV and from this date was a "Mitred Abbey". This privilege fell in abeyance a number of times, but on 11 April 1308, Archbishop William Greenfield confirmed the grant, and Selby remained a "Mitred Abbey" until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.Archbishop Walter Giffard visited the monastery in 1275 by commission, and several monks and the Abbot were charged with a list of faults including loose living, (many complaints referred to misconduct with married women). In 1279 Archbishop William de Wickwane made a visitation, and found fault with the Abbot as he did not observe the rule of St Benedict, was not singing mass, preaching or teaching, and seldom attending chapter. Things had not improved much in 1306 when Archbishop William Greenfield visited and similar visitations in later years resulted in similar findings.
Before you head to Selby, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Selby travel itinerary planner, to make sure you see all that Selby has to offer, including Selby Abbey.
Create a full Selby itinerary

Plan your trip to Selby

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.
  • Admission is free and a donation is requested instead which I think is an excellent idea. Beautiful abbey. Well kept with stunning stained glass windows. Well worth a visit.  more »
  • This place is breath takingly beautiful such architecture Amazing place well worth a visit I am definitely going back to spend some quality time in a majestic place  more »
  • called in for a look, its worth a look, interesting old structures fine wood workings, go and see yourself. you wont be dissapointed  more »
  • What a beautiful and mysterious place, about a millennium old! Great piece of art, after York minster this one is the next one to see!
  • A place of worship where you can pray without having to pay, how religion should be. A great looking building with plenty of activities in the week.
  • The jewel in the crown of Selby. Steeped in history, it features the "Washington Window", a stained glass window that was commissioned for the wealthy Washington family, ancestors of the founding president of the United States, George Washington. It features the family coat of arms, which is said to have been the basis of elements of the design of the US flag. Other interesting features include: a very narrow peephole that was used in medieval times by lepers outside to have a view of the altar; a tiny carving of George V's head that was hidden away inside a decorative feature; and a carving overlooking the altar that looks remarkably like typical portrayals of Satan. The Washington connection makes it a must-see excursion for American tourists visiting York, although it is well worth a visit by anyone interested in medieval architecture.
  • 12 july 13 very good church and house of god son and holy ghost
  • A great find in the middle of Selby which is a market town. The signs throughout the abbey are informative and give you hints and tips as to what to look for helping you find features you wouldnt normally see. No admission fee but donations box if you want to donate. You can also light a candle if you so wish. Great cafe and gift shop. Will visit.again next time with a camera