- 1554-1968 (Creation)
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0.04 cubic metres
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There was a wooden chapel at Wharram Percy in the mid-tenth century, although no church is recorded in Domesday. The village and church later came to the Percy family, certainly the advowson was in the hands of Peter de Percy by 1254 and then passed to his son Robert de Percy. In 1322 it passed with the manor to Sir Geoffrey le Scrope, who had purchased the wardship of Eustachia Percy, and then to Thomas de Wake who presented it, in 1325, to the Priory of Haltemprice in Cottingham. A vicarage was ordained there in 1327.
The present church, dedicated to St Martin of Tours, dates to the twelfth century and was extended in the thirteenth and remodelled in the fourteenth. Further work was carried out in the fifteenth century, with the building of a new East wall and new windows. However the village of Wharram Percy was deserted in the early sixteenth century as the land was turned over to sheep pasture and the church entered a long period of decline.
Historically the parish included Pluckham, Raisthorpe, Thixendale and Towthorpe. Their attendance at St Martin’s meant that it continued to be used, even after the village was abandoned, although the building was reduced in size in the sixteenth century and again in the early seventeenth. By the 1740s all of the parishioners, excepting only the family at Wharram Percy farm, came from Thixendale. The construction of a church at Thixendale in 1870 and the separation of the village to form its own parish two years later removed what was left of the congregation.
The church had fallen into disrepair by the 1950s and the roof, bells and furnishings were removed in 1954. In 1959 part of the church tower collapsed. In 1968 an alteration of the boundaries with Thixendale and Fridaythorpe with Fimber took place. In 1971 the church was made redundant and the parish was united with that of Wharram le Street.
Today the ruined village of Wharram Percy is part of the parish of Wharram Percy with Wharram le Street in the benefice of Weaverthorpe with Helperthorpe, Luttons Ambo, and Kirby Grindalythe. The nave of St Martin’s was reroofed in the 1980s and the village and church is now in the care of Historic England.
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