There has been a church on the site for over 1300 years since Etheldreda, Queen of Northumbria made a grant of lands to Wilfrid, Bishop of York c.674. Of Wilfrid's Benedictine abbey, which was constructed almost entirely of material salvaged from nearby Roman ruins, the Saxon crypt and apse still remain.
Rev. C. Arthur Lane Illustrated Notes on English Church History (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1901)
Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman