Fr Richard explained that there was once a large local community of monks but that the Mount Grace monastery had been disolved at the Reformation. Queen Catherine of Aragon (whose birth place has already featured on this Blog) had endowed a local Chapel dedicated to Our Lady just outside the town and that we would visit it at the end of our walk.
At the end of the walk, and just after it started snowing we reached the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace at Osmotherly. It is looked after by the Benedictines from Ampleforth who run the local parish and remains a place of pilgrimage.
I was very pleased to find that the Chapel was open and that it was possible to pop in to pray and light a candle before the image of Our Lady. The Chapel looked very attractive with the winter sun playing through the windows.
The West window contains four Coats of Arms, being the Arms of those whose patronage established the shrine. These included Sir James Strangeways, Ralph Scrope, and the fourth Earl of Eldon. Presiding above them all in this little corner of Yorkshire were the Arms of Queen Catherine, the red and yellow stripes of Aragon being quite unmistakable.
Later that day we went on to York. I'll post about that on another occasion except to say that the old Viking name for York was Jorvik and, as Fr Richard pointed out, many of the locals still look like their Viking ancestors. And given this little headline, presumably behave like them as well...