A CHURCH near York with an interior marked by Oliver Cromwell’s men and containing other celebrated carvings is celebrating an historic day.

All Saints’ Church in Main Street, Bolton Percy is hosting an art exhibition on June 8 and 9 in commemoration of 600 years of existence.

The Grade I listed structure, often referred to as the ‘Cathedral of the Ainsty’ was marked by Parliamentarians during the removal of the ancient rood screen and 'reredos' – ornamental screens which cover the wall at the back of an altar.

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It also holds Jacobean box pews, medieval stained glass, and intricate 'medieval graffiti', according to exhibition organisers.

Renowned North Yorkshire sculptor Robert Thompson – also known as the ‘mouseman ‘for his distinctive intricate rodent carvings - constructed the Lych gate at the foot of the church path.

The interior of the church featured in BBC historical drama Gentleman Jack.

Participating artists in the two-day exhibition include local artists Michael Booth, Pennie Lordan, Andrian Melka and Maude Smith.

Mr Melka is a British-Albanian sculptor based in York.

His sculpture of Matthew Ball, principal at The Royal Ballet is to be the centrepiece of the exhibition, said organisers.

The art exhibition is part of a series of events celebrating the church’s 600th anniversary, culminating in a special service at the end of June, in the presence of the Archbishop of York.