Priory Church of St Mary, Bridlington
The Priory Church of St Mary is a Grade I listed building and stands on the site of an Augustine Priory founded in 1113 and dissolved during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538. There is a story associated with the Priory Church and the name for Bridlington folk, Bolliton (or Bollington, Burlington) Jackdaws”
According to ‘Folk-Lore of East Yorkshire’ by John Nicholson (1890), ‘Many years ago a number of workmen were busily engaged in repairing the roof of the grand old Priory Church, one of the oldest parish churches in the East Riding. For this purpose a long beam of timber was required, which had to be taken into the church in order to be hoisted up to the roof. It was hauled to the richly-ornamented western entrance, when its length was found to be greater than the width of the doorway. Here things were brought to a standstill, and the perplexing question arose — ” How are we to get the beam into the church ? ” They set their wits to work, and one suggested that they should saw the beam in two; another suggested that they should cut a few feet from each end ; and a third proposed that they should knock a few stones out of each side of the doorway to make an opening sufficiently wide to admit it. . . .
While the workmen were busily suggesting their various schemes for getting the beam into the church, one of them looked up to [the] “Awd Steeple,” and observed a jackdaw, which was building its nest there, fly into one of the crevices, with the end of a long straw in its mouth, which it dragged in. Observing this, he suddenly exclaimed, “Did ya see that, lads! That jackdaw tewk that sthraw in endways on. Let’s see if this beeam’ll gan in seeam way.” His mates were struck with the inspiration. They turned the beam end-wise, and got it into the church without further difficulty. From that time to the present all natives of Bridlington have been facetiously called “Bolliton Jackdaws.”