The large Victorian Gothic church of St Margaret’s stands on a mound above the main street in Hawes. It’s square church tower with its corner pinnacle is a local landmark.
The first record of a church here dates from the C15th when a Chapel of Ease was built to serve the disperse farming settlement. Hawes didn’t begin to develop as a settlement until the C17th, when it was granted a Market Charter and the right to have three fairs a year. The population grew rapidly in the C19th and St Margaret’s Church was built in 1851 to replace the Chapel of Ease in the churchyard.
It is a large church, much larger than needed for the population of Hawes but this reflects the size of the parish it serves.
The inside is simple with an arcade of pillars with pointed arches separating the nave and side aisles. A wooden screen separates the north aisle from the nave.
The organ is at the end of the south aisle and the lovely “Millennium Window”:https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-modern-stained-glass-window-in-st-margarets-church-in-hawes-a-small-49927396.html depicting a shepherd with his sheep and Hawes Scenes is here. The Lady Chapel, with another wooden screen, is at the end of the north aisle. In front of it is a modern font.
And finally, don’t miss the village bier at the back of the church.
In many ways there isn’t a lot to see in the church and this is reflected by the lack of information about it on the web. The guide book in the church has more about the history of Hawes than the church. It is typical of so many Victorian churches built to serve an expanding population. Never the less if visiting Hawes it is worth a quick look.
There is no parking by the church, so it makes sense to use the large car park by the National PArk Visitor Centre in the old station building and walk. The nearest post code for the church is DL8 3QN and the grid reference is SD 873898