St Mary’s Church

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Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2014

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This is a simple church set above the village which blends in with its surroundings. It is one of the few churches to be built in the reign of Elizabeth I and was consecrated in 1580.

It was originally built as a chapel of ease for St Andrew’s Church in Grinton, lower down the valley. It had a thatched roof and no tower. The thatch was replaced by stone slates in 1761 when pews were installed in the church. The tall narrow tower dates from 1793, although looks older. The clock was paid for by public subscription to commemorate the wedding of King George V and Queen Mary.

The inside is equally simple with a small round font by the door. Light floods through the plain glass windows in the nave. Walls are whitewashed and it has a wood beamed roof. Two oil lamps still hang from the beam across the chancel although lighting in the nave is by electric spot lights.

The stained glass east window shows the Good Shepherd, an appropriate image for a sheep farming area. On either side are boards with the Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer and the Creed.

This is a lovely old church. There is nothing special about it, but it just feels right. It is open daylight hours.

There may be some parking by the Parish Hall, but it is probably advisable to park in the pay and display car park by the Straw Beck and walk up the hill to the church The nearest post code is DL11 6QG and the grid reference is SD911979.

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