As the Malton grew, the monks of “St Mary’s Priory”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/travel-product/attraction/209390 in Old Malton built two Chapels of Ease to serve the population. St Michael’s church was built in the market place and St Leonard’s Church (now the Roman Catholic Church of St Leonard and St Mary) was built near the castle. In 1855 they became separate parishes.
St Michael’s Church with its solid square tower dominates the Market Place and still retains much of its Norman appearance with round topped windows and dog tooth decoration. The tower is C15th.
There was a major reconstruction in the C19th when masonry was restored and Norman style windows added in the aisles, clerestory and chancel. The north side of the chancel was turned into the organ loft. The roof was replaced.
The first impression on entering the church is of a Norman building with round pillars with round arches in the nave. The chancel arch has Norman style carving and bird beaks at the ends. At the west end, a simple Transitional arch with a round window above, leads into the tower. The font at the back of the church is C12th.
On the back wall is a beautiful painted memorial to the dead of the First World. There are few other memorials on the walls.
The chancel feels completely different to the rest of the church with its painted roof timbers and pale cream walls picked out in white. The choir stalls were made by Thompson of Kilburn (the Mouseman) in the mid C20th. The free standing altar dates from 1990.
Unfortunately there is no information available in the church and little on the web. Overall I was disappointed by the church. I found the interior uninspiring and not even the Norman style architecture could enthuse me. It was flooded with light which gave a hard feel to the architecture. The chancel felt as if it belonged to a different building.
The church is open daily, and being in the centre of Malton doesn’t require any effort to get there. It is worth sticking your head in for a look if passing, but not making a special effort for.
There is parking in the Market Place.