The Church of St Eloy, Great Smeaton, is
on the northern side of the A167 road, virtually opposite the primary
school building. The earliest parts of the church are fourteenth century,
including the nave arcade. The building was thoroughly renovated in 1863,
and it seems only then to have been dedicated to St Eloy, the patron saint
of smiths. The dedication is common in France, but this may be its only
use in England. The original dedication (if there was one) is unknown.
St Peter's Church Birkby lies immediately south
of Birkby Manor, on the south-western corner of Birkby Lane. The original
church building was probably twelfth century, but this was replaced in 1776
by the present Georgian construction. The rectangular Gothic building was
extensively altered in 1872 by the Victorians, but some surviving original
Norman parts were discovered during the work, including part of the
shaft of an old Saxon cross built into the west end wall.
The Parish Church of All Saints East Cowton stands
on the southern side of the main road, with St Mary's Close behind it and the
junction of Raby Lane opposite The church was built in 1909 to replace the old
church, since demolished, which stood outside the village, at the cemetery on
the North Cowton road. The location is an elevated one at the west end of the
village and the building contains an interesting circular Norman font and a
fine decorated organ.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin, South Cowton,
is located to the south of the village, off the B1263 at Atley Fields,
midway between North Cowton and Pepper Arden (and about three hundred
metres north by north-west of the castle). It appears to date from the
fourteenth century, although elements of the nave and chancel may be
older. As it was some distance from the village, and in a bad state of
repair, it was made redundant, but it still holds a few services.
Danby Wiske Parish Church is on the eastern
side of Mounstrall Lane, at the southern end of the village. The Norman
church, which bears no dedication, was first built around 1100. The south
door and the lower part of the south wall date from this period. The chancel
was rebuilt and a north aisle added to the nave in the fourteenth century,
giving the church very much the same plan that it has to day. The tower was
added in the sixteenth century and was restored in 2010.
St Wilfrid, Great Langton, is on the eastern side
of the lane which heads south from the village, with a footpath leading across
the fields to the church. The nave was built about 1140, but only the entrance
doorways in the north and south walls survive (the north has been blocked up).
Rebuilding was undertaken in the thirteen and fourteenth centuries, and the bell
cote was added about 1680. The Good Shepherd Mission Chapel was licensed
to serve Great Langton in 1877.
All photos on this page contributed by Colin Hinson.