St Mary & St Joseph Catholic Church, Aiskew,
stands on the southern side of the A684 main road, in Stanley Terrace.
The church was opened in 1878 by the Stapletons, who had remained the
local Catholic landlords since the Reformation, when Catholic power
over the original parish church of St Gregory Bedale was removed (see
below). The earlier Tudor implant of the Digby family, who had 'gone
native', had been drawn into local sympathies of anti-Elizabethan rebellion.
St Gregory's Church Bedale is on the northern
side of North End, opposite Bedale Museum and Library. The original
church, a simple aisless nave and chancel, was twelfth century or
perhaps earlier. At the end of that century the chancel was rebuilt
and widened southwards, and at the same time the nave received a
north aisle. The south chapel was added about 1200 or a little
later, and towards the end of the thirteenth century the nave's
south aisle was rebuilt.
The mighty west tower, with porch, was built about
1330, and the chancel was lengthened eastwards. The north chapel is
known to have been rebuilt by Brian Thornhill, rector, about 1340. The
top story of the tower is a fifteenth century addition, and so is the
nave's clearstory. During the English Civil War Puritans vandalised
some features. Rebuilt by the Victorians, the Gothic church consists
of a chancel, north and south chapels, nave, north and south aisles,
Bedale (Wesleyan) Methodist Church can be
found on the southern side of The Wynd, approximately a hundred metres
(yards) west of North End Road in Bedale. The chapel was built in 1821
(the smaller building, on the left), but nothing else of its history
seems to have been recorded. The new building on the right was a late
Victorian replacement. Also in the village was Bedale Baptist Chapel,
built in 1878. It had closed in the intervening years and has now gone.
St Gregory Great Crakehall, stands on the
eastern side of the A684 main road, opposite the northernmost branch
of Station Road in Great Crakehall. The stone church was built in 1840.
The Gothic building consists of chancel, nave, south porch and west turret
containing two bells. St Mary Magdalene Church in nearby Langthorne
was erected in 1877. It is built of stone in the Gothic style, and consists
of chancel, nave, vestry, north porch and bell cote containing one bell.
Great Crakehall Primitive Methodist Church
is at the north-eastern corner of the A684 main road and Blacksmith Bank,
beside the river in Great Crakehall. The church was erected in 1897, close
to a few houses at the Little Crakehall end of the district. As with a great
many nonconformist chapels in the region, the history of this one is poorly
documented. At some point, probably late in the twentieth century, it closed
and the building was converted into a private dwelling.
All photos on this page contributed by Colin Hinson.