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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of North Yorkshire

by Peter Kessler, 8 April 2012

 

 

Hambleton Part 10: Churches of Great Crakehall to Well

Crakehall Methodist Church

Crakehall Methodist Church stands on the southern side of Station Road, overlooking the green in Great Crakehall. It seems that the chapel here was built as a Primitive Methodist Chapel for the tiny hamlet of Little Crakehall, which lies immediately to the north-west, across Crakehall Beck. It was erected in 1897, when Little Crakehall consisted of nothing but a few houses. The area has expanded since then, with considerably more housing being erected.

The Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin

The Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin lies on the western side of Watlass Moor Lane, at the junction with the road to Thirn, to the south-west of Thornton Watlass village. The remains of two Saxon cross-heads have been found in the village, showing that services were held here before the Norman Conquest, probably with a cross erected in the open air. The original nave and chancel of the Norman stone church were built in the eleventh century.

The Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin

The sturdy fortified tower was built in early fourteenth century. It is the sole remaining feature of the original church, and now contains the clock erected in 1896. The bells dating from 1694, 1712 and 1825 are no longer swung but the clappers are activated for services. The nave and chancel were entirely rebuilt in the perpendicular style in 1868. The tower contains some living accommodation (including toilet) and was probably used as a place of safety in times of strife.

St Mary's Chapel, Snape Castle

St Mary's Chapel, Snape Castle lies on the northern side of The Avenue, at the western edge of the village of Snape. The chapel has probably existed within the castle since the latter was first built in the twelfth century, but it is not until the early sixteenth century that the chapel receives a mention. It is situated on an upper floor of a building on the south side of what remains a substantial part of the castle, and was restored on several occasions, notably in 1802 and 1874.

Snape Methodist Church

Snape Methodist Church is on the southern side of Neville Row, about seventy metres (yards) east of Beech Close in Snape. Wesleyans first met in the village in 1819, and the present chapel was built by the Primitive Methodists in 1862, after they had been organising meetings in private houses since 1842. After the Second World War the future still seemed bright enough for a school house to be attached, but membership dwindled badly and the church closed on 1 June 2008.

St Michael's Church, Well

St Michael's Church, Well, is on the northern side of Church Street, at the eastern edge of the village of Well, near Bedale. The village is said to derive its name from a famous well dedicated to St Michael. A church stood here in 1086, possibly a converted Roman building, but the present church was built by Sir Ralph Neville in 1320-1350 as a memorial to one of the great feudal families of northern England. Its original dedication appears to have been to St James.

All photos on this page contributed by Colin Hinson.

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