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Gallery: Churches of North Yorkshire
by Peter Kessler, 8 April 2012
Hambleton Part 10: Churches of Great Crakehall
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 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 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 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 is on the southern
side of Neville Row, about seventy metres 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, 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 kindly contributed by Colin Hinson.