Christ the Consoler, Newby


Address:                     Main Street, Skelton cum Newby, HG4 5AE. The church is tucked away at the end of the village and cannot be seen from the road as it is obscured by conifer trees, look for the pedestrian archway with a long unmade path and gate.

Parking:                      On the road.

Opening hours:        Daily; 9 am – 4 pm or dusk if earlier.

Wheelchair access:  Good; vehicle access is by driving through Newby Hall grounds, but there is a back entrance driveway just up the road, drive through the grand gate; parking is on the verge outside the church, there is a pedestrian gate and short gravel path to the door.  One step up onto the chancel.

Interior lights:          L/H/S of the nave entrance door.

Refreshments:         Ripon for a plentiful supply of hostelries.

Walk:                          7.5 miles, easy; for route;

Information:             This church was built in 1871/76 on the grounds of Newby Hall in memory of the unfortunate young man, Fredrick Vynes who was the son of the estate owners; at the age of 23 he went on a grand tour of Europe, only to be captured and held to ransom by bandits in Athens, Greece, sadly he was killed before the ransom could be paid due to a botched rescued attempt.  His mother used the money raised to build this church in his memory, employing well known architect William Burges (West Minster palace rebuild) to create the design.

The exterior of this fine building is rich in detail and quality with stone carvings everywhere including the Broach Spire which has many details. (also see; St Mary’s, Studley Royal, Ripon; route 3).  It is well worth taking a moment to stand back and admire the more distant appearance of this church; note the vaulted ceiling of the porch as you enter ; the quality continues inside.

A great deal of marble has been used and looks wonderful, the walls are Ashlar covered (faced limestone), also, the stone vaulted ceiling above the chancel is superb.  The beautiful stained glass windows really shine in strong sunlight, in particular the large rose window in the west wall which makes a fine sight when the late afternoon sun scatters its colours over the nave.  The feel of this building is reminiscent of a Cathedral,but on a more manageable scale; it is a hidden gem and well worth viewing.

Newby Hall is open to the public, for details see their web site at;


St Michael and All Saints Copgrove


Address:                     Wath Lane, Copgrove, HG3 3TA.

Parking:                      Grass verge by the gate.

Opening hours:        Daily; 10 am – 6 pm or dusk if earlier.

Wheelchair access:  Good; gateway, footpath. 1 step up and 2 down into the nave.

Interior Lights:         R/H/S by nave door.

Refreshments:          None locally; see St Oswald’s, Farnham.

Information:             This small, humble but attractive church with its Sanctus (holy) Bell – Cote still in place, dates from 1100 A.D., it has also retained it’s Saxon chancel arch; note the simple decoration on the stonework at the top of the uprights.  There is also a 14th century window dedicated to St. Michael in the east wall.

This church has a strange, unusual, and very old small stone carving set into the wall at the south east corner of the nave (a light is located next to it for easier viewing), it is believed that it depicts Sheela-Na-Gig, the goddess of creation, for further information you will need to research the net as modesty prevents this site from further comment.  It is unusual to find a pagan icon inside a church; it was originally in the churchyard but placed inside to avoid further weather erosion; it is likely that this location was an earlier Pagan place of worship.

This site has been informed by a reliable local historian that there is strong evidence to suggest that a Knights Templar Hospitaller chapel barn dating from around 1530 stood about 30 metres north east of the church, additionally, there is also evidence to support the existence of a bronze age settlement in an adjacent field, to date there has been no formal research to establish more precise details.  Close by is St Mungo’s Well; it was a place of pilgrimage for sacred healing in medieval times and can still be seen, although it is fenced in.  It is along a public footpath in the grounds of Copgrove Hall; for the precise location please go to:


St Oswald’s, farnham


Address:                     Stang Lane, Farnham, HG5 9JD

Parking:                      Approach double track or the village side roads.

Opening hours:        Daily; Summer; 9 am – 5 pm (possibly till dusk). winter; 9 am – 3 30 pm but closed January and February (apart from services).

Wheelchair access:  Good; gate, path, no steps.

Toilet:                          Disability toilet provided (opposite the nave door).

Interior Lights:        R/H/S of nave door, in the cupboard.

Refreshments:          None in the village; nearest; The Guy Fawkes Pub, Main Street, Scotton, HG5 9HU, open lunchtimes for food; Tues to Fri 12 – 2pm, Sat/Sun All day.  Good quality food/value, but it may be advisable to book ahead;

Information:             This attractive church dating from 1180 has a lovely location on the edge of the village, there is a reference in the Doomsday Book to its existence in which it states that – ”there is a priest and a church and a plough”.   The church and its land was given to Beaulieu Abbey by Nicholas De Cantloupe of Walkingham Hall in 1343 at the same time as the establishment of Beauvale at Nottingham.  

It has eleven curvilinear (arched at the top) stained glass windows in the chancel that are well worth seeing, the window in south east corner of the nave is of the 14th century; the low tower was added in 1500 and has a peel of three. The building suffered during the Dissolution Period when it was stripped of its wealth, but since those difficult times has benefited from a many improvements and repairs over the following centuries, most recently in 2000 AD with the benefit of a Millennium Grant.

Guy Fawkes’s sisters, Elizabeth and Ann were married here, they are also buried somewhere in this churchyard along with their mother; unfortunately the headstones seem to have vanished (also, see route 6; Cowthorpe).  This is a very pleasant and well cared for little church and it is also rather novel in that it actually has a disability toilet and that it is not locked.


All Saints, Ripley


Address:                     Holly bank lane, Ripley, HG3 3AY

Parking:                      On street Parking and car parks.

Opening times:         Daily; 9 am – 5 pm or dusk if earlier.

Wheelchair access:  Very good; ramp access into the nave from the south door and ramp in place onto the chancel.

Interior Lights:         On.

Refreshments:          Plentiful around the village, well known for its ice cream; also The Boar’s Head Hotel is open all day for food, also accommodation:

Market day:               Farmers market, 2nd Saturday of the month. Car boot sales once a month; April-September, for details:

Walk:                          10 miles, challenging; for route;

Information:             This 14th c church is in very good order; the chancel ceiling is particularly attractive.  The west window is Art Nouveau and was installed in 1904, while the Victorian south window commemorates the life of Prince Albert.  The south door and rood-screen are earlier than the church; they are believed to have once been part of the ‘sinking chapel’ which was badly damaged in a landslide and consequently, washed away due to a change in the course of the River Nidd in 1395 (reason for the change is not known).  In the churchyard is the stone base of a weeping cross and is one of only two known to exist, it was used by passing pilgrims and penitents who knelt in the cutaways to pray.

Cromwell’s parliamentarian troupes used the church’s east wall to execute Royalist prisoners after the battle of Marston Moor of 1644, during Civil War (1642 – 51).  The bullet hole marks can be clearly seen and stand testament to the grim realities of war throughout time.

The tomb in front of the south isle is that of Sir Thomas Ingleby and his wife, he saved the life of King Edward lll.  While on a visit here the king fell from his horse during a hunt and was nearly gored by a wild boar, Ingleby killed the boar, which was then served up at a banquet thrown for the king, consequentially he was knighted for his trouble; the bloodline continues to this day; the titled family still live here, and own, work, and maintain the castle and estate.

The Castle and gardens are open to the public throughout the year, for times and pricing please refer to their web site;  Guided tours of the house are recommenced.  The village gets very busy at weekends and bank holidays; better to visit during the week if possible.

You can easily spend half a day in this very attractive village. Should you wish to buy a property here you will be required to meet the current Sir Ingleby as he owns the land that the village is built on and has the traditional right to refuse residency.


St Michael & St Lawrence, Fewston


Address:                    Main Street, Fewston, HG3 1SU

Parking:                     Car park.

Opening times:        Daily; 9 am – 5 pm.

Wheelchair access: Possible; car park and path are of unmade surface, access into the church is via the Heritage Centre:  so has very limited times (see refreshments); no access via nave door, 4 path steps and 3 porch steps.The Swinsty reservoir walk is wheelchair accessible, for route details;

Toilet:                         In the Heritage Centre (limited times).

Interior lights:         In nave, L/H/S through nave and vestibule doors.

Refreshments:         The Heritage Centre and Tea Rooms, (attached to the church), open weekends and bank holidays during the summer 11 am – 4.30pm: Sundays and bank holidays during the winter 11am – 4pm, it is advisable to check on the net for up todate openings. Also, The Sun Inn, Brame Lane, Norwood, HG3 1SZ, (about 1 mile) Food; 12 pm – 2.30 pm daily (biker friendly). Hopper Lane Hotel, food, lunch times, LS21 2NZ

Walk:                          Two good reservoir walks; Fewston (4 miles) and Swinsty (3 miles), both easy, on well-made paths, you can combine them both for a single lengthy walk (recommended):

Information:            This church was rebuilt in 1697 after a fire started in its thatched roof destroying the original medieval building; only the 14th c tower survived.  It is one of only a small number of churches built in Yorkshire during the seventeenth century which did not conform to the standard rectangular plan that was used during that period (as laid down by the ever functional puritans), but reverted to the medieval plan which had a well-defined chancel and nave – possibly following the original church’s footprint for an easier rebuild.

At the rear of the nave there is a very good display stand showing the area’s local history. This is a well cared for and loved church; it is a credit to the volunteers who give their time and devotion to its continuance.

Just a short drive across the dam head is the the Yorkshire Water public car park (free), there are numerous picnic tables and seats available that surround the parking area; also, toilets (including disabled) are provided. Both walks can be started from this point (please see the route board in the car park).