Moorland Parishes

The Benefice churches are:
Castleton St Michael and St George.
Danby St Hilda.
Commondale St Peter.
Moorsholm St Mary.
Westerdale Christ Church.
The post of Vicar of the Benefice is vacant at present.

Castleton St Michael and St George

(N 46371, W -0.93716) Post Code: YO21 2EL

Castleton lies about 13 miles almost due West of Whitby, high on the side of the Esk Valley. The present church was paid for by fundraising and subscription and built in 1924, as a memorial to local men who had died in the First World War. It was designed by Leslie Moore, son-in-law of Temple Lushington Moore. It replaced a corrugated iron church which had been built in the 1850s partly to serve the needs of the many local ironstone miners at that time. Much of the woodwork in the church bears the trademark mouse of the firm of Robert ‘Mousey’ Thompson. The reredos, painted with pictures of the patron saints, is a fine example of his work and dedicated to the memory of W G A Macmillan of Botton Hall who was amongst those lost in the War.

The Deanery Synod Representatives are Mrs Jane Dingle and Mrs Sally Wilson.
More information may be found at:
http://moorland-parishes.webplus.net
http://www.acny.org.uk/19367

Church of Castleton St Michael and St George in Moorland Parishes Benefice
Image by courtesy of and © Copyright Phil (Doc) Brown. All Rights Reserved 2014.

Danby St Hilda

(N 46371, W -0.937166) Post Code: YO21 2NH

Danby Church lies in the heart of Danby Dale 13 miles west of Whitby. It is two miles south of the centre of Danby village in the Esk valley. There are records of a church being rebuilt on the site in the thirteenth century and the tower dates to the fifteenth. Further rebuilding and restoration were carried out in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Finally in 1903 it was restored, with great attention to detail, by Temple Lushington Moore the great Gothic Revival architect: in memory of Canon John Christopher Atkinson, author of Forty Years in a Moorland Parish. This gave back to the church much of its Early English character and features. The stained glass is beautiful and varied: the south aisle window depicts St Hilda, flanked by Bede, Caedmon, St Wilfrid (Abbot of Ripon and Roman Church opponent of Hilda at the Synod of Whitby) and St Colman (see Commondale entry). There are Minton tiles in the chancel. The church is Grade II* listed and the churchyard contains a listed cross and tomb (John Agar).

The Deanery Synod Representatives are Mrs Jane Dingle and Mrs Sally Wilson.
More information may be found at:
http://moorland-parishes.webplus.net
http://www.acny.org.uk/19366

Church of Danby St Hilda in Moorland Parishes Benefice
Image by courtesy of and © Copyright Phil (Doc) Brown. All Rights Reserved 2014.

Commondale St Peter

(N 54.48639, W -0.97889) Post Code: YO21 2HL

Commondale lies in a deep valley about 15 miles due West of Whitby. It is the furthest West of the Deanery parishes, and in fact was part of nearby Guisborough parish until 1968. In the sixteenth century the village was recorded as Colmandale: by association with Bishop Colman of Lindisfarne (later St Colman) protagonist with Abbess Hilda on the Celtic Church side at the Synod of Whitby. At one time there was a hermitage or cell of Guisborough Priory in the valley. St Colman is commemorated in a stained glass window made by Alan Davis of Lythe in St Peter’s church. The church is unique, being built from locally made red bricks. It was built in 1898 to meet the needs of the increased population after the arrival of the railway and the resulting rapid growth of local brick and pipe works. It was paid for by the Trustees of the estate of Admiral Thomas Challoner (d.1884) who built the present Gisborough Hall.

The Deanery Synod Representatives are Mrs Jane Dingle and Mrs Sally Wilson.
More information may be found at:
http://moorland-parishes.webplus.net
http://www.acny.org.uk/19367

Church of Commondale St Peter in Moorland Parishes Benefice
Image by courtesy of and © Copyright Phil (Doc) Brown. All Rights Reserved 2014.

Moorsholm St Mary

(N 54.52074, W -0.93716) Post Code: TS12 3JH

Moorsholm lies about 13 miles WNW of Whitby on the edge of extensive moorland and a mile north of the landmark Freeborough hill. A settlement called Morehusum is mentioned in the Domesday Book as part of the lands of Robert, Earl of Morton, the half-brother of William the Conqueror. Later the lands were transferred to Robert de Brus of Skelton, founder of the Bruce dynasty of Scottish rulers and builder of Guisborough Priory. A village was built here in the Middle Ages but there is no record of a church until St Mary’s was built in 1892. There had been a rapid increase in the population following the discovery of the Loftus ironstone seam in 1847, and the church was built in response to this by local landowner John Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle. A stained glass window commemorates the 1992 centenary of the church.

The Deanery Synod Representative is Mr Ken Gillance.
More information may be found at:
http://moorland-parishes.webplus.net
http://www.acny.org.uk/19247

Church of Moorsholm St Mary in Moorland Parishes Benefice
Image by courtesy of and © Copyright Edward Nicholl. All Rights Reserved 2014.

Westerdale Christ Church

(N 54.52074, W -0.937159) Post Code: TS12 3JH

Westerdale lies about 15 miles west of Whitby and, despite its moorland remoteness, there has been farming in the area for thousands of years. The river Esk rises close by and is fed by several ‘Esklet’ becks. The village has strong associations with the Knights Templar, who had maintained an important house here for two centuries when they were suppressed in 1309. They probably constructed Hunters Sty Bridge which no longer carries a road, but crosses the young Esk just north of the village. Stones carved by them stand in the porch of the church and are incorporated in its walls. The church was rebuilt in 1838, was modified twice more in the nineteenth century, and had its chancel renovated in 1911. The stained glass is interesting and varied. The grade II listing includes a memorial on the outside of the nave south wall to Jane Duck (1740) who endowed a village school.

The Deanery Synod Representative is not appointed.
More information may be found at:
http://moorland-parishes.webplus.net
http://www.acny.org.uk/19386

Church of Westerdale All Saints in Moorland Parishes Benefice
Image by courtesy of and © Copyright Phil (Doc) Brown. All Rights Reserved 2014.

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