Thornton in Lonsdale: St Oswald, Thornton-in-Lonsdale

  • About Us
  • Find Us
  • Contact Us
  • Services and Events
  • Features and Facilities
  • More Info

The ancient church of St Oswald stands near the foot of Ingleborough. The original church was was rebuilt in Norman times by the Mowbray family but the tower was added later in the 15th century. A fire in 1933 gutted the church which was rebuilt in the decorated 14th century Gothic style, the work of Austin and Paley,   St Oswald's is one of the most beautiful churches in the diocese.

The congregation of St Oswald's is a gathering of Christians seeking to glorify God in worship and in service for the benefit of the people of Thornton (Westhouse) and Ireby.  To this end every home in the parish is visited twice a year and the sick and the lonely are cared for.  The church hosts events for the village: concerts, exhibitions and seeks to work with the local parish council, the Marton arms and our Methodist neighbours. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was married here and copies of his marriage certificate are available. The church building recently featured in an episode on Conan Doyle in a Tyne Tees TV series.

Of interest to fans of the Bronte sisters is the display featuring Prof C Heywood's introduction to the latest edition of 'Wuthering Heights'. This gives a compelling argument for the setting of 'Wuthering Heights' being in the vicinity of the church.  

Externally on the SW butress is a very distincttve Victorian bench mark. First Primary Levelling, England & Wales (1840-60)
This bench mark was used during the First primary levelling, England & Wales, and was levelled with a height of 441.8760 feet [134.6838 metres] above mean sea level (Liverpool datum). It was included as a side level on the Milner's Bridge to Bradford levelling line. The surveyor's description was No. 31(a). St. Oswalds's Church, Thornton. Bolt in tower ; 4.40 ft. above surface (p448).

The churchyard is beautifully kept by local volunteers with flowerbeds, and gravestones dating back to the eighteenth century. Internally further monuments including both seventeenth century and medieval are to be found. One a twelvth century cross slab with a fructrated stem and four step calvery which may be that fo the fourth baron Mowbray who rebuilt the ancient Anglo-Saxon church in the Norman manner.  Three arches of the north arcade remind us of this rebuild.

At present the church is not open daily but visitors are welcome so arrangements can be made for it to be opened for your visit. (ring 01524 61579).   For those who enjoy fine churchyards, the yard is always open, seating is available and it is a delight.

We are now part of the Ingleborough Team Ministry, Rector: The Revd Anne Russell. A new team Vicar is shortly to be appointed, for St Oswald's and All Saints, Burton.

Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

This space is for a Google Map.

You are seeing this message instead because your browser has not loaded the program code to produce the map.

This could be for a variety of reasons, including:
  • Your browser does not support Javascript;
  • You have turned Javascript off
In addition we are aware of some problems with Internet Explorer which are currently being worked on. Firefox and Chrome show the map correctly.
The Revd Denis Tate
The Vicarage
Manor Close
Burton-in Lonsdale
Lancaster LA6
01524261579 (Vicar) or 01524242207 (Churchwarden)
  • Special Events
  • Regular Services
Printer friendly list of events
6th December
Children welcome, followed by coffee.
Every second Sunday at 4:00 PM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Refreshments
Printer friendly list of events


2nd Sunday, BCP Holy Communion 9:30am.
With sermon, children welcome, followed by coffee.
Every second Sunday at 9:30 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Refreshments Book of Common Prayer
6th December
Children welcome, followed by coffee.
Every second Sunday at 4:00 PM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Refreshments



Wheelchair accessible toilets

Designated wider space(s) for people with a disabled parking badge

(Hymn Books / Orders of Service etc.)
Stained Glass
Guided Tours Guidebooks
Other information
Team Vicar: The Revd Denis Steven TATE
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 6786
Built: pre Norman
Style of worship: Low.
Our Patron: Bishop of Bradford
Archdeaconry: Richmond and Craven (465)
Deanery: Bowland and Ewecross (46508)
Parish Legal Name: Thornton in Lonsdale (460432 )
CofE Church Info: (646586 4/128)
Short URL:
QR Code:

The current editor is: John Hunter

This page was last updated on Saturday 27th February 2016
Thornton in Lonsdale: St Oswald : keighley-Kendal, Thornton-in-Lonsdale, Yorkshire, LA6 3PB - St Oswald’s may be recognised by its medieval tower and short steeple. It stands above a cluster of modern bungalows on the old Keighley-Kendal road a mile beyond Ingleton and opposite the ancient pub - The Marton Arms. From Ingleton take the A65 towa

Our Other Churches

Other Links

Calendar of Events

About the Parish

Update this church