Holy Cross Old Church, Whorlton, Swainby

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Holy Communion services are held on Easter Monday and Boxing Day (St Stephen) at 10:00 am.   Please use 'Services and Events' and 'Other Events' tabs for more information.


An earlier Saxon church may have stood on this site but no Saxon remains have been found. The present building dates back to the 12th Century.

In the introduction to "The Story of Whorlton Old Church", the author writes "Whether you visit Whorlton Old Church on a spring evening when lambs are calling in the fields nearby, a day in high summer, in autumn when the beeches are aflame, or even in November when the yew trees drip and the hills are invisible, you cannot fail to be moved by the peace, and sense of the past which surrounds it.

Through the 'peephole' you see crumbling sandstone, dim windows and a sleeping knight almost seven centuries old, but there are fresh flowers on the altar, and coins on the floor, thrown inside by visitors towards the upkeep of the church."

The Church is dedicated to the Holy Cross and was known as the Church of the Holy Rood prior to the Reformation.

The Effigy in Whorlton Church commemorates the second Lord Nicholas de Meynell of Whorlton Castle, who died in 1322. It is made of bog oak, is hollow and was originally packed with charcoal to preserve it. It is thought to be the only wooden, London-made military effigy in Yorkshire, comparing favourable with the magnificent monuments of Edmund Planatagenet and Aymer de Valence in Westminster Abbey.

By the middle of the 19th Century, the struggle against decay and the battle of trying to heat the building were taking their toll. There were more entries in the accounts for repairs to the stove, mending the old stove, coal for the new stove, new galvanised iron stovepipe, than any other single item.

On 7th March, the fourth Sunday in Lent, 1875 the old parish church was used for the last time for divine service (although due to an oversight the new church [see Holy Cross, Swainby] was not officially designated as the Parish Church until 1911). It would be a sad occasion for the worshippers who had regularly climbed the hill Sunday by Sunday to kneel in prayer there for the last time.

"The Story of Whorlton Old Church" is available from the Parish Church.

Occasional services are still held in the Old Church [see details on this page and on the Parish Church Notice Board].

We look forward to welcoming visitors and parish residents, whatever their age, to our services in Holy Cross Old Church and the other churches of the Benefice.

Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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Revd. Linda Shipp
Whorlton Vicarage
18 Church Lane
North Yorkshire
(01642) 701777

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  • Regular Services
  • Other Events
Printer friendly list of events
Printer friendly list of events
Holy Communion on the Feast of Stephen
(Wrap up warmly - there is no heating!)
Tuesday 26th December 2017 at 10:00 AM
Book of Common Prayer
Holy Communion on Easter Monday
(Wrap up warmly - there is no heating!!)
Monday 2nd April 2018 at 10:00 AM
Book of Common Prayer


Assistance dogs (eg guide dogs, hearing dogs, dogs for the disabled) welcome
Church Open Nave ruins accessible throughout the year. The chancel is open for occasional services or by special arrangement. At other times it can be viewed through the peephole mentioned in the description above.
Other information
Honorary curate: The Revd Alison Joyce HUTCHINSON
Incumbent: The Revd Linda Mary SHIPP
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 19358
Built: 12th Century
Style of worship: Central
Our Patron: Mrs Pauline Kynge
Archdeaconry: CLEVELAND (433)
Deanery: STOKESLEY (43306)
Benefice: Whorlton w Carlton and Faceby (43/402BX)
Parish Legal Name: Whorlton (430577 )
CofE Church Info: (643579 43/579)
Short URL: acny.uk/19358/
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The current editor is: Mandy Fionda

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This page was last updated on Monday 7th August 2017
Holy Cross Old Church, Whorlton : Castle Bank, Whorlton, Swainby, North Yorkshire, DL6 3HT

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