St. Mary’s Church, Goathland is one of five churches in the United Benefice of Middle Esk Moor. The other churches in the Benefice are at Egton, Grosmont, Glaisdale and Lealholm. At this stage of the Covid pandemic and as we currently have no incumbent, our services, in general, are combined benefice services rotating around the benefice.
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Goathland is now known as a tourist centre in the North York Moors National Park. It has one of the main railway stations of the North York Moors heritage steam railway (used as a film location for Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film) and is the fictional village ‘Aidensfield’ in the TV series ‘Heartbeat’. However, the spiritual origins of Goathland (or Godeland) go back much further.
Towards the end of the eleventh century, a small group of Christian brothers settled by the Eller Beck to the South of modern-day Goathland. They built a chapel called ‘St Mary at Godeland’, probably close to their hermitage buildings.
Records from 1568, during the reign of Elizabeth I, tell of St. Mary’s Chapel which was by then probably near to the site of the present church. By 1821 a new church building had been completed, standing on a site next to the present church in what is now the old churchyard.
The present church was designed by William Brierley of York and completed in 1896. The style is perpendicular, with some Arts and Crafts overtones. Much of the woodwork was made by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson of Kilburn.
The church has some good pictorial stained glass, the east window (designed by A.L. Moore) and the south wall windows (by J.C.N. Bewsey) being from the early twentieth century. The two west end windows are modern, commissioned for the Millennium, by Ann Sotheran.
Although the church is late Victorian, it contains several artefacts from the earlier churches and chapels, dating back to the Norman or even Saxon periods.
A leaflet with more information is available in St. Mary’s church.
St. Mary's Goathland has a separate website
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