About Us

St Oswald, Arncliffe, a Grade II listed building, is in one of the most picturesque locations in England; situated in a bend of the River Skirfare amongst Sycamores and Yews beneath the limestone crags of Littondale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.


There has been a church in this site since the early twelfth century, the first patrons of the church being the De Arches family, who were lords of Arncliffe under the Earls of Northumberland.  Patronage passed through the Percys and Henry, second Earl of Northumberland, transferred patronage to University College, Oxford, in 1442/5.

The original church was demolished towards the end of the 15th century, and a new one was built on the same site, of which the tower is all that remains.  The Nave and Chancel were pulled down in 1796, and again a new church was built, being completed by 1805.  The Nave was restored in 1841, exposing the beamed ceiling, and the chancel was rebuilt in 1843.  Patronage passed to the vicar of the parish in 1894 who at that time was The Reverend William Shuffrey.

Stained glass windows in the church are mostly Victorian, including representations of Oswald, patron of Arncliffe, and Michael, patron of Hubberholme.  The glass of the east window is by William Wailes of Newcastle.

In the tower there is a set of three bells; the oldest having been cast by Johannes de Stafford in the middle of the 14th century, the youngest by Thomas Mears in 1842, and the tenor by William Oldfield of York in 1616.

The organ, a fine unaltered one manual and pedal instrument of six ranks, was built by Isaac Abbott of Leeds in 1884.

The Right Reverend John Robinson (1919-83), former Bishop of Woolwich and Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge, author of Honest to God, is buried in the churchyard.

The lychgate was given in 1931.