Building » Bedale – St Mary and St Joseph

Bedale – St Mary and St Joseph

Bedale Road, Aiskew, Bedale, North Yorkshire

A good example of a small mid-Victorian Catholic church, paid for by a local landowning family who employed an established architect for the work. The building retains much of its original character.

There was apparently a Mass centre at Aiskew Grange by 1771 and the Aiskew priests also served the congregation at Northallerton. The first church in the area was built in 1812. The present church was built at the expense of the Scrope family, from designs by George Goldie, the York-born architect who built widely in the diocese.


The church is built of rough-faced local stone, squared and coursed; the nave roof is covered with Welsh slate, the sanctuary roof with red concrete tiles. The plan comprises an aisleless nave with a small northwest apsidal projection which was probably the baptistery originally but has been converted to serve as a porch, and a short chancel or sanctuary.  The west end fronting the road has a central pointed doorway, now blocked, with an elaborate traceried rose window above; the west gable rises steeply to finish in a tall bell-cote with twin openings. The earlier presbytery is attached to the south side. On the north side is the projecting porch, with modern steps, and a nave of three bays divided by simple buttresses with a two-light traceried window at the head of each bay under the eaves. The sanctuary has two lancet windows on the north side, with a four-light traceried window in the east end wall.

The interior is simply finished with plain plastered walls, the windows high up, and with handsome rafter roofs over both nave and sanctuary, the spaces between the rafters now filled with modern painted boarding. The church is carpeted throughout, the nave is furnished with timber benches, the sanctuary has been reordered and the altar brought forward. The iron altar rails are modern. The central nave window has an 1880s stained glass memorial window; the glass in the east window is a 1940s memorial window to Sir Hugh Smith Dodsworth Bt. The other windows are clear glazed.

Heritage Details

Architect: George Goldie

Original Date: 1878

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed