Building » Gilling East – Our Lady and the Holy Angels (chapel-of-ease)

Gilling East – Our Lady and the Holy Angels (chapel-of-ease)

York Road, Gilling East, York, North Yorkshire

The significance of this building lies less in the architectural qualities of the chapel, which are modest, and more in the fact that it forms part of a stone lodge to Gilling Castle, built in Tudor style in 1837.

Gilling Castle, the home of the Fairfax family, was bought by Ampleforth Abbey in 1929 and is now St Martin’s College, a co-educational preparatory school. The chapel-of-ease of Our Lady and the Holy Angels was established in 1950 (Yearbook), in an existing lodge building. The present chapel is an extension to the lodge and dates from 1973. The architect for the new chapel has not been established, but similarities with the glazing at the earlier church of St Aidan, Oswaldkirk (qv) suggests the involvement of  Ewan Blackledge.


The lodge building of which the chapel forms part is a single-storey Tudor-style structure dating from 1837. It has a projecting gabled central bay flanked by narrow recessed bays, with a larger projecting gabled bay on either side. Stone built, with a slate roof and ridge stacks, Tudor drip moulds, decorative barge boards. Above the window in the centre bay, the Fairfax coat of arms, with the date of construction, a lion rampant and the family motto ‘Je le feray durant ma vie’ (‘I will do it so long as I live’).

The church has been formed within the right hand (when viewed from the road) projecting end bay, and is entered in the angle with the recessed bay, through a modern door with an original panelled lining/reveal. The chapel incorporates the original front and side walls of the lodge, with extensions at the rear, built in matching stone. The sanctuary area is side-lit by a large quasi-gothic window of fifteen lights. The original casement window in the front has been replaced by a new leaded window incorporating nineteenth century stained glass, a pierced quatrefoil depicting the Adoration of the Magi.

The church interior is a plain uninterrupted single space with white painted plaster walls and an open truss timber roof.  The altar in on a rubble stone plinth and dais, and was given in 1963. Crucifix on the ritual east wall against a cloth backdrop.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1837

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed