Building » Settle – St Mary and St Michael

Settle – St Mary and St Michael

Tillman Close, Settle, North Yorkshire

An unusual linear complex of church hall, church and presbytery, the church itself possibly the least architecturally interesting element.

By 1862 five families were attending Mass in Settle. Two years later Fr Edward Woodhall opened a small chapel dedicated to St Mary and St Michael in Upper Settle. In 1883 he designed and financed a larger church (now converted to a house). In 1926 Fr Maximilian Tillman bought the present site and the church hall was built on it in 1962. The church and presbytery were added in 1974. The wall between church and hall was taken down in 1978, when other alterations were made, including an east window and a porch. Presbytery and hall cost £27,411.


Built of rock-faced stone and reconstituted stone under shallow pitched concrete tiled roofs. Approached from the west,  the dominant  element  is the rather gaunt and comparatively large church hall, with irregular fenestration and set on  sloping ground. The only indication that this is part of a church complex is the placing of two weathered life-size statues at the head of a flight of steps, St Michael and Our Lady, placed here as a war memorial. The church is concealed east of the church hall. It is smaller and lower than the hall. Its north wall is pebbledashed and has three full-height windows with segment heads. Broader three-light east window set high up above a flat-roofed building which connects to the presbytery set to the east again. The single more distinguished elevation is that to the south which has low segment-headed windows either side of a gabled porch, all with pronounced keystones and outer arch stones. Stone quoins also impart a sense of a more formal architecture. Gabled porch with pronounced kneelers, copings and a cross finial. Doors installed in 2007. Open timber bellcote set on the roof of a projection to the left, incorporating the bell made for the original church.

The interior of the church is low and small but can be opened into the much larger church hall when more space is required. Open to the roof with exposed rafters. Plastered and painted walls. Entrance is from the south and the view on entering is dominated by the three large stained glass windows which date from 1922 and were brought from the old church. Cut down in size, they depict saints Akelda, Wilfrid and Robert of Gargrave. The high east window was installed in 1978 and depicts St Mary and St Michael on either side of a cross. The original altar is placed in a recess above which is a Latin inscription, the letters taken from the rood from the old church. On the altar a heavy marble tabernacle, from Brussels and somewhat out of context. It was presented to the church in 1978 by the Apostolic Nuncio and had stood in the chapel of the Numciature where Archbishop Pecci was the Nuncio. He later became Pope Leo XII and created the Diocese of Leeds in 1878. Marble-faced nave altar (from the seminary of the Holy Ghost Fathers at Grange over Sands) in front of the High Altar. Stations of the Cross given by the McEvoy family, painted plaster relief panels. Crucifix on the east wall, unusual in that Christ is shown without the crown of thorns.

Heritage Details

Architect: J. H. Langtry-Langton

Original Date: 1974

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed