Building » Skipton – St Stephen

Skipton – St Stephen

Gargrave Road and Castle View Terrace, Skipton, North Yorkshire

A good example of an early Gothic Revival Catholic church in the archaeologically  correct  Early  English  style  much  used  by  A.  W.  N. Pugin and his followers. Fine collection of fittings, including a reredos designed by Pugin.

The Tempest family’s private chapel at Broughton Hall, about three miles from Skipton, provided Mass for local Catholics during Penal times and until St Stephen’s was opened on 15 September 1842, although it is recorded that Mass was said in an upper room in Albert Street, Skipton, in the early 19th century. In 1835 a Mr Lane of Manchester (presumably Richard Lane) drew up plans for a church at Skipton and building work began in 1836. The delay in opening the new church was caused by a dispute of ownership between Charles Tempest and Fr Michael Trappes and Bishop Briggs.

There is some uncertainty as to the architect. A Mr Lane was paid £15 for plans but drawings surviving at Broughton Hall are signed by James Flint and others refer to the architect as Richard Love.  Of the three, Richard Lane is the one that is known to have practiced as an architect.In 1850 Andrews & Delauny architects of Bradford were commissioned to enlarge the church and build a presbytery and school. The enlargement extended the church eastward  and  added  the  transept-like  projections, with  the  church  re-opening  in 1853. St Stephen’s School, at the foot of the hill on Gargrave Road, was opened in 1854.

Heritage Details

Architect: Probably Richard Lane of Manchester

Original Date: 1836

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: II