Building » Ugthorpe – St Anne

Ugthorpe – St Anne

Ugthorpe, North Yorkshire

A good and substantial rural church, with high quality furnishings, especially the stained glass. The architect George Goldie was born in York and is a nineteenth-century Catholic church architect of national standing. He built widely in the Diocese of Middlesbrough.

Mass was said in the area throughout the recusant period and a chapel was created at Ugthorpe by Fr John Bradshaw in the loft of his thatched house in 1679. In 1810 the first church was built, converted to a school in 1855 when the present church was opened. Funding came from the Nelson family. The registers date from 1788.


A substantial village church built of stone under a Welsh slate roof, of aisled nave, sanctuary and a square tower at the west end of the nave. Thirteenth century Gothic style with plate and Geometrical tracery. Angle buttresses. The sanctuary has two two-light windows to the south with trefoiled heads and large quatrefoils in the heads. One similar window on the north side which is otherwise obscured by a gabled sacristy with paired lancets windows. The main east window is of three tall pointed lights with Geometrical tracery. Larger four-light west window. The nave aisles have three two-light windows with alternate circles and quatrefoils in the heads. Four small trefoil clerestory windows above. The effect generally is of massiveness with windows spaced widely apart. The tower is of two stage with buttresses to the lower stage only. This forms the porch and entrance to the church. Two-light louvred bell-openings with tall trefoiled heads. Plain parapet and pyramid roof. Above the entrance a sculpture in a niche, perhaps St Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary. To the left of the tower a Calvary.

The interior has arcades (one bay less on the south side owing to the tower) on cylindrical columns and with plain chamfered arches. Similar sanctuary arch. Red and black tiled floor in the nave, much more richly treated ‘Minton’ tiles in the sanctuary. Simple pine pews probably of 1857. Roofs with braced collars and decorative hammerbeams, slightly more elaborate and stencilled in the sanctuary. Octagonal stone font to the right of the sanctuary arch and square stone pulpit to the left with Gothic stencil patterns. Wooden sanctuary rails. Painted stone altar and stone reredos with statues on octagonal stone pedestals to either side. Excellent stained glass in a number of windows of the time of the church, by Hardman and according to Pevsner ‘so close to Pugin that Hardman, who had worked so much for him, might well have used Pugin’s designs after Pugin had died in 1852’. John Hardman Powell worked as Pugin’s assistant at The Grange in Ramsgate and remained faithful to his style for many years. Some later stained glass, all of good quality and much of it probably by Hardman. The of 3 November 1855 and 26 September 1857 mentions Hardman glass in the east and west windows and a Holy Family window in the south aisle.

List description (the church was listed in 2014, following Taking Stock)


Summary: Roman Catholic Church of 1855 designed by George Goldie and including stained glass by John Hardman Powell. Also of historical special interest because Ugthorpe and neighbouring villages claims an unbroken tradition of Catholic observance.

Reasons for Designation: The Roman Catholic church of St Anne is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: St Anne’s forms part of the tradition of unbroken Catholic observance in Ugthorpe and neighbouring villages, a previous priest in the village being the Blessed Nicholas Postgate, martyred in 1679; * Architectural interest: although being a church of relatively modest size and detailing, it is one that has a very well considered and proportioned design by the notable architect George Goldie, being a relatively early example of his work; * Stained Glass: although a small village church, St Anne’s includes a number of very high quality stained glass windows designed by John Hardman Powell, arguably the leading stained glass window designer of the 1850s.

History: The village of Ugthorpe claims to have an unbroken tradition of Catholic observance since the Reformation. The Blessed Nicholas Postgate lived in, and ministered from the village from about 1660 until his martyrdom in 1679. Provision was continued from that date by Father John Bradshaw with a chapel in the loft of his cottage. A later incumbent was George Haydock who served as priest at Ugthorpe from 1803 and from there edited a new edition of the Douai Bible between 1808 and 1814. A permanent Catholic chapel was built in the village in 1810, this being converted into a school with the construction of St Anne’s Church in 1855, the same year that the village gained its first Anglican church, Christ Church. The church hosts an annual pilgrimage in honour of the Blessed Nicholas Postgate. The Church of St Anne was designed by the architect George Goldie and built with funding from the Nelson family. The church contains a number of stained glass windows by John Hardman Powell. The linking range between the porch and the presbytery to the south west is a later addition.

Details: Roman Catholic church, 1855 by George Goldie with stained glass by John Hardman Powell. MATERIALS: local sandstone ashlar with Welsh slate roofs. PLAN: conventionally gothic with an aisled nave and an unaisled sanctuary at the east end. A tower rises over the entrance porch at the west end of the south aisle. A sacristy extends north from the east end of the north aisle.

EXTERIOR: first-pointed gothic or Early English style with both plate and geometric tracery windows. The church as a whole has a simple tall plinth, angle buttresses and little external ornament. Gables are coped and surmounted by stone Celtic crosses. Chancel: is of two bays with geometric tracery windows, those to the sides having a quatrefoil with two trefoil headed lights below, the east window being of three lights with a trefoil to the head, the window having a simple hood mould. Nave: is of four bays with a low clerestory of plate tracery trefoils. Side aisle windows are also of plate tracery but with paired lancets headed by either a quatrefoil or a plain roundel. The west nave window has a simple chamfered surround and has geometric tracery consisting of four lancets headed by roundels. Tower: is square and squat, being of two stages separated by a string course, topped by a plain parapet which largely conceals the pyramidal roof. The upper stage has paired, trefoil headed openings to three sides of the bell chamber, the openings being closed with timber louvers. The base of the tower has a two-centred arched doorway to the enclosed porch, above this there is a trefoil headed and canopied niche containing a statue of St Anne with her child, the Virgin Mary. The Calvary to the left of the tower is part of the later link building between the church and presbytery.

INTERIOR: plastered and painted walls with only the columns of the nave, and the tracery of the windows left as exposed stonework. The nave arcades has cylindrical columns with simple capitals supporting plain-chamfered, pointed but nearly round arches. The sanctuary arch is similarly treated. The roof structure is exposed with braced collars and short hammer-beams, that to the sanctuary being embellished with stencilling. The floor is mainly tiled: black and red to the main body of the church; enriched with geometric patterning in black, red, white and buff tiles in the sanctuary.

FITTINGS: high altar of stone with painted decoration set forward of the stone reredos which also has painted embellishment. This is flanked by stone pedestals supporting statues (Sacred Heart to the left, Virgin Mary to the right). The timber altar rail, set beneath the sanctuary arch, possibly predates the church as it does not match the style of the pine pews which are thought to date to the 1850s. A rectangular stone pulpit with painted decoration and supported by two short columns is set on the north side of the sanctuary arch, with a stone font on the south side. Beyond, sited at the east end of the south aisle, is a further stone altar serving the Lady Chapel, a large niche occupied by a statue of Mother and Child being in place of a east window. In the north aisle there is a pine panelled C19 confessional.

STAINED GLASS: the main east and west windows are thought to have been installed at the opening of the church and to have been designed by Powell. Two further windows in the north aisle, may also be by him, being similar in style and having a similar colour pallet in terms of both intensity and colour. The remaining seven stained glass windows are later memorial windows, probably by other designers. The rest of the windows (including all of those to the clerestory) are plain glazed.


Other: AHP – Architectural History Practice, Churches in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough – Architectural and Historical Review, 2008

Heritage Details

Architect: Weightman, Hadfield & Goldie

Original Date: 1855

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II