Building » Wycliffe – St Mary

Wycliffe – St Mary

Near Hutton Magna, Co. Durham

A handsome mid-19th
century chapel which has been refitted internally but retains some fittings of considerable interest, notably the medieval font. The church is in a prominent hilltop position and forms a good group with the presbytery and former schoolroom. 

The Tunstall family of Wycliffe Hall played an important part in the survival of Catholicism in this area.  The family built a chapel at the Hall in the 18th
century and played a large part in the erection of the present church in 1848-9. At the same time adjoining early-18th
century farm buildings were adapted to form the presbytery and schoolroom. The schoolroom closed in 1936 and is now used as a retreat centre. 


Roman Catholic Church, 1849. Rubble with tooled-and-margined stone buttresses, ashlar dressings and parapet; graduated Lakelandslate roof. Aisleless 3-bay body with west porch. C14 style. Stepped buttresses at angles and between bays; string carried up over windows as hoodmould. Flat-roofed west porch has double flight of steps, with low moulded parapet at head, to central arch of 3-bay double-chamfered arcade; side arches boarded; string below embattled parapet with pierced merlons. Above porch a 3-light window below spheric
triangle window; and pointed niche in gable. West door, inside porch, has studded double doors with scrolled hinges in moulded arch with sacred monograms as hoodmould stops. Side walls shows 2-light windows with Y tracery, and similar parapet; coped end gables. East end shows blocked 5-light window and quatrefoil in gable.

Interior: Plastered. Freestone and marble altar, and panelled reredos with kneeling angels under crocketed arches. Font has octagonal bowl with raised shields, one with ihs, in fleur-de-lys borders, probably C15; later shaft and base.  Prominent hilltop position.

Heritage Details

Architect: Mr Jones of Barnard Castle (Diocesan Directory)

Original Date: 1848

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: II