Sproxton St Chad

Name: St Chad's

Date of Temple Moore Work: 1879

Work done: Supervision of work and design of fittings

Church Description

An Elizabethan church, moved stone by stone to a new site.

St Chad's belongs to Temple Moore's very earliest years as an architect. It was originally built in the 16th century, and given much of its present character in the later 17th century. In 1879 Lord Feversham paid to have it moved from West Newton Grange, about a mile and a half away, where it had fallen into a sorry state and was being used as a barn.

Opening times: Please see www.helmsleyparish.org.uk for information. There are steps up from the road

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The whole enterprise cost £1,100. George Gilbert Scott junior provided the design, and Moore supervised the work and designed the fittings. He was then aged 23. He'd just finished serving the period of apprenticeship known as “articles” with Scott, and had stayed on to work as his assistant. At Sproxton he and Scott strove to maintain the 17th century character of the church, with its square bell-turret, nave and chancel as one, and reredos with a figured triptych in plaster.

Lord Feversham's high-church inclinations led Scott and Moore to install a marble altar at Sproxton, in spite of the fact that to do so was technically illegal under the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874. It was generally recognised as bad law, but that didn't prevent several members of the clergy being brought to trial and five imprisoned under the Act. Prosecutions continued until 1906 and the law was not repealed until 1965.

The magnificent triumphal arch near Sproxton at the entrance to the Duncombe Park estate is called the Nelson Gate. It was originally built in wood to commemorate Admiral Lord Nelson and the British naval victory at Trafalgar. The inscription on the frieze at the front reads: “To the memory of Lord Viscount Nelson and the unparalleled gallant achievements of the British navy”. And to the rear: “Lamented Hero! 0! price his conquering country grieved to pay! 0 dear bought glories of Trafalgar Day!”

Things to do nearby

Nunnington Hall

Nunnington YO62 5UY

01439 748283

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nunnington-hall

Mellow Elizabethan manor house in a lovely spot on the banks of the River Rye. Art and photography exhibitions, a fine collection of dolls' houses in the attic (the National Trust calls them "miniature rooms") and an organic walled garden with peacocks. Nice tearooms, too.

Sutton Bank

Sutton Bank National Park Centre Sutton Bank Thirsk YO7 2EH

01845 597426

http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/sutton-bank-256

James Herriot thought it the finest view in England, and who's arguing? The extraordinary panorama from Sutton Bank takes in a huge swathe of North Yorkshire, from the pancake-flat Vale of York in the south, the more undulating countryside of the Vale of Mowbray and the distant Pennines. A couple of miles away is the famous White Horse of Kilburn. A mile or so in the other direction is Lake Gormire, one of only four natural lakes in Yorkshire. (The others are Semerwater, Malham Tarn and Hornsea Mere, in case you're wondering.) Add the towering crags of Roulston Scar and the Whitestone Cliff and you have plenty to keep you occupied for hours. If the weather forces you inside, the National Park Centre has recently had a hi-tech revamp. It's a good way of getting to know the North York Moors.

Yorkshire Gliding Club

Sutton Bank Thirsk YO7 2EY

01845 597237

http://www.ygc.co.uk/

One of the world's oldest and most respected gliding clubs, in an extraordinary position above the sheer drop of Roulston Scar, with the Vale of Mowbray spread out below. It once counted among its members the aviatress Amy Johnson, who in 1930 became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia. Fancy a trip in a glider? You can arrange one with the club. Alternatively, repair to the viewing area in the clubhouse, order a drink and watch more intrepid souls take to the air.

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Nr Helmsley YO62 5LB

01439 798228

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/rievaulx-abbey

Rievaulx Abbey was once among the finest in Europe, and its atmospheric ruins still convey a sense of what it was like in its prime. Worth visiting for the location alone: beautiful riverside fields in the emerald depths of Ryedale. On the hillside above the abbey are the National Trust-owned Rievaulx Terrace and Temples, a contrasting bit of 18th-century classical landscaping with fine views.

Byland Abbey

Byland Coxwold YO61 4BD

01347 868614

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/byland-abbey/inn/

Outstanding example of early Gothic architecture. The abbey church was of the largest and grandest in Europe. It brought the very latest in architectural ideas from the Continent and recast them in Yorkshire stone. In turn it influenced religious buildings throughout Britain and Europe. English Heritage members get in free. The Abbey Inn over the road is a good choice for lunch.

Helmsley Castle

Castlegate Helmsley YO62 5AB

01439 770442

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/helmsley-castle

A thousand years of Yorkshire weather haven't quite finished off this splendid old ruin. It was built after the Norman Conquest by the Bond-villainesque-sounding Walter L'Espec. In Tudor times it was converted into a mansion, but it could still hold its own as a military fortress, as it showed during the English Civil War when it was besieged by Parliamentarian troops. The Royalist forces inside held out for three months before surrendering. Parliament ordered that the castle's defences should be partially demolished, and they have remained in a state of romantic dilapidation ever since. Complete wheelchair (and pushchair) access at ground level. English Heritage members get in free.

Helmsley Walled Garden

Cleveland Way Helmsley YO62 5AH

01439 771427

http://www.helmsleywalledgarden.org.uk/

One of Helmsley's hidden gems, tucked out of sight under the castle ramparts. The Walled Garden was created to supply fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers to the Duncombe Park estate. It fell into disuse in the 1970's, but in 1994 a determined band of local enthusiasts set out to restore it to its former glory. Today it is once again a working kitchen garden, where you can choose from a huge range of plants, vegetables, and seasonal fruits, or just savour the wonderfully tranquil atmosphere. The Vinehouse cafe serves delicious vegetarian food using produce grown in the garden.

Mouseman Visitor Centre

Kilburn YO61 4AH

01347 869100

http://www.robertthompsons.co.uk/

Former workshop of the celebrated Arts and Crafts furniture maker Robert “Mousey” Thompson. The mouse theme comes from his trademark, a little wooden mouse that he carved on every piece he made. The visitor centre commemorates his life and work. Furniture is still made in his name at the new workshop over the road. It's as beautiful as it is expensive. Unsurprisingly the bestselling item in the shop is also the cheapest - a Mouseman napkin ring. Look out for the wooden mice dotted all over Kilburn, from the days when Mouseman pieces were more affordable. Even if your pockets won't stretch to it, it's definitely worth a call in, just to admire to gorgeous craftsmanship.

Shandy Hall

Coxwold YO61 4AD

01347 868465

http://www.laurencesternetrust.org.uk/shandy-hall.php

Marvellously idiosyncratic old house, all chimneys and sticky-out bits, formerly home to the similarly idiosyncratic 18th-century novelist, Laurence Sterne. Here Sterne wrote parts of his groundbreaking bestseller “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy”. The Laurence Sterne Trust's collections of books, paintings, manuscripts, prints and editions of Sterne's works is housed at Shandy Hall. A small gallery in a converted granary holds regular exhibitions, and there are two acres of beautiful gardens. The Shandy Hall Moth Blog is an extraordinarily informative and knowledgeable record of moth activity in the gardens.

Where to eat and drink

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Nr Helmsley YO62 5LB

01439 798228

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/rievaulx-abbey

Rievaulx Abbey was once among the finest in Europe, and its atmospheric ruins still convey a sense of what it was like in its prime. Worth visiting for the location alone: beautiful riverside fields in the emerald depths of Ryedale. On the hillside above the abbey are the National Trust-owned Rievaulx Terrace and Temples, a contrasting bit of 18th-century classical landscaping with fine views.

Hambleton Inn

Sutton Bank YO7 2HA

01642 778 334

http://www.hambletoninn.co.uk/

Venerable old drover's inn, with close connections to the local tradition of horseracing — there's a stables next door. Handy for visiting Sutton Bank and the White Horse of Kilburn, both of which are a stone's throw away. Appetizing menu and guest beers.

The White Horse

Ampleforth

01642 778 334

http://www.pub.co.uk/

Large, friendly pub with excellent food. Just over the Hambleton Hills in a pretty village famous for its college. A good base for exploring a lovely, often overlooked part of the North York Moors.

The Black Swan

Helmsley YO62 5BJ

01439 770466

http://www.blackswan-helmsley.co.uk/

Upmarket inn with posh nosh.

The Feversham Arms

Helmsley YO62 5AG

01439 770 766

http://www.fevershamarmshotel.com/

Highly regarded luxury hotel with its own spa. The prices are not for the fainthearted, but the AA Hotel of the Year Award speaks up for the quality of the place.

The Feathers

Helmsley YO62 5BH

01439 770275

http://www.feathershotelhelmsley.co.uk/

A local's local, with unpretentious pub grub.

Teashops, many and various!

Helmsley

Helmsley is laden with genteel teashops, to the occasional chagrin of the locals and the delight of visitors. Too many to name - wander around and take your pick. Pinkies up!

Gepetto's

Helmsley YO62 5BG

01439 770479

http://www.gepettos-helmsley.co.uk/

Welcoming little Italian restaurant.

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