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St Hilda's Church

 

 

Within Bilsdale there are St Hilda's and St John's churches, chapels at Chop Gate and Fangdale Beck, both closed and the former Friends meeting house at Laskill

St Hilda's Church stands very proud to the north of Chop Gate towards Urra. As you walk around the church you come across artefacts from times gone by from this church and the earlier church building which stood on the same spot.  The inscription in the porch which was found during renovations in 1813 translates as "Lord William builds this church in honour of the chaste virgin St Hilda"

The Earl of Feversham had this current church  built in 1851 and designed by Charles Barry the Younger and Robert Banks in the early english style of architecture. The present church is thought to be of a similar style and size to the ancient church.

There is evidence that William the Noble may have been the father of Walter Espec the Lord of Helmsley who in 1122 founded the Priory of Kirkham and in 1132 the Abbey of Rievaux. In 1145 Walter Espec gave much of Bilsdale to Rievaux and a little later gave the area of Bilsdale around Chop Gate to Kirkham Priory. Hence the ecclesiastical Parish called Bilsdale Priory or Bilsdale Kirkham.

The origional Church dedicated to St Hilda was probably built as a place of worship for those who farmed the Priory lands.

St Hilda's was to remain the Parish Church until 1896 when the Parish was divided. The new Parish to serve the south of the dale was Bilsdale Midcable with its Parish Church of St John at Fangdale Beck.

St Hilda's church is part of the United Benfice incorporating Bilsdale, Ingleby Greenhow, Kildale and  Kirby-in-Cleveland

Vicar- Rev. Dr Anne Heading. Churchwardens - Mr Jeffrey Richardson and Mrs Carol McGee

Services are every Sunday at 6pm alternating between the Eucharist and Evening Prayer, apart from the 4th Sunday which is a United Benefice service which alternates between the 4 parishes.

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