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Churches & Chapels

Malhamdale and the surrounding areas adopted by this website have five places of worship currently in use and two or more disused chapels.

St Michael the Archangel, Kirkby Malham

St Michael the Archangel

The Parish church of St Michael the Archangel
Photographed about 1870 when it was being referred to as St James.


The current building dates from around the end of the 15th century, replacing an earlier church on the site and incorporates several phases of development. There is a guide to it's history and architecture written by the Rev Baron in 1923.

Finding the Parish Records for St Michael's

Airton Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

Airton Chapel

Erected in 1896 to replace the much smaller chapel in Scosthrop, the chapel closed at the end of 2007.

Finding the Parish Records for Airton Chapel

Scosthrop Methodist Chapel

Scosthrop Chapel

    Old Methodist Chapel, Scosthrop
    Closed when Airton Chapel was built, now two cottages.

Isabella Preston of Scosthrop was the main benefactor for the first chapel, built in 1833, which seated 72 people. It still stands at the T junction in the centre of Scosthrop, although it now looks considerably different. It was converted into two houses in the early 20th century, after becoming redundant when the new Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built a few hundred yards away in Airton in 1896.

Finding the Parish Records for Scosthrop Chapel

Malham Methodist Chapel

Malham Chapel

The Malham Chapel centenary booklet notes that the present Chapel was built and opened in 1865. It was gifted by Mr. Henry Atkinson of Hill Top, Malham. Previously, the Malham Methodists met in a converted barn. Duke Knowles, a yeoman, bought New Barn in 1787 and converted it into a Preaching House or Chapel “for the use of people called Wesleyan Methodists.”

Finding the Parish Records for Malham Chapel

Airton Friends Meeting House

Airton Meeting House

The Society of Friends Meeting House was built by William Ellis (1658-1709) a linen weaver and his wife Alice. They purchased the site of the Meeting House in 1697 and completed building in 1700.
Yorkshire Quaker Heritage Project External Website logo : Maintain a location register for records and are creating a Name index of individuals mentioned in the Monthly Meeting minute books.
For the Settle area, also check the Quaker records at Leeds University External Website logo which has a searchable online database and holds some records for Airton.
The Quaker meeting house is still used on a regular basis and an appeal to restore it was launched in 2007.

Finding the Records for Airton Meeting House

St Peter, Coniston Cold


St Peter's

Coniston Cold was originally part of the parish of Gargrave. The church was built in 1846 on land given by James Braithwaite Garforth of Coniston Hall, whose family also owned Bell Busk cotton mill. It was dedicated in 1847 and the area was split from Gargrave to form the Parish of Coniston Cold and Bell Busk. The parish was amalgamated with Kirkby Malhamdale in 1987 and below is a list of vicars who served the parish up to that date.

1846-81 Rev John Stansfield
1881-85 Rev George Allton
1885-94 Rev Edward Kemble
1894-96 Rev Oswald Whaley
1896-1923 Rev Cyrentius J Robinson
1923-37 Rev John A Summer
1937-43 Rev Edward FS Ramsbotham
1943-45 Rev Arthur J Lander
1945-60 Rev Norman W Goodacre
1960-67 Rev Evans James G Rogers
1967- 1981 Rev George Speller
1981 - 1987 Rev Charles Frederick Trevor

From 2008 the parish and church again became part of the Parish of Gargrave.

Finding the Parish Records for Coniston Cold

Winterburn Chapel

Winterburn Chapel
Winterburn Chapel-of-Ease circa 1933

A former Presbyterian chapel which became a Chapel-of-Ease for the parish of Gargrave. Photographed here in the 1930s, it is now converted into a private house. There is a brief history of Winterburn Chapel.

Finding the Records for Winterburn Chapel

Bell Busk Chapel/Reading Room

Reading Room

Built as a Wesleyan Sunday school, it appears on the first OS 6inch series map in 1853. The 1893 Kelly's Directory still refers to a Wesleyan Chapel in Bell Busk, however by the 1908 edition it is no longer mentioned, so must have gone out of use as a Chapel/Sunday school by then. More recently known as the old reading room, this small building, situated next to Godfrey House in Bell Busk, is now converted to residential use.


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