The Nidderdale Parish Pilgrimage – 18 miles, 1-2 days

This route follows a stunning route between the seven Anglican churches in the upper dale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (and we like to think an area of outstanding spiritual beauty too).

Starting at the beautiful church of St Michael and All Angels, Wilsill we head to the ruins of the old parish church of Pateley Bridge, St Mary’s. Near to the south entrance of the church lies the remains of Mary Myers who died at the age of nearly 120 years old. In his earlier years, St Cuthbert was a guest-master at Fountains Abbey and may well have visited Pateley Bridge to whom the current parish church gives its name.
The lay brothers of Fountains Abbey would have used Bewerley Grange for shelter and whatever else they needed for their daily labours. Abbot Marmaduke Huby commissioned the Chapel to be built onto Bewerley Grange, whose initials are clearly seen on several prominent areas of the stonework and windows.

At just over 1250 feet above sea level, St Mary the Virgin, Greenhow is the highest church in Yorkshire. The church was built primarily as a place of worship for the mining community.

Walking through the remnants of some lead mines, we head over rolling hills and past the beautiful Gouthwaite Reservoir to the next church. The monks of Byland Abbey built a large Grange close to Ramsgill. The remains of their chapel can be found built into the Curtilage Wall near the East Window of St Mary’s, Ramsgill.

St Chad was the Bishop of Lichfield in AD664. It is said that he erected a stone cross and preached by it. An ancient stone cross was found in the churchyard and can be seen in St Chad’s, Middlesmoor, the church with the best view in the land.

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Tom Jones

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