St. Michael the Archangel

Kirkby Malham – Postcard #11

Here is another postcard from my collection of Yorkshire churches.  This one is of St. Michael the Archangel at Kirkby Malham.

The postcard is unused and is published by the Skipton Stationery Co.  It is in pretty good condition.  There is a small crease in the bottom left hand corner but apart from that there are no other blemishes.

This ancient church is sometimes referred to as the Cathedral of the Dales.

Here is an excellent Kirkby Malham Church Guide

The placename Kirk-by (church place) is from old Danish and it is reasonable to assume that the Danes found an old church here when they overran the North of England.  The church therefore probably dates from around the 9th or 10th centuries.

The Domesday Book (1086) however describes the area as wasteland, indicating that the church and settlement were probably left in ruins after the recent Norman invasion.

King John confirmed the gift of the Church and glebe land by Adam of Giggleswick, to the Abbey of St. Mary, West Dereham, Norfolk in a Charter dated 1199 and this Order supplied the Parish with it’s clergy until the Reformation.

The present building is large and imposing as it towers over the small village of Kirkby Malham.  The major part of the structure is built in millstone grit and dates from about 1490, but some features of earlier construction were incorporated and many further embellishments have been added over the centuries.

The church is dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, the earliest evidence of this being a will of 1275.  However by the 19th century there seems to have been some confusion over the dedication and many guide books and even the Ordnance Survey of that period refer to it as St James’.

This particular church is of interest to me because I have several ancestors who were born in Kirkby Malhamdale and were either baptised or married in the church.