St Michael’s and All Angels

Linton – Postcard #6

This is a postcard of St Michael and All Angels Church at Linton in the Yorkshire Dales. It is a real photograph published by Walter Scott, Bradford. The postcard is unused and is in very good condition.

The church must be one of the most individual of all Dales’ churches. It dates from the 12th century, during the period of church building that characterised Henry II’s reign (1154-1189), and is very squat without a tower. The church was extensively altered in the 14th century, but it still retains parts of the earlier church.

The church is located quite a distance from the village and occupies a wonderful position on a bend of the River Wharfe. The graveyard stretches right to the banks of the river.

According to the church guide it stands on an old pagan site, but in the 7th century it was Christianised by either St Wilfred or St Paulinus. There is good evidence for this because, in the field opposite, there is what could be part of a pagan stone circle.

It is estimated that over 10,000 people have been buried in the churchyard, over the centuries, going back to pre-Christian time. I managed to find the graves and headstones of two of my ancestors.

It is also said that the church is haunted by a monk who had lived at a nearby abbey.

Here’s the photograph we took on our recent visit.

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

Yorkshire Dales Grave Search

Last day of my Spring holiday today and we had a trip out to the Yorkshire Dales in search of more graves. I knew where I needed to go. I had already found some ancestors on the National Burial Index. So we were heading for three specific churches.

First stop was St Andrews at Gargrave. No luck here unfortunately. Managed to speak with the vicar who told me that there was a major clear out of the graveyard back in the 1970′s and 1980′s to make space for new burials. There are no remaining records or details of the removed monumental inscriptions.

St Andrew's, Gargrave

St Andrew's, Gargrave

Some of the old headstones had been used to create a memorial footpath. We couldn’t find one for my ancestors. The vicar told me that some of the old headstones were also sold off.  Then again there might not have been a headstone in the first place.

So on to St Michael’s and All Angels at Linton. A lovely building dating back to the 12th century. We had more success here. Managed to locate one of the two graves on our list plus another related name.

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

I have a postcard of the Linton church so this will appear as a future blog post.

Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling very well by this time – perhaps it was too much excitement or the thought of going back to work tomorrow after nearly four weeks off. Anyway we decided to head home and leave the remaining church in Conistone for another week.