• CONTACT US if you have any problems registering for the forums.

Yorkshire Christ Church, Appleton-le-Moors, North Yorkshire

Appleton-le-Moors is an isolated village on the North York Moors and in the middle of nowhere. The attractive stone houses are arranged along the main street with green lanes running down the backs of them. The village is mentioned in Doomsday Book, but the village was a chapel of ease attached to Lastingham. There is nothing left of the original chapele that may have been on Chapel Garth.

Most of the churches in the area are medieval. This one was built in 1868 when Appleton became a separate parish. The church and village hall were funded by Mary Shepherd in memory of her husband John, a wealthy ship owner, who was born in the village. Designed by the celebrated architect J L Pearson, it is in the French Gothic Revival style and is completely different to its neighbours. It has been described as “a little gem among moorland churches”

From the outside, it is a simple structure with nave, chancel and east apse and an offset tower. It is built from local stone, making use of variations in colour to form bands. Red Mansfield stone pillars with carved capitals provide a contrast. The door pillars have elaborately carved capitals and support pointed arches with star and billet mouldings. There is a narrow carved frieze round the outside walls.


Entry is through the west door into a narthex which seems very dark after the sunlight outside. This has two doors opening into the nave with the stone font standing between them. This lacks the pink and white sgraffito decoration found elsewhere in the church.

On either side are miniature pews specially designed for children baptised in the church and used by the Sunday school, marking the first stage of their life in the church.

Even though I had seen pictures on google images, nothing prepared me for the impact of the first sight of the inside of the church with its boat shaped king post roof. It is difficult to know where to look first.



Pale and darker sandstone pillars have highly carved capitals and support plain pointed arches.


Different coloured stones form a pattern round the top of the nave and chancel. There is a carved frieze round the chancel.

The pulpit has figures of Noah, Moses, Elijah, Jonah, John the Baptist , Peter and Paul, set in small stone arches.


The pulpit, north chapel and chancel have bas relief figures set on a pale plum background, reminiscent of Wedgewood cameos. Plum coloured wrought iron gates lead into the chancel.


The reredos has a depiction of the Last Supper. Above is a cross with the symbols of the four apostles in the corners and angels on either side. On the left is the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. On the right is Jesus carrying his cross on Via Dolorosa. This theme is continued in the five lancet windows above.


The Lady Chapel to the north of the chancel is separated from it by a very stylish pointed arch which has a round opening above two smaller arches supported on pillars with very carved capitals. The arches are decorated with lozenge designs. The panel round the wall has scenes of rough seas illustrating Psalm 107. This was probably intended for the tomb of Joseph Shepherd.


Lighting is by light bulbs set in coronas hanging from the roof. The simple wood pews act a a foil to the grandeur of the rest of the church.

This is a most unusual church and completely different to any other in the area. It may not appeal to your taste, but is still worth visiting. It is open daily.


more Information

How to Find Information

Search using the search button in the upper right. Search all forums or current forum by keyword or member. Advanced search gives you more options.

Filter forum threads using the filter pulldown above the threads. Filter by prefix, member, date. Or click on a thread title prefix to see all threads with that prefix.


Booking.com Hotels in Europe
AutoEurope.com Car Rentals

Recommended Guides, Apps and Books

52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata by Valerie Fortney
Italian Food & Life Rules by Ann Reavis
Italian Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
French Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
She Left No Note, Lake Iseo Italy Mystery 1 by J L Crellina

Share this page