Thursday, 7 February 2019

The Parish Church of the Holy Ascension, Settle

5 February 2019 

I have lived in the area as a child till I was twenty one, the church at Settle is one we never used, although for many years I saw it most days as I worked in the petrol station on the opposite side of the road.

It is at the far end of Settle , the church grounds run along the banking of the Settle to Carlisle railway line.

*Settle Parish Church is a little unusual in being dedicated not to a saint, but a  Mystery,
the Holy Ascension. The parish church at Rathmell is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and the one at Austwick to the Epiphany.

*In the outer porch you will see a memorial tablet to the workmen who died, as a result of accidents,while building the Settle -Carlisle Railway Line.

The church was consecrated on 26th October 1838.

*The large painting entitled "The Ascension". it is a moden Icon and was gifted from the artist Mick Brown.

They have a coffee morning every Tuesday (market day in Settle), starting with a reading. I was greeted by a very nice gentle man, and we had a good chat. Also met the retired vicar who took the reading. They were all very welcoming and is well worth going on a Tuesday.

The only down side might be I missed a few things as people were having coffee and did not want to get them in the photos.

I picked up the free Guide and as normal on inspection later you relies what you have missed!
I am taking some of my notes from the guide but I am missing some photos.

*The church dedicated to the Holy Ascension also reflected in the stained glass of the "East" Window", which was designed by O'Connor from the famous Pugin Studio.
(Missing photo)

*A rather odd thing about the church is the fact that it is not aligned along the usual East-West axis but is instead aligned North-South.
So the "East Window" actually faces South!

*Other notable windows include the one at the front left of the Nave "North Side" which dates from 1913 and is by William Morris from a Burne Jones design.

Closeup of some of the other windows in the church.

Pulpit and Font.

Both are made of Alabaster.

Alabaster is a pale mineral that's soft enough for carving. In museums, you're likely to see statues and vases carved from alabaster. The root of alabaster is a Greek word meaning "perfume vase," alabastros.

The four symbols for Christ around the font.

The font was moved to the front of the nave during the 1998 reordering.

This is well worth seeing as it is rather beautiful.

*Beside the pulpit is the large brass eagle Lectern  from which the Bible was formerly read.



Built by JJ Binns of Leeds in 1913.

*A set of ceramic "Stations" of the Cross (made by Watts of London) can be seen, in appropriate groupings at various points around the wall. These were the gift of a parishioner in 1972.
(here are a few I photographed)

*The Tower is a little unusual in having a small spire on top. It contains a set of eight bells, which were restored in 1996 and returned in 2004.

Noted when going through the grave yard was the amount of Lichen on the graves .

Churchyards are of supreme importance for lichen conservation, particularly where there are no natural outcrops of rock.

Of the 2000 British species, over a third have been found in churchyards and more than 600 have been found growing on churchyard stone in lowland England.

Many are scarce and some seldom, if ever, occur in other habitats.

Many churchyards are found to have well over 100 species.

Churchyards provide an excellent environment for the study of lichen biology and colonisation.

(The British Lichen Society )


The Church yard is well maintained, not many wild areas. But the railway banking will provide habitats, there was a number of trees too. Yew and Cherry as well as Holly.

Blue tits were looking for spiders at the back of the drain pipes and it looked like Collard doves were permanent residents.

Snowdrops were just coming out and all the graves were covered in Moss and Lichens .

All notes marked with a * are from the Visitors Guide


The Parish Church Settle LINK
Settle -Carlisle railway LINK
Settle Tourist Information Centre. LINK

Churches I have photographed in the area.

Church of St Alkelda, Giggleswick LINK
Zion Congregational Church, Settle LINK

Well worth a visit as the town of Settle is beautiful and full of history too.
Here are just a few photos I took, I will be back soon to take some more of the buildings in the town. 

The Folly 



Guide to Settle/ Old booklet