St Michael and All Angels Cowesby

One of the oldest churches in the district stood here on a Saxon site. Replaced in 1846, the present church has a tower in the chancel above the choir with a pyramid roof, housing six bells. Sir John Cameron did much maintenance work which continues to keep the church going. It has lovely spiral Jacobean altar rail posts, probably adorning the earlier church and Jacobean candlesticks.

The living is mentioned in 1229 as being in the gift of the Bishop of Durham (Leake and the Siltons were a “peculiar”). The Bishop of Durham also founded the almshouses in the 15th century (now sold and made into a trust).

Mr George Lloyd rebuilt the present church as it stands, in the Norman style. The architect was Salvin who also built South Otterington.

The six bells were given in 1878, the biggest being a recast of an older one. Thanks to Mr David Town and fellow ringers in the area, they have been maintained and re-roped and the chiming frame has been mended.

On the three largest bells are the following inscriptions:

 

“This bell is given to Mrs Elizabeth Ann Lloyd by her relatives and much valued friends.” 

“This ring of six bells is presented by Mrs Elizabeth Ann Lloyd to the Parish Church of Cowesby to the Honour and Glory of God. January 1 1878 God save the Queen.”

“Recast 1878 IHC CAMPANA SANCTI TRINITATIS”

 

All the bells are inscribed round the top with: “John Warner & Sons, LONDON 1878.”

Church records date back to 1679, and it is recorded in 1697, April 29th, that Robert, son of Ralph Peacock, was baptized when the great hailstorm fell.

References are made to burials in woollen (Elizabeth Proud 8th March 1697 and Jane, daughter of Thomas Wood 6th June 1707).

In 1663 the church had neither bible nor surplice when the arch- bishop made his visitation.

The old rectory was a single storey building with a thatched roof and a sundial over the door. In 1567 it was in ruins and was demolished during the 19th century.

The pond has been built in some ground added to the church- yard in the 1930s with grants from the Jubilee Trust, the N. Y. Moors National Parks and money from the twenty diseased elm trees that had to be felled.

Cowesby Hall was left to General “Strafer” Gott, Montgomery’s predecessor, who was killed during the war on taking command in North Africa.

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