About Us

We are a medieval church located alongside the old Roman road from Ribchester to Ilkley passing the Roman camp at Elslack. We worship here every Sunday at 09.15 a.m. and use the modern language liturgy of Common Worship.

Welcome to St Mary’s Church, Thornton-in-Craven

The church was probably built in the 13th century during the reign of Henry lll (1216 – 1272) and was rebuilt some 200 years later during the reign of Henry Vl (1422 – 1462).

Brief History

A spring is located in the churchyard, perhaps the oldest surviving relic of the Saxon or possibly Roman period. An octagonal stone built enclosure was created by the Revd. Henry Richardson. In 2005 the well cover was restored and a paved meeting area and low wall constructed with the following inscription on the coping stones “pete ab eo et dabit tibi aquamvivia mautem sciebant.’’ The Latin is translated as ‘’Ask him and, he will give you living water’’ and ‘’But only the servants knew.’ This Holy Well is the only one in the Ripon Area. The book “Britain’s Pilgrim Places” described it as “on elf the best-kept holy wells in Britain and also of the easiest to find.”


Our church boasts an impressive East window designed by C.E.Kempe and carries the inscription “In thankfulness for the manifold blessings enjoyed by the people of England in the sixty years of the reign of Queen Victoria, DG,RI. Dedicated to the glory of God 1898’’. Also “In loving memory of Stuart Morris MA fifty one years Rector of this Parish”. The window depicts King Edward the Confessor with the Royal Coat of Arms on the left and St Augustine and the Canterbury Coat of Arms on the right, and was described by a member of the Kempe Society as one of the best examples of his work.


The West window depicts; St Rafael, Michael and Gabriel and contains glass believed to date back to the 12th Century. The South aisle window in remembrance of Mary Carr depicts: Faith Hope and Charity. A north aisle window is in remembrance of the Birley family and depicts; Call of the disciples, Holy family, St John on Patmos.


In 2010 St Oswald’s Chapel was created at the East end of the North aisle and the previously plain glass window was replaced in 2012 with one pane dedicating the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. It is possible that St Oswald’s was the original dedication of the Church.


We are also the place where a series of plain chant church music originating from the 14th Century was composed called “The York Processional”. The oldest manuscript of this music to survive can now be found at the Bodleian Library in Oxford (Bodleian MS e Mus. 126)

Special Events

                 Dementia Inclusive Wellbeing Cafe

                             Tuesday 14th May

                           from 10 am to 12 pm



  • Accessible Toilets
  • Car park
  • Ramped entrance
  • Baby change facilities
  • Hearing (induction) loop
  • Large print
  • Assistance dogs welcome

Our Building

  • Listed building

Music and Worship

  • Bell ringing
  • Organ

Other Features

  • Guide books and notes
  • Back to church Sunday

Find Us

We are on Church Road, Thornton-in-Craven, Skipton, BD23 3TS


Or just type in the code into Google Maps WRJX+9F Thornton-in-Craven.


We look forward to seeing you soon!



Robert Findlow
The Rectory
7, Roundell Drive
West Marton
Skipton  BD23 3UG
Email: robert.findlow@leeds.anglican.org
Tel: 01282 788 621


Mrs Pam Greenwood

Old Cote Farm

Thornton in Craven

BD23 3SX
Email: gwdstic2@btinternet.com
Tel: 01282 842 682


Mr Chris Church

14 Gillians Lane


BB18 5QR
Email: chris.church73@btinternet.com
Tel: 01282 850429