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Earliest record of Kettlewell is in the Domesday Survey in 1086
|St. Mary’s Church, KettlewellThe present building was consecrated on St Mary’s Day, 8th. September 1885, St. Mary’s Day. The original church, Norman, built about 1120, nave, no aisles, no tower, was demolished to make way for a Georgian church in 1820, which, saving the tower, was demolished in 1883 to make way for the present church.
The lychgate was erected in November 1921 by George and Mabel Holdsworth as a thanks offering for their marriage. There is a tradition connected to the Lychgate. Whenever a wedding is in progress, the children of the village tie and lace up the gate. The Groom has to throw coins to the children to untie the strings, before the wedding party are allowed to walk through.The tower is all that remains of the 1820 building. It houses three bells, and its clock was provided by Mrs Arthur Hodgson in memory of her husband in March 1927.The font survives from the original Norman Church. It has a boar’s-head carving – the badge of the Nevilles on one corner and the fleur-de-lys, the badge of Mary, on the other three.
The Holdsworth windows can be seen immediately to the left of the entrance and opposite. They commemorate John and Michael of Scargill House.
The larger window is dedicated to the memory of John Holdsworth, who died in Belgium in 1945 while serving with the King’s Royal Rifle Corp. It shows John with St. George slaying the dragon, representing the old enemy, death and sin. They are flanked by St. Francis, feeding the birds, and St. Hubert, a German saint who, it was reputed, saved a stag from the hounds. The window opposite shows Michael in the Fleet Air Arm, flanked by St. Michael, and St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors.
The Methodist windows on either side of the aisle, showing “The good Shepherd” and “The Light of the World”, came here form the Village Methodist Church which closed in 1986.
The framed document (at the back of the church) refers to an award of half of St. Mary’s income in 1380 to the monks of Coverham, to save their priory from closure.
Memorial tablets to Briscoe and Knowles in the Nave were saved when the earlier building was demolished.
The Chancel ceiling bears a striking pattern of chevron decoration. Note how the beam supports are painted to look as if the wood is pierced. Note also the Shields bearing the instruments of Christ’s Passion, e.g. hammer and nails, and crown of thorns.
The East Window portrays soldiers resting in the trenches before the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Their bodies lie there still while their souls live with the Risen Christ in heaven. The window was given in memory of Godfrey Cutcliffe Hyne who was mortally wounded in the battle and lies burried in the churchyard.
The Altar is made of English Oak and was consecrated by the Bishop of Bradford on 8th September 1985. It is the work of Colin Almack, a pupil of Thompson, the “Mouseman”. Mr. Almack’s Symbol, a beaver, can be found at the base of the left hand side of the Altar. Thompson’s mouse surmounts the brass commemorative plaque beside the Cockerill window opposite.
The Lecturn was made in 2002 by Simon Robinson – “Dalesbread” – of Austwick from a redundant pew, to allow the placing of the new organ console.