Skipton is known as the ‘Gateway to the Dales’ and on Saturday 16 September 2023, the town’s Catholic Church of St Stephen will be opening its own gates, doors and archives to visitors from across Skipton, the Yorkshire Dales – and beyond!
From 10:00am until 4:00pm, the Parish is hosting a Heritage Open Day as part of the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust Yorkshire Churches Day. Between 11:00am and 3:00pm refreshments will be served in the Parish Centre.
Entry is FREE and there will be guided tours of our Grade II listed Catholic church: built in the Gothic style, opened in 1842, extended in 1852, with designs by AWN Pugin, and steeped in the history of the Tempest family of Broughton Hall. This historic church holds beautiful art works and artefacts associated with the Catholic faith – including a stone brought from the Holy Land and said to have been part of the Martyrdom of St Stephen himself!
St Stephen’s Church offers unique insights into the social history of the area. Having its own cemetery, there is further opportunity to study and reflect on family history and the generations who have lived and worshipped here.
This Open Day will also give privileged access to the Parish Archives, bringing to life the history of St Stephen’s, St Monica’s Convent and much more. Most notably there are records and artefacts referring to the Catholic families who were influential in building the Parish of St Stephen’s and also involved in the development of Skipton as a flourishing market town.
Visitors are warmly encouraged to ask questions and share their own memories of St Stephen’s and St Monica’s!
Car parking on site, including two spaces for the disabled drivers opposite the entrance. There is also disabled access to the church and to the Parish Centre, with accessible loos.
St Stephen’s Parish Centre and car park, Castle View Terrace, Skipton BD23 1NT