St Mary's Church, South Cowton

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St Mary's Church, South Cowton
A stone church seen from a slight angle, with an embattled tower on the left, the nave in the centre, and the chancel on the right
St Mary's Church, South Cowton, from the south
St Mary's Church, South Cowton is located in North Yorkshire
St Mary's Church, South Cowton
St Mary's Church, South Cowton
Location in North Yorkshire
Coordinates: 54°25′07″N 1°32′59″W / 54.4186°N 1.5497°W / 54.4186; -1.5497
OS grid reference NZ 293 026
Location South Cowton, North Yorkshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website Churches Conservation Trust
Functional status Redundant
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 31 March 1970
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic
Groundbreaking 1450
Completed 1470
Materials Sandstone, lead roof

St Mary's Church is a redundant Anglican church standing in open countryside in the former village of South Cowton, near Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building,[1] and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.[2]


The church was built between 1450 and 1470 by Sir Richard Conyers, who also built South Cowton Castle to the south of the church.[2] The village of South Cowton was destroyed by Sir Richard and its land cleared for agricultural use.[3] The church was restored in 1883.[4] St Mary's was vested in the Trust on 1 April 1988.[5]



St Mary's is constructed in rubble and sandstone ashlar, with a lead roof. Its plan consists of a three-bay nave with a two-storey south porch, a three-bay chancel with a northeast vestry, and a west tower. The tower is in Perpendicular style. It has a two-light, ogee-arched bell opening on each side, an embattled parapet with pinnacles, and a stair turret on the southeast corner. On the south wall of the nave are three windows, two with three lights and the middle one with two lights. In the central bay of the south wall of the chancel is a doorway over which are two panels bearing the arms of the Conyers and the Boynton families. On each side of the doorway, at a higher level, is a two-light window.[1]


Internally there is a low-pitched tie-beam roof. The font is octagonal and dates from the 15th century. On the chancel arch is a painting, also from the 15th century, and from the same period are the choirstalls, the rood screen and alabaster effigies of Sir Christopher Boynton and his two wives.[1] The porch has a barrel roof, over which is a room for the priest. On one of the choirstalls is a "two-faced" carving.[2] There is a ring of three bells, one dated 1700 cast by Samuel I Smith, one by Edward I Seller cast in 1712, and the third by John Warner & Sons, dating from 1883.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Historic England, "Church of St Mary, South Cowton (1294728)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 14 April 2013 
  2. ^ a b c St Mary's Church, South Cowton, North Yorkshire, Churches Conservation Trust, retrieved 18 October 2016 
  3. ^ South Cowton, St Mary's Church, Britain Express, retrieved 30 August 2010 
  4. ^ South Cowton: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890, GENUKI, retrieved 30 August 2010 
  5. ^ Diocese of Ripon and Leeds: All Schemes (PDF), Church Commissioners/Statistics, Church of England, 2010, p. 5, retrieved 3 April 2011 
  6. ^ South Cowton, S Mary, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, retrieved 30 August 2010