10: St Andrew’s Church

St. Andrew's Church

St. Andrew’s Church

St. Andrew’s is in Newmarket Street, Skipton.

The third non conformist \church on this site, the present building was completed and opened in 1916. It was to the designs of James Totty of Rotherham who had been responsible, earlier, for a church of similar design in his home town.

The church is constructed in stone, generally in snecked rubble from Eastburn quarry, but with tracery and decorative work in Ancaster limestone, in the late Art Nouveau style. Though the window tracery may be said to have been inspired by the Gothic period in that it incorporates ogee curves and cusped heads, the general flow is definitely Art Nouveau in character, particularly to the central window over the main entrance facing Newmarket St. All the openings are spanned by two centred aches with drip moulds over. Note their finely carved terminal bosses The central front gable is flanked by buttresses capped by copings of the period and embellished with tree of life motifs. These buttresses are mirrored to a lesser degree in the main mullions of the large central window, again, features of the period. The form of the coping to the main gable is mirrored in that to the projecting entrance masonry, again flanked by buttresses similarly embellished to the main ones. The main gable is visually buttressed by two delightfully detailed wings, one a stairwell and the other small meeting / office areas and roofed in Burlington slate with cut hips, rather than comparatively clumsy clay cap tiles. The other facades of the building follow the general aesthetic of the front fa├žade, though obviously in a somewhat simpler form.

Internally, the main body of the church is almost 100% original, recent minor modifications being carried out in a sympathetic manner. There is a gallery over the main entrance with a raked floor giving worshipers an uninterrupted view of the pulpit etc. This feature is mirrored at ground level for the main congregation and augmented by pews planned in the form of segmental curves. The pulpit, with the choir gallery and organ behind, are all constructed in well detailed and executed oak, as are the pews generally.

In my opinion, this building is a wonderful example of the architecture of its period and one that should be cherished as part of the heritage of Skipton. It is beautifully designed, well detailed and was superbly executed by the craftsmen of the day.


Barry Rawson