The current Church of England St. Hilda's Church was built in 1851 by Banks and Barry with 14th Century Bells. It is situated on the beautiful North York Moors approximately 1000 feet above sea level. This Grade 2 listed building is built on the site of the old church of 1122.
It is used as a place of worship 2 to 3 times monthly for Holy Communion and Evening Prayer.
The first church of 1122 foundation stone is found high in the porch with a barbarous Latin inscription which translates 'This Church Was Built, By William The Noble, In Honour Of The Chaste, Name Of The Holy Virgin Hilda'.
There are traces of the first church, notably the font and a face carved of stone thought to be William the Noble and several pieces of medieval stone work that are in and around the church including 2 carved crosses, which were found in the wall around the church yard.
William the Noble may have been the father of Walter Espec the Lord of Helmsley who in 1122 founded the Priory of Kirkham, and in 1132 the Abbey of Rievaulx. In 1145 Walter Espec gave much of Bilsdale to Rievaulx, and a little later gave the area of Bilsdale around Chop Gate to Kirkham Priory. Hence the ecclesiastical parish is called Bilsdale Priory or Bilsdale Kirkham. The original church dedicated to St Hilda was probably built as a place of worship for those who farmed the priory lands.
St Hilda's was to remain the
for Bilsdale until
1896 when the Parish was divided . The new parish to serve the South of the
Dale was Bilsdale Midcable with its parish Parish
at Fangdale Beck. church of St John
In 1985 the bells were sent to
's of Loughborough
for tuning and given new headstocks. Although the Treble bell is not inscribed
it is though to date back to about 1300. The Tenor Bell bears the following
inscription, " Ava Maria Mater". It also has a badge which is the mark of
Walter of easingwold, a potter of Taylor
who obtained his freedom to trade in 1327 York
The New Church
The earl of Feversham had a new church built in 1851. The work was done by Banks and Barry in the Early English style of architecture. The new Church his thought to be of similar style and size to the ancient church.