Addingham Places of Worship Trail

Welcome to the Addingham Places of Worship trail. Its history going back to the early Bronze Age, Addingham now stands 3 miles south of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and also 3 miles west of Ilkley.

1 Bus Stop from Ilkley

A convenient starting point for the trail if arriving by bus from Ilkley or the opposite direction.

This particular trail’s starting point is close to the junction of Ilkley Road and Main Street (the bus stop for busses 762, 765, and X84 from Ilkley).

Starting from the bus stop (or parking nearby at Church Street if arriving by car), walk along Church Street past Low Mill Lane until arriving at a footpath on the right opposite Sycamore Drive. Take this footpath towards the first place of worship, namely St. Peter’s Church.

2 St Peter's Church

The locus of Christian worship at Addingham from over 1100 years ago.

The history of this ancient place of worship goes back to at least AD 867 – that year of misfortunes in which the Danes invaded and captured York and found the then Archbishop of York, Wulfhere, fleeing to Addingham (spelt Hatyngham in the language of the day). In the Domesday Book of 1086, there is mention of neither a church nor a priest under the entry for Addingham, suggesting that no building as such existed here and that the likely “Church” was of people. In any case, people normally worshipped around a stone cross in those days (the shaft of a 9th century Saxon stone cross was discovered here during digging in 1947). Around this time, the site was also an Anglo Saxon burial ground (remains of 80 people in 55 graves were found here during the extension of the church hall in the 1990s).

The first stone church on the site – precursor to the present building – dates back to 1155, and stands in an open field now known as the Church Orchard and protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. By the peripheral stream and the footbridge, thousands of crocuses flower in the spring. Parts of the building, e.g. the north aisle and much of the interior, date back to early 16th century. The exterior is mainly from the 1750s when further repairs had taken place.


The photographs below, from 1906, show the funeral of Samuel Cunliffe Lister, a relative, through marriage, of the famous Lister family of Manningham.

 From the rear of the church and the graveyard can be seen a grand edifice which is now a private house but was the rectory until 1980 when it was disposed of on account of high heating costs. A better view is had from the nearby Low Mill Lane, as follows:

 The church hall, below, was built in 1968 and extended in 1998.







Outside the church hall will be noticed an obelisk, erected recently, with the following four engravings from a Celtic Church blessing surrounding it:
deep peace of the quiet earth to you
deep peace of the shining stars to you
deep peace of the running wave to you
deep peace of the flowing air to you


Look too at the very poignant engravings below the sundial (gnomen) on the side wall, reading as follows:

We can’t be so wise
That we have no need to consider
What will be decided for our souls


After the tour of the church, retrace your steps back to the mouth of the footpath, have a look at the interpretation panel depicting the Christian timeline for Addingham, and then go over a small bridge over the stream to come back to Church Street. Cross the road and follow Church Street round to Main Street and then take a right turn to arrive in front of Philip Walton.

3 Philip Walton Showroom

A pause to look at some fine examples of oriental craftsmanship in rug design and manufacture.

Opened in 1988, this is the largest oriental rug showroom in West Yorkshire. It had previously been a bakery and then a garage whose owner always displayed outside the sign "cheaper petrol tomorrow".

4 Duck Pond

A short serene walk around a pond populated by enchanting ducks.

Passing Park Crescent, take a right turn into Saw Mill Lane and follow it around to the left when you will see a small footpath at the end and a row of cottages to the right, as shown below:

The footpath goes round a beautiful duck pond on the left and a stream on the right.



The footpath comes out at Bolton Road. Turn left here to arrive at the Roman Catholic church on the left.

5 Our Lady and English Martyrs Catholic Church

Commemorating Catholic persecution from five centuries ago.

This was built in 1927, nearly 400 years after the start of the persecution of the Catholics for their faith following the founding of the Church Of England by Henry VIII. It takes its name after the two priests from Addingham who were seized and executed in York in the 16th century on account of continuing to worship (often in secret) Catholicism. In a simple yet modern architecture, it was built at a cost of £2,000 raised by the local Catholic community.

Continuing along Bolton Road at the end on the left is the Mount Hermon church.

6 Mount Hermon Weslyan Reform Union Church

Beginnings of the Reform movement at Addingham.

Now a Grade II listed building, this was erected in 1861. In 1849, a break from the Weslyan Methodists saw the formation of the Weslyan Reform Movement as a desire and commitment to see more democratic running of the church. Until this church could be built, the Reformers had been worshipping at the Oddfellows Lodge (now demolished) at the top of Lodge Hill.

7 The Crown Inn

Initial meeting place of the "Primitive" Methodists.

Directly opposite the Mount Hermon is the Crown Inn. Within the context of this sacred trail, the significance of this public house derives from the fact that the Primitive Methodist Society, a breakaway group from the Weslyans, formed in Addingham in 1828 and started to hold meetings in a room behind it before moving to Lodge Hill in 1839. The outbuilding, now demolished, is also referred to as the Primitive Methodist Meeting House.

8 Library and Parish Council

The original library building from 1669.

A few yards from the Crown Inn is the library, now also housing the Addingham Parish Council. It was built in 1669 and during its time has served variously as a school, a jail (!), and as housing for paupers. An interpretation panel near the Old School and library by the red telephone kiosk depicts in drawing form various old and current landmarks of Addingham, and is worth reading..

Beside the library, take a walk up Sugar Hill and follow it around all the way up to meeting Chapel Street.


9 Weslyan Methodist Chapel

The first base for the Weslyan Methodists in addingham.

In 1748, a local man named Tom Lee formed the first Society of Methodists in Addingham. Early Methodists had met and worshipped in local barns and farmhouses until the building of the Chapel Court at this site in 1778. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley had also preached here. It was enlarged between 1808 and 1880 by which time Addingham had become a large circuit as congregations continued to grow. The building was sold and converted into flats in the 1970s.

10 Chapel Court Mausoleum

An early burial ground and family mausoleum.

Next to the old Weslyan Methodist Chapel is this Grade II listed building erected as a family mausoleum after the land around the chapel was given by George Oates Greenwood of Netherwood as a burial ground in 1825.

11 Addingham Methodist Church

An old school building making way for Methodist worship.

Also known as the Old Methodist School Building, it was opened in 1874 as a day school and the fee for attending full time was 3d per week. It closed in the 1970s to make room for worship as the nearby Weslyan Methodist Chapel was converted into flats at the time, as referred to earlier.

12 Burnside Mills

A reminder of the once burgeoning textile industry in Addingham.

At the bottom of Chapel Street and across the Main Street is what remains of Burnside Mills, now flats and offices. Fora long time until World War I, Addingham had a number of similar working mills engaged in a flourishing textile industry.

The trail now turns back to Main Street towards the starting point, taking in a few more landmarks.

13 Catholic Meeting House

An early abode for Catholic Mass.

Opposite The Swan public house (holder of the CAMRA prize and multiple winner of the prestigious Pub in Bloom competition) is the current private residence which was for many years a place for celebrating Catholic Mass.

Walking further back down Main Street is The Fleece Inn (a famous 17th century public house which in the past has operated as a court) on the left and the Memorial Hall opposite.

14 Memorial Hall

A Primitive Methodist Chapel from early 20th century.

This was built and opened initially as a Primitive Methodist Chapel in 1913 and remained a place of worship until around 1955 when, through local fundraising, it was purchased to make way for a Memorial Hall. Following several alterations it now operates as a function hall among other things.

15 War Memorial

In memory of lost lives in World War I.

Constructed at the same time as the Memorial Hall, this commemorates those who lost their lives in World War II. Behind it now is a bowling green and playground.

Walking back from here to the starting point at the Junction of Ilkley Road and Main Street culminates this part of the South Pennines Sacred Trails.

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