A Church Tour

A Timeline

A visit to any significant historic place is constrained by its geography.  Today, we’ll transport ourselves, as if by magic, to walk through the history of St Andrew’s with scant regard to our aching feet as we tramp up and down the aisles.


You have just come in through the door and you are standing at the western end of the church, looking down the remarkable length of the church.  Measuring around 45 metres (145 ft) from east to west, it’d one of the longest parish churches in this part of the world, earning St Andrew’s the title,
“The Lang Kirk o’ Craven”

Geographical Beginnings

Geography usually plays a major part in the “why here?” decisions.  The river didn’t have nicely defined banks as it does now.  All of the green area on the map will have been wet boggy boot-sucking goo.  If you had to cross the river somewhere – where would you choose to keep your feet as dry as possible?

Just north of the narrow crossing-place is a fairly flat piece of raised ground.  A super spot for your new church!
(Interestingly, the site later chosen by the monks for their corn mill is just to the east of the bridge site, where a little tongue of slightly higher land reaches out to the river bank.)

Early Days

In answer to your question … We don’t know!  Not a lot of people wrote things down in those days.  We just have to make educated guesses from what evidence we can glean.

We have the name: Kild Wick.  “Kild could well be “child” and a “wick” may be an outlying farm but is (attractively) also a Scandinavial trading post.  When the North Men went “wicking”, they were not making war with spears and horned helmets but they were trading.  And there’s our very first evidence. Walk down the church, turn right – then left again and find our saxon stones on your right. Click here to read about the stones.


The records go silent for 100 years.  The country is in a degree of turmoil as different small kingdoms fight, not just against any common enemies but also amongst themselves.  And then more “North Men” arrived – but these were from closer at hand – just across the Channel.  Yes- it was William and his Nor-man army.
And we all know the end-of-season score in 1066.

In the early years of the Norman occupation,  the small number of incoming lords took full advantage of the very effective Saxon administration.  Kildwick was looked after by a Saxon called Arnketil, who was “lord” of a good many manors as well as Kildwick.  Thus he appears in that Saxon creation, ordered by the Normans, the Domesday Book.

Here’s a list of the detail pages (in chronological order):

There will be plenty more!