| The Parish of Osbaldwick with Murton | |
St. James's Church, Murton
The village of Murton is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and although the origins of the Church are unknown, Nikolas Pevsner (in his The Buildings of England. Yorkshire: The North Riding, 1966) suggests that some of the masonry and the south doorway might suggest a date of circa 1200.
St James’s is a small church, squeezing in just 54 people. As little appears to have been altered during its long life, only a few facts exist to document its history.
The Chantry Survey of 1547 records:
"There is a chapel of ease at Murton within the prebend of Osbaldwick whereof John Straker is incumbent by distance from the parish church one myle having neither goods nor plate. There is certaine copyhold land belongs to the same to the yearly value of 8s."
Nothing further is recorded until 1834 when a violent storm damaged the roof of the Church, rendering it unfit for use. There was a dispute over who was responsible for repair, which was not resolved, and as a result the church remained a ruin for the rest of the nineteenth century. For some of this time it served as a pig sty.
From 1912-1914, James Creaser, Edwin Draper, the Vicar and others raised money through concert parties for its restoration and St James was rededicated on 9 November 1914.
The font in the west wall was taken out of Osbaldwick Church in about 1867 and later found in the churchyard. It was installed in Murton Church in about 1950. Its style suggests it may date from the 12th century.
St James’s Church today
Apart from these changes and the introduction of electricity, St James’s Church appears to have changed little if at all over the centuries. As such it represents a valued and reassuring constant in our changing times. The little church makes a unique contribution to our communities through its simple, peaceful and intimate character, and inspires deep affection amongst locals and visitors alike.
A series of Murton Centenary events are taking place between 2012 and 2014.
The church is open every day throughout the year.
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Osbaldwick and Murton Churches | Designed by: Nick Wainwright