A North Yorkshire

St Oswald’s Farnham

Parish Meeting Agenda

St Oswald's Church Farnham

Here is an old description of the church: "The chancel is remarkable for its size and dignity; it was built on an unusual scale for so small a church. Its date appears to be about 1180. It is thought that an earlier Norman nave existed at this time but, if so, all trace has been lost. Three bays of the present north aisle were erected about the year 1200 and the south aisle of three bays was added some hundred years later. The south aisle has a peculiar treatment of the junction of arch and pier. About 1330 the south aisle was extended westward by the present, late Decorated arch but the north aisle does not appear to have been lengthened until about 1480, this arch on the north side being Perpendicular in character. The present low tower (about 1500) was built inside the west end of the nave, its piers being placed inside the nave but not touching its walls." (C. Hodgson Fowler, Durham)
To celebrate the millennium the church embarked upon an extensive programme of improvements, including kitchen and toilet facilities, replacement of the floor in York stone and new inner doors. In the same year the Village presented the church with a clock, which can now be seen on the south aspect of the tower. The registers dating from 1569 are complete. The three bells are dated 1611, 1631 and 1774. All three are in regular use.

Today Farnham is (with five other churches) part of the parish of Walkingham Hill.

This ancient and beautiful building, dedicated to St Oswald, was, in 1343, donated to the monastery of Beauvale in Nottinghamshire. Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540, the rectorial rights passed back into lay hands.
A branch of the ancient family of 'Knaresborough' migrated to the parish (Ferrensby - just along the road) probably in the reign of Edward VI and remained there until the end of the seventeenth century. In Elizabeth I's reign the following families also lived here: Bainbridge, Danby, Clifford, Jennings, Percy, Pullen, Vavasour. The Roundell family lived here (they have a monument in St. John's Knaresborough) as also did the Bickerdykes. The mother and sisters of Guy Fawkes lived with him in Scotton and the sisters Elizabeth and Ann were both married in this church (1594 and 1599).