Sunday, 10:00am St Mary's Church, Boston Spa

City Church


Walton Church History

There is no documentary evidence of Walton prior to The Doomsday Survey (1086). After the Norman Conquest much land in this neighbourhood was granted to Osberne de Arches. The Chapel of Walton Probably built on the manor by the Lord, was given to Nun Monkton Priory (9 miles north-east of Walton) about the middle of the 12th Century; Osberne de Arches’ granddaughter, Mathilda, was prioress of Nun Monkton at that time, Walton Manor estate was bought by William Fairfax early in the 13th Century, the family lived in the old Manor House, a hundred yards south-east if the church.

The Norman Church

The Norman Church was built about 1150 and the only visible remains is the East wall of the tower pierced by a typical 12th Century doorway.

14th Century Re-build

It is believed that the church was rebuilt between 1325 and 1350 on the old Norman foundations. There is no visible evidence that the old stone was re-used. The lower part of the tower was encased in new stone from the Quarry at Tadcaster.

Later Work

The upper storey of the tower is later than the 14th Century and the South Porch is also relatively new work.

Restoration of 1891

The present roof of the church is at least the third. To 1891, the church had a low shingled roof and low lath and plaster ceilings. The restoration of 1891 raised the wall over the chancel arch and east window, and new roofs were built to their original height. A new vestry and organ chamber were built on the north side of the chancel and the church was refloored throughout. The restoration cost £1,100 was carried out by Mr R Breslford of East Keswick. 

Interior Fittings


The three bells remaining in the tower almost certainly date before 1553. In April 1986, the bells treble, 2nd and tenor were sent to Taylors Bell Foundry, Loughborough. The tenor bell via Soundweld of Cambridge for a crack to be welded. All were returned in February 1987 rehung and a peal rung. The first time as a set for 250 years.


The clock in the tower was installed as a memorial to three Walton men who died in the 1914-1918 War.

Newton Stewart Williams  – 1917

Alfred Lister  – 197

Norman Lister – 1918


The right to baptise was granted in 1553, but the font, though ancient, appears to be later than this date.

The Pulpit

The pulpit is made of oak, probably 17th Century, but the new Gothic panels date from the Restoration of 1891.

Parish registers exist from 1619 onwards


Built in 1877 by Foster and Andrews of Hull. A one manual and pedal organ of 7 speaking stops – well constructed and sited – is an outstanding example of a small church organ.

Fairfax Tomb

Many members of the Fairfax family were buried in the church, the principal memorial being a recumbent effigy of a knight in the armour of the 14th Century. 

Scratch dial or Mass Clock

Is incised in the middle buttress in the South Side of the nave. This is probably 14th Century.

Consecration Cross

Is carved from the stonework on the North face of the tower.

Geometrical Shapes

Are incised on the 13th Century stone jamb of the main doorway.

Vicars of Walton

The names of earlier Clergy are not recorded