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St Andrew's Church

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The oldest part of the Church is Norman, though there may well have been a previous Saxon Church here. St. Paulinus (AD 644) was baptising many converts in the River Swale at nearby Catterick.The parish of Swaledale was one of the largest parishes in the country. It is the mother church for the parish of Swaledale with Arkengarthdale which extends along the south side of the river almost to Gunnerside and includes Arkengarthdale.

It has excellent acoustic properties and so hosts many concerts, especially those of the famous Swaledale Festival which annually attracts many internationally renowned musicians.

There has been a church at this crossing point of the River Swale for over 900 years.

It was the first crossing point upstream of Richmond 10 miles (16km) away. Most of the lead mines were on the north side of the valley and the lead had to be transported over the river, over the fells to the River Ure in Wensleydale for shipment. The River Swale is not navigable.

The Church is named after St. Andrew, the missionary saint. It is commonly known as the ‘Cathedral of the Dale’.