Carlton Nr Helmsley

Name: St Aidan's

Date of Temple Moore Work: 1886

Work done: Designed and built by Temple Moore

Church Description

With this, his first solo commission, Temple Moore set out his stall. Its Early English detailing looks back to the 13th century, but St Aidan's also exhibits some surprisingly modern features.

Although it is a modest building, the level of thought and care evident in its design and construction demonstrates the young architect's enthusiasm for his work. A very simple nave and chancel as one are accompanied by an unbuttressed west tower with a pyramid roof. The three lancet windows in the east wall are early examples of the divided east windows that were to be a feature of Moore's later work.

Opening times: St Aidan's was restored in 2012 and is now a holiday let. It is usually open to the public for Heritage Open Day.

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St Aidan's is well suited to its remote, windswept location. The walls are hugely thick and the windows small. As Pevsner remarked, “Up here, on the way to the moor, it affords a sense of physical and spiritual shelter.” But Moore also had more pragmatic ends in mind. The massive walls incorporate a ventilation system and a ceramic damp-proof course. For all his gothicism, Moore was a modern architect who paid close attention to the cost and performance of his buildings.

He was also concerned with the comfort of their users. St Aidan's has a chimney on the north side and a hearth for a stove inside so that the congregation could keep warm — a very practical innovation in a village where to this day the saying goes, “Wear another coat in Carlton”!

The tiles on the roof were factory-made to help keep the cost of the building down. The bill came to £530, including furnishings.

St Aidan's features one of Moore's rare painted ceilings. He'd recently completed the church of St Mary Magdalene a couple of miles away at East Moors for his teacher and mentor George Gilbert Scott. It too has a painted ceiling, and it is not hard to imagine that Moore was influenced by his master's work.

In 2012 the dark zinc-clad extension adjoining the church was added to allow the building to be rescued and run as a holiday let.

In the 18th and early 19th century, this area was the scene of an amazing feat of engineering by Joseph Foord (1714–1788), a farmer, surveyor and self-taught water engineer. Foord was born in Fadmoor, one of a number of dry villages in the limestone Tabular Hills in the south of the North York Moors. Water had to be carried up steep slopes from a distance away. Working for Lord Feversham, Foord built a system of water-races that brought water down to Fadmoor from the high moors. He went on to build some 70 miles of water-races that were in use for the better part of a century. Carlton's water-race was the longest surviving of all and was still running as late as 1960. “Water from the Moors” by Isabel Anne McLean tells this story. It is published by the North York Moors National Park Authority.

Things to do nearby

Bransdale

Farndale has its daffodils, Rosedale its caravan sites and honeypot villages, but neighbouring Bransdale is just lovely: the very essence of the North York Moors. There's precisely nothing there, and that's the point. Drystone walls, green fields, woods, stone cottages, becks, endless hills and endless, endless skies go now.

Helmsley Castle

Castlegate Helmsley YO62 5AB

01439 770442

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/helmsley-castle

A thousand years of Yorkshire weather haven't quite finished off this splendid old ruin. It was built after the Norman Conquest by the Bond-villainesque-sounding Walter L'Espec. In Tudor times it was converted into a mansion, but it could still hold its own as a military fortress, as it showed during the English Civil War when it was besieged by Parliamentarian troops. The Royalist forces inside held out for three months before surrendering. Parliament ordered that the castle's defences should be partially demolished, and they have remained in a state of romantic dilapidation ever since. Complete wheelchair (and pushchair) access at ground level. English Heritage members get in free.

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Nr Helmsley YO62 5LB

01439 798228

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/rievaulx-abbey

Rievaulx Abbey was once among the finest in Europe, and its atmospheric ruins still convey a sense of what it was like in its prime. Worth visiting for the location alone: beautiful riverside fields in the emerald depths of Ryedale. On the hillside above the abbey are the National Trust-owned Rievaulx Terrace and Temples, a contrasting bit of 18th-century classical landscaping with fine views.

Duncombe Park

Helmsley YO62 5EB

01439 770213

http://www.duncombepark.com/

It's a shame the house isn't open to the public anymore, but the grounds are lovely. Half of Duncombe Park's 450 acres (182 hectares) of parkland are managed as a National Nature Reserve. It contains some of Britain's oldest and tallest broadleaved trees, many of which are nearly as old as the house itself.

Helmsley Walled Garden

Cleveland Way Helmsley YO62 5AH

01439 771427

http://www.helmsleywalledgarden.org.uk/

One of Helmsley's hidden gems, tucked out of sight under the castle ramparts. The Walled Garden was created to supply fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers to the Duncombe Park estate. It fell into disuse in the 1970's, but in 1994 a determined band of local enthusiasts set out to restore it to its former glory. Today it is once again a working kitchen garden, where you can choose from a huge range of plants, vegetables, and seasonal fruits, or just savour the wonderfully tranquil atmosphere. The Vinehouse cafe serves delicious vegetarian food using produce grown in the garden.

Where to eat and drink

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Nr Helmsley YO62 5LB

01439 798228

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/rievaulx-abbey

Rievaulx Abbey was once among the finest in Europe, and its atmospheric ruins still convey a sense of what it was like in its prime. Worth visiting for the location alone: beautiful riverside fields in the emerald depths of Ryedale. On the hillside above the abbey are the National Trust-owned Rievaulx Terrace and Temples, a contrasting bit of 18th-century classical landscaping with fine views.

Star Inn

Harome YO62 5JE

01439 770397

http://www.thestaratharome.co.uk/

Award-winning, Egon Rony-endorsed gastropub. Lovely thatch-roofed building. Superb "modern Yorkshire" cuisine. You're unlikely to get a table in the restaurant if you turn up on spec, so advance booking is advisable, although the same menu is available in the bar on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Black Swan

Helmsley YO62 5BJ

01439 770466

http://www.blackswan-helmsley.co.uk/

Upmarket inn with posh nosh.

The Feversham Arms

Helmsley YO62 5AG

01439 770 766

http://www.fevershamarmshotel.com/

Highly regarded luxury hotel with its own spa. The prices are not for the fainthearted, but the AA Hotel of the Year Award speaks up for the quality of the place.

The Feathers

Helmsley YO62 5BH

01439 770275

http://www.feathershotelhelmsley.co.uk/

A local's local, with unpretentious pub grub.

Teashops, many and various!

Helmsley

Helmsley is laden with genteel teashops, to the occasional chagrin of the locals and the delight of visitors. Too many to name - wander around and take your pick. Pinkies up!

Gepetto's

Helmsley YO62 5BG

01439 770479

http://www.gepettos-helmsley.co.uk/

Welcoming little Italian restaurant.

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