English Churches - North Yorkshire

St Nicholas Church, West Tanfield


An uninspiring building apart from the Marmion tombs


Set off the main road, this is a rather uninspiring building with battlemented west tower, nave and north aisle, next to the C15th Marmion Tower.

St Nicholas, West Tanfield

The church is perpendicular in style. The nave and chancel were built in the C14th with the north aisle and tower added in the C15th. It was heavily restored by the Victorians which may explain the rather soulless interior.

St Nicholas, West Tanfield

The church has a solid hammer beam roof with carved corbels with foliage in the nave. An arcade of octagonal pillars and pointed arches separates the nave and north aisle. The chancel is narrow with Victorian choir stalls, altar rail and reredos. This has a carving of the Nativity in the centre with angels on either side. The end pillars have a carving of St George killing the dragon.

St Nicholas, West Tanfield

There is a good selection of wall tombs with carved effigies on the wall of the north aisle.

St Nicholas, West Tanfield

St Nicholas, West Tanfield

The tomb under the ogee arch and crocketed pinnacle may be Sir John Marmion who died about 1300. The female figure by him may be his wife Maud.

St Nicholas, West Tanfield

In the centre of the north aisle is the tomb of Sir John Marmion who died in 1387, fighting in Spain with John of Gaunt. He is with his wife Elizabeth who died in 1400. He is wearing armour and his feet rest on a lion. Her feet rest on a hound. The tomb is surrounded by a wrought iron ‘canopy’ with candles which would have been lit on certain occasions. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in England.

St Nicholas, West Tanfield

There isn’t a lot to see in the church apart from the Marmion tombs. It is worth a look if passing, but not worth making a special trip to visit. The church is unlocked and there is on road parking in the village. The nearest post code is HG4 5JQ and the grid reference is SE 268787.

<<Previous page
Back to top
Next page>>


Eleanor's Pages Index


MAIN SITE MAP