Saint Matthew's Church, Rastrick

St Matthew's Church, Rastrick is one of the oldest places of worship in the district.

A chaplain at St Matthew's Chapel is mentioned in 1363 and again in 1411.

A Mediæval cross base stands by the entrance to the churchyard.

The church was closed during the Reformation in 1547. The building fell into disuse and appears on a list of

Decayed Chapels for want of maintenance in the reign of Queen Elizabeth [the First]

In 1578, it was taken over by Robert Ramsden for use as a barn, and in 1580, he bought the property for use as a school

to the great hurt of the inhabitants

Around 1597, the Chapel was acquired by the parish. It was demolished around 1602 and a new chapel constructed. The cost of building the new chapel was £15 12/11d and the pulpit cost 5/4d.

There was no bell, but one was lent by Henry Ramsden. When Ramsden asked for this to be returned, a new bell was bought for £4 12/-

On 1st January 1603, Gilbert Thomson took the first service at the new chapel.

A school was held there from around 1621 – this subsequently became Rastrick Grammar School.

The present church was built 1796-1798 – and may have been a John Carr design although there is no record of the architect.

The vicarage was built in 1807.

There are 2 paintings of the Royal Arms in the church, decorating the north and south galleries: one from the reign of William III, and the other from the reign of George III.

Further work and modernisation was done in 1875-1879 to designs of W. S. Barber.

An organ by Conacher was installed around 1879. Details can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register.

It was renovated in 1935. The roof was replaced in 1968.

After Crowtrees Methodist Chapel closed in 1970, for a time, the two Anglican and Methodist congregations held separate services. In January 1991, the Church became a Local Ecumenical Partnership of Anglicans and Methodists, with the title

The Anglican and Methodist Church of St Matthew, Rastrick

There is a small war memorial in the churchyard.

There is a memorial to James Arthur Nuttall in the entrance to the church.

The 20-ft high weather-vane – made by G. S. Whiteley & Company – was added in 1956. The present car park was created on the site of the Upper George pub.

Since 2006, the Vicar of Rastrick has had responsibility for both this Church and St John the Divine, Rastrick

A list of some of the Vicars of Saint Matthew's, Rastrick is given in a separate Foldout

Churchwardens here have included


The records for the Church are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service office in Wakefield (Collection WDP52): Baptisms [1719-1970], Banns [1837-1970], Marriages [1839-1985] and Burials [1798-1880].

See Rastrick Vicarage, St Matthew's Church, Rastrick: Memorials, St Matthew's Church School, Rastrick, St Matthew's Church, Rastrick: Graveyard and Upper Wat Ing, Norland

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 16:49 / 2nd November 2023 / 6754

Page Ref: KK_28

search tips advanced search
site search by freefind