Wide Choice

Church Sevices MM Oct 25 1902
Maltonians have traditionally had a very wide choice of places to worship. Trade directories have listed these from mid-Victorian times. The Malton Messenger 25th October 1902 lists 10 places offering services.

The York Herald of 8 June 1839 reports that ‘it had heard that a new Catholic chapel is about to be erected in New Malton … … When this is effected there will be no less than nine different places of religious worship … … in the town, which will be thus well provided, seeing that there is only a population of about four thousand.’

The Primitive Methodist Chapel

This has moved around a bit! The chapel now in use had 'become far too small' when the Borough Bailiff, Jno. Hopkins, a Quaker, laid the foundation stone for a new chapel on 11th July 1866. The site was provided by Earl Fitzwilliam, in Wheelgate, next to the Cross-Keys [1] Services in the new Chapel started on Wednesday 22nd May 1867 [2]
The first Primitive Methodist Chapel at Malton was opened on 22 October 1822, there being 96 members. The interior cost £225. Earl Fitzwilliam built the shell and charged £10 a year rent. There is no lease, and the Earl can claim back at any time. It stands in Spital street, and is now used as a Parish Hall.
The present chapel was erected in 1866. The original cost was £1,834, and the original and subsequent cost being £2,250, there being a debt on the building when finished of £984. Under the Rev. P. Gibbon’s ministry the freehold was bought for £250 [5].
The Reverend Gibbon was also instrumental in remodelling the steps at the front of the chapel and installing new iron gates and unclimbable iron rails to take the place of the 'old clumsy work', and an entrance made direct into the chapel. The alterations, together with the erection of the new Post Office building were said to 'make a decided improvement to Wheelgate'. The gates were opened on Thursday 26th August 1909 [3]
The Sunday school was started on 12 October, 1825. The first school was held in a small day school in the Back Lane near the Cattle Market used by Mr. Coates, then in a day school used by Mr. G. Haley until 1834, when a new school was built behind the old chapel. In 1844 there were 30 teachers and 160 scholars, and in 1921 12 teachers and 83 scholars.
In 1872 Mr. W. Gibson was asked by the Quarterly Meeting to try and organise a singing class out of the Sunday school. For some years a string band supplemented the choral efforts. Later a harmonium was bought and afterwards a pipe organ. The chapel at Norton was built in 1864, and that at Old Malton in 1857, the latter costing £172, being leasehold [3]

[1] York Herald, 14th July 1866
[2] York Herald, 25th May 1867
[4] Malton Messenger, 28th August 1909
[4] Taken from a cutting, possibly Yorkshire Gazette 24 Nov 1928
[5] Malton Messenger, 16 October 1909

Chapel Locations - 1857 [1]

The Catholic Chapel, neat but plain brick building erected 1841
Baptist Chapel, plain brick building, adjoins the Catholic Chapel on the south side
Independent Chapel, in Saville Street, a good brick building capable of seating about 700 persons
Unitarian Chapel, is in Green Gate, and will seat about 500 hearers.
Wesleyan Chapel, in Saville Street, was erected in 1811, and is a large commodious building, capable of accommodating up to 1,00 persons. the pulpit is handsome, and there is a good organ on a tribune behind it.
Primitive Methodist Chapel, is a large but plain stone building, on the north side of the town.
Friends' Meeting House, in Green Gate, is very neat but characteristically plain.
[1] City and Topography of the City of York and North Riding of Yorkshire by T. Whellan & Co, 1857

St. Michael's

St Michaels 2
St. Michael's stands in the Market Place and has Norman origins but very few parts from this date remain. The tower was added in the 1400s and there have been a series of restorations since. Two of the three main bells date back to the late 17th century.

St. Leonard's

St. Leonard’s is of late 12th century origin but did not get its’ spire until the 19th Century. Like St. Michael’s it was a lesser church to St. Mary’s in Old Malton. Located in Church Hill, it passed to the Church of England on the dissolution of the Monasteries and was ‘returned’ to the Roman Catholic church in the early 1970s

Unitarian Chapel

The original chapel was built in 1715 (in Wheelgate, according to the Unitarian Historical Society), partially restored in 1824 and thoroughly restored in 1877. Early in 1878 there was a three day bazaar in aid of the restoration fund [1]. A report late in 1837 [2] states that ' … … delivered the first of a series of five lectures on the Unitarian doctrine of Christianity, in Wheelgate chapel, Malton …' The 1953/54 Malton Town Guide refers to 'a Unitarian Church in Greengate close to the Friends' Meeting House'.
[1] Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 12 January 1878
[2] York Herald, 4 November 1837

Independent Chapel

Independent Chapel, Malton – The foundation stone of the chapel was laid on 30th June 1814, by Mr. Joseph Rider, ‘on a site liberally granted by Earl Fitzwilliam for 999 years as a pepper corn rent, when asked for’ [1]
The one time Minister of the Malton Independent Chapel, the Rev. George Schofield emigrated to Newfoundland, Canada, in approximately 1849 according to an 1857 newspaper report [2]. Four columns in the publication ‘Newfoundland Express’ of April 29th 1857 are devoted to testimonials as to his life there. He was Minister of the Queens Road Independent Chapel, St. John’s.
[1] Yorkshire Gazette, 9 June 1888
[2] York Herald, 6 June 1857

Wesleyan Chapel

On Wednesday evening the Wesleyans of Malton celebrated their chapel anniversary '… … the public meeting was held in the chapel, Saville street … … ' Mr. W. Wilson mentioned that it was 76 years ago last month since their chapel at Malton was opened [1]
A History of Wesleyan Methodism in the Malton Circuit during the last thirty years: its past and present financial position, fluctuation of members, with various suggestions for placing the circuit on a more substantial basis. Author J. Collier, 1864.
[1] York Herald, 22 June 1888

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Quakers have worshipped in Malton since 1650. They acquired their first Meeting House in 1677, in Spital Street. This was replaced by the Meeting House in Greengate in 1823

Baptist Chapel

The origins of the Malton Baptist Church were in a plan submitted in 1821 to the Baptist Itinerant Society (of North and East Ridings) in 1821 for commencing preaching in Malton. Later in 1821 six people were baptised in the Derwent by the Rev. John Hithersay, of Hunmanby. In 1822 the church was formed, regular services were taking place and an effort to raise funds for a chapel were made. A site was secured in Wells Lane and a foundation stone laid in 1823 for a building to seat 250 to 350 persons. The Rev. C. Morrell was ordained the first pastor of Salem Baptist Church. Wells Lane Malton in 1823. In 1857, membership of the church was reported as 42, with attendance in the morning of 40 and for the evening service of 80 [1]

List of Pastors [1]:
Rev. C. Morrell 1823 to 1827
Rev. L. Shaw 1827 to 1831
Rev. E. Godson 1831 to 1832
Rev. J. Rouse 1833 to 1840
Rev. Boyce 1840 to 1843
Rev. W. Hardwick 1843 to 1850
Rev. J. Bane 1853 to 1855
Rev. B. Shakespeare 1857 to 1863
Rev. J. Clough 1863 to 1865
Rev. W.H. Allen 1866 to 1868
Rev. W. Turner 1869 to 1870
Rev. J. Chadwick 1870 to 1872
Rev. R.J. Beecliff 1874 to 1875
Rev. W. Smith 1875 to 1879
Rev. J. Rigby 1879 to 1893
Rev. J.O. Ogilvy 1894 to 1902
Rev. E. Smith 1903 to ?

In August 1860, 3,000 people gathered in the railway goods warehouse to hear the preachings of a Reverend C. H. Spurgeon. [2]

[1] A Brief History of the Malton Baptist Church, 1908
[2] Yorkshire Gazette, 28 October 1905


This opened on 19th April 1815 and the first pastor was appointed on 18th August 1815. Prior to that the Congregationalists had the church now used by the Unitarians. [1]

[1] Malton Gazette, 22 April 1905

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