St Mary the Virgin

Medieval church in the picturesque village of Long Preston on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales in the Ribble Valley with a fine collection of stained glass windows by Jean-Baptise Capronnier.

About this church

The location of our parish church may have been more central to the village when the main tracks between Skipton and Settle, Lancaster and York, originally crossing the higher moors, ran alongside the church. The very name of the village derives from 'Priests' town'.

The present building dates from the late 14th or early 15th century and an earlier church is mentioned on this site in the Domesday book. People have worshipped God here for more than 900 years. We can trace the patronage of the church from Norman times. After the Norman Conquest 'Roger of Poitou' was given charge of the area and he endowed the manor of Long Preston to the Amundeville family. During the reign of King Stephen, Walter Amundeville gave the church to the Priory of Embsay. It later passed to Bolton Abbey.

The canons of Embsay and Bolton decreed that the church be served by 'a fit vicar', who would be paid in tithes of wool, livestock and hay. In 1536 the manor of Long Preston, passed by fine to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. The rectory, and advowson (the right to appoint the vicar) was given to Christ Church, Oxford at the dissolution, by Henry VIII. Christ Church remain patrons to this day.

We offer you a blessing on entering this church and you will find a warm welcome here at our main service on Sundays at 11am.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard

Visitors information

  • Train station within 250m
  • Level access throughout
  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets in church
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

Other nearby churches


St Michael the Archangel

It is thought that the church originated no later than the 9th century, and possibly as early as the 7th century, although there is no mention of the church in the Domesday Book.

Salem Congregational Chapel

A late Georgian independent chapel, surrounding by fields and farms on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border which was founded in 1816 by farm workers at the nearby Martin Top Farm.

St Peter

One of the Rylstone's most iconic buildings, the church was constructed between 1852 and 1853 and has a gritstone exterior in a style known as 'churchwarden gothic'.

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