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This private chapel was built by Mrs Maynard Proud of East Layton in 1895 using local builders though the design was, I have been told, based on a one-third replica of Worcester Cathedral.
It is, therefore, a traditional monastic design church with a central tower at the crossing of the nave and transepts. Throughout it is embellished in typical Victorian Gothic fashion.
The building, being a private chapel, belongs to the E.O. Proud Trust, not the Church of England.
Along with the church, Mrs Proud built a fine parsonage which she intended to be used by a retired clergyman who would officiate at her chapel. This building has, like most such parsonages, now been sold. In addition, Mrs Proud also built a cottage to be occupied by the verger. It is probably significant that this development took place just 5 years after the Duchess of Northumberland had built the very plain chapel of St Paul at Aldbrough with no parsonage or verger's cottage to accompany it.
Christ Church, East Layton is used as a chapel of ease for the village though it comes within the parish of Forcett.
This little chapel is also note-worthy in that it has 4 bells for full-circle ringing though there is no ringing band within the parish at present. The Bells were fairly recently restored to full ringing condition and it is hoped that a band can be assembled and trained, if necessary, to ring them.
If there is any interest in this within the benefice, do e-mail us and let us know.
Melsonby also has a ring of four bells which are currently unrung except on rare occasions by visiting band.
This church is locked for most of the time but it can be opened with advance notice to the chapel warden. Contact us if you have difficulty locating the chapel warden. It is best to try to give at least 2 weeks notice.
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