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Founder of WR Dunn and head of conservation, Richard Dunn shares one of his latest projects, as part of on-going commitment to conserving historic buildings across the UK.



St. Mary’s consists of a superb tower and spire rising to an exceptional 208ʹ (63 m.) and visible for miles around. The structure includes a large nave without aisles, but with a tall and impressive south porch and large adjoining transepts, and an ornate chancel with a transversely-gabled S. chapel, a cross-gabled organ chamber to the north, and a short, transversely-gabled vestry immediately east of that, with a doorway set askew to the northeast.



This is an astonishing building by John Loughborough Pearson (1817-97), which we believe could stake a fair claim to be the cathedral of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Erected in 1858-61, ostensibly to replace the dilapidated churches in South Dalton and neighbouring village of Holme-on-the-Wolds.

Their combined population of well under a thousand, the building’s size and pretensions were purely a measure of the aspirations of the patron, the third Baron Hotham, who spent £25,000 on the build, in order to outdo his land agent and tenant, James Hall. For whom Pearson had just designed the already substantial and ornate, St. Leonard’s, Scorborough nearby.

The church is constructed of Steetley stone externally, and white Hildenley stone within; the roofs are clad in Cumberland slates.


WR Dunn Work

The conservation team at WR Dunn took part in a quinquennial Inspection in March 2017 – in accordance with The Inspection of Churches Measure, 1995.

We act for The Parochial Church Council, as an ‘Inspecting Architect’, as I am on the Diocese of York Approved List for this type of work, on the back of my RICS Accreditation in Building Conservation.

The Church is Grade 1 listed, with a 208ft spire, which I can have climbed up o the upper windows of spire, via insider ladders. A spectacular experience, if a little hair raising!

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