From the Darlington & Stockton Times of April 20, 1872

IN Melsonby, the D&S Times of 150 years ago told how the church of St James the Great was reopened having “undergone thorough repairs and restoration”.

“The appearance both of the interior and exterior has been almost entirely altered, to the great improvement of the edifice, the principal objects being to restore it to the form in which it was originally built, and to give the congregation the benefits of modern improvements,” said the D&S. The church dates back to the 12th Century.

“The old square barn-like windows have disappeared, and have been replaced by beautifully stained glass, lancet-shaped windows, and the old-fashioned, high, straight-backed pews with doors are superseded by convenient pews, with gently-sloping backs, and without doors…

“And the old cumbrous-looking pulpit has also fallen before the march of progress.”