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St. Michael The Archangel, 'The Cathedral of the Dales'


The Parish Church of St. Michael The Archangel at Kirby Malham, an austerely beautiful C15th place of worship, lying in the heart of The Yorkshire Dales, about five miles south-east of Settle, and a mile south of Malham. The church bells were heard by 'Tom' in Charles Kingsley's 'The Water Babies.' Inside the church you can see a copy of Cromwell's signature.

In the churchyard is the grave of William Shackleton the artist, and also a very odd gravestone; the unique 'Watery Grave.' The story goes that Colonel John Frederick Harrison, a sea captain, and his wife Helen spent much of their time alone due to John's frequent service overseas. Helen decided that because 'water had separated them so often in life, then so it shall in death.' She arranged that the small stream that runs through the grave plot should separate their final resting places.

Helen died in 1890 and was buried on the south side of the stream. John died ten years later and he was to be buried on the opposite side of the stream!

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 The Watery Grave.

Alas, it wasn't to be, the gravedigger hit hard rock and John was laid to rest above Helen. The gravestone can be seen, straddling the stream.

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Click picture for a close-up