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St Mary’s Church
Thixendale
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Before 1869 the parish church of Thixendale was at Wharram Percy. Churchgoers had to walk over three miles across the wolds for their services. In medieval times Thixendale had a chapel of ease dedicated to St. Stephen but in 1541 the Wharram vicar complained that his congregation was being reduced by the use of such chapels, and the archbishop then limited their use to a weekly service for the sick and infirm. Five years later all the township chapels were closed leaving Wharram Percy the only place of worship for Thixendale, Raisthorpe, Burdale and Towthorpe. There is a list of the vicars of Wharram Percy on the back wall of the church.
History 2.
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In 1854 the Anglican schoolroom in Thixendale was licensed for public worship, but there were no facilities for baptisms, marriages and funerals. Lady Sykes presented a communion plate (above)for use in Thixendale at this time.

The Sykes of Sledmere owned most of Thixendale from 1791 until 1941 when the farms and houses in the village were sold. The historical review of the Sykes, from the front of a 1941 sale brochure, gives some perspective on the influence which they had on wolds farming and the significant contribution which they made to the development of the village of Thixendale.

From the 1st Earl to the 4th Earl restorations of various Wolds churches were meticulously undertaken.
Sir Tatton Sykes, (1826 - 1913) 5th Bt (above),  continued the restoration work of the 4th Earl financing work on 17 rural churches between 1866 and 1913. They constitute the route of the ‘Sykes Churches Trail’ of which Thixendale, built by the 5th Earl between 1868-70, is one. The Sykes family, in employing eminent Victorian architects such as Pearson, Street, and Temple Moore created a group of magnificent Wold’s village churches which are awaiting discovery.