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This new and handsome church is situated at Bilton, about three quarters of a mile from Christ Church, on the right hand of the Skipton road. A new parish was formed there by an order of her Majesty in Council, dated August 27th, 1858, which extends from the boundaries of Harrogate parish, near Bilton Hall, to the top of Walker's road, and thence by the Skipton road to Oak Beck, following the stream to its junction with the Nidd, and following the Nidd to Sprig' Wood, in Bilton Park.

The handsome and pleasantly-situated church of St. John was raised and endowed at the sole cost of William Sheepshanks, Esq., of Harrogate, who is patron of the living. The nominal value of the living, which is a perpetual curacy, is 154 per annum. Ample provision has been made by the above liberal-minded gentleman of funds available for the use of the minister, and fox the future maintenance of the church.

The church was erected from the designs of George Gilbert Scott, Esq., A R.A., of London, and coat, as nearly as we can ascertain, the sum of 10,003. The general stale is Early English. It possesses a chancel, thirty-four feet long, with a grained timber roof; a nave with clerestory and side aisles, separated from the nee by clustered columns, and the capitals are beautifully carved in magnesian limestone, with which also the walls are lined, there being no plaster used in any part the building. The carvings are especially worthy of notice.

The magnificent organ is placed on the ground floor, at the end of the North aisle. The pipes are diapered by Lewis, of Cannon Row, Westminster, in a style corresponding with the architecture of the church. The instrument was built by Hill and Son, of London, and possesses great sweetness and power. In 1860 it was found necessary to add a choir organ, for accompanying the softer parts of the service. It contains five stops, with couplers, tremulant, &c. The organ has now three rows of keys, twenty-eight stops, two octaves, and two notes of pedals, with three composition pedals. The additions (as well as the original) have certainly done the builders great credit, being now, perhaps, as complete and fine a toned instrument as any they have turned out, and one which cannot easily be surpassed.

The following is a list of the various stops, &c., now available :-

1 Open Diapason 8 feet
2 Stopped Diapason Bass 8 feet
3 Stopped Diapason Treble   -
4 Gamba 8 feet
5 Octave 4 feet
6 Wald Flute 4 feet
7 Octave Quint 3 feet
8 Super Octave 2 feet
9 Sesquialtra 3 ranks
10 Trumpet 8 feet

11 Double Diapason 16 feet
12 Open Diapason 8 feet
13 Stopped Diapason 8 feet
14 Octave 4 feet
15 Cornapean 8 feet
16 Hautboy 8 feet

17 Stopped Diapason 8 feet
18 Duleiana 8 feet
19 Suabe Flute 4 feet
20 Gernshorne 4 feet
21 Clarionet 8 feet

22 Swell to Great
23 Choir to Swell
24 Pedal to Great
25 Pedal movement
26 Tremulant to Clarionet

27 Open Diapason 16 feet
28 Bourdon 16 feet

Great attention is paid to the musical parts of the services in this church, which possesses an able organist and a good choir.

The services at this church, in the summer months, are at half-past ten o'clock in the morning, and half-past six o'clock in the evening ; and in the winter months at half-past ten, and a quarter-past six in the evening. The sittings, with the exception of twenty, are all free. The windows in the chancel are of stained glass ; those of the end being descriptive of the chief events in the life of Christ, and were executed by Mr. J. G. Grace, of Wigmore Street, London. Those on the South side represent St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist (from which the church derives its name), and are the work of Mr. Clutterbuck, of Stratford, Essex. The windows in the North side are by T. Ward, of Firth street, Soho, and delineate the offices and miracles of Christ. At present there is no stained glass in the nave, and only one small quatrefoil window in the tower representing the Agnus Dei, but the two lancets underneath are intended to be filled shortly, and the addition of a spire will then complete this beautiful structure. It was opened for Divine service under license from the Bishop of Ripon, March 30th, 1856, and was consecrated in November, 1857.The church is within an easy walking distance of every part of Harrogate, and large numbers of visitors attend it during the season. The district in which it is situated is said to be the earliest settled part of the Forest of Knaresborough.


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