A small aisled church occupying a site to the south side of Wilton, overlooking the Vale of Pickering. 1907-1922 by Charles Hodgson Fowler, incorporating C13, C14 and C17 fabric.
Reasons for Designation
* Architectural interest: as a good example of the work of prolific and celebrated Ecclesiastical architect, Charles Hodgson Fowler;
* Design interest: although small-scale, the church has a feeling of light, space and warmth provided by an historicist-inspired Arts and Crafts design, utilising high quality fixtures, fittings and subtle decorative elements;
* Historic interest: the church and its boundary wall incorporate a good proportion of pre-1700 fabric, including a Norman tub font, C13 piers, C13 and C14 bells and C17 pew ends;
* Intactness: St George’s has remained unaltered since 1922, with all fixtures, fittings and decorative schemes in-situ.
* Group value: the surviving medieval fabric, as well as the church’s position, provide physical evidence as to its contemporary relationship with the adjacent scheduled moated site;
This church was designed by the prolific ecclesiastical architect Charles Hodgson Fowler (1840-1910) and constructed during the period 1907-1922. Fowler incorporated into his design medieval and Jacobean features from the church which previously stood on the site, which had been largely destroyed by fire. This was closely related to the adjacent Wilton Hall moated site to the east (a scheduled ancient monument), one of a number of defended manor houses along the northern edge of the Vale of Pickering. Money for the construction of the church eventually ran dry so the tower was never completed, although the footings are in place.
Materials: It is of coursed rock-faced stone construction with sandstone and limestone dressings. The roofs are of Westmorland slate laid in random and diminishing courses with lead parapets and guttering and a stone boiler flue to the west.
Exterior: It has a short chancel, sanctuary and an unfinished west end. The composition of both north and south aisles is the same, with two central high gabled bays with large decorated tracery windows, flanked by shorter, standard bays with trefoil-headed tripartite windows. The chancel has single trefoil-headed windows to the north and south and a large Gothic window with perpendicular influenced tracery to its east end. The gable cross to the chancel arch survives, however that to the chancel gable has been lost. The east gable wall of the nave, to the north of the chancel, has a pointed arch entrance with an oak plank door. The west gable has a brick infill wall between the footings of the intended tower, with an oak, half-timbered porch built against it; both are roofed in Welsh slate. A projecting, timbered bell turret sits above these; this contains a bell of c1350.
Interior: The church has a choir to the east end of the nave, a vestry to the east end of the north aisle and an organ to the east end of the south aisle. A Norman tub font sits within the south aisle and a c1250 bell with oak headstock is adjacent to this on the west end. The roof of the nave is oak with crown trusses, purlins, exposed rafters and plain plaster infill panels. The aisles and chancel are of similar construction, without the crown posts. The walls are rendered in honey-coloured lime mix with hair re-enforcement and the floor is of herringbone woodblock throughout. The oil lamps and electric light fittings are original to the rebuild.
The south aisle incorporates C13 piers and arches in a pattern of round, octagonal, round, with octagonal half piers to either end; this design is reflected in the north aisle with modern stonework. The half piers to the chancel arch are rounded. The wall panelling to both aisles is made up of C17 pew ends set as a dado. These have acorn finials with a decorative carved band of intertwining round-headed arches with foliage motifs. The oak choir stalls match the Jacobean pew ends, incorporating acorn finials and an identical decorative band. Other wooden fixtures and fittings such as the pulpit, lectern and vestry screen incorporate wood panelling with varying foliage detailing. The lectern also incorporates acorn finials, while the vestry screen has the lettering, `In Memoriam John V Lord Hotham and Frederick William VIth Lord Hotham,' and beneath a band of grapes and `R.I.P.' The organ originally came from Pickering Church, although it is original to the rebuild here. It sits within an oak panelled case with a trefoil-decorated cornice band and has elaborately stencilled pipes.
All but one window has plain leaded glazing dating to the rebuild. There is a stained glass memorial window to the north side of the chancel, in memory of Sidney Armstrong who died in the Great War. The foundation stone in the cill of the westernmost window of the south aisle is inscribed, `This Church was rebuilt by John Lord Hotham and Frederick William Lord Hotham and completed in the year of our Lord 1922.'
Subsidiary features: The churchyard is bounded by a dry stone wall with stone capping set in mortar. Carved stones from the earlier church are stacked to the south east side of the plot, forming part of the wall. The section to the street was rebuilt during the late-C20 and is not of special interest.