A bit of history...
Myddelton has been a Catholic stronghold in the North of England since the 16th Century when the Middletons of Myddelton Lodge sustained the Catholic faith in and around Ilkley. Since 1922 Myddelton has been the site of a retreat centre, originally based in Myddelton Lodge and run by the Cross and Passion Fathers.
In the mid 80s the Lodge was sold to the Diocese of Leeds and continued to run as a retreat centre until the year of the Great Jubilee 2000 whenthe decision was taken to redevelop the retreat facilities on the Myddelton site.
Myddelton Lodge itself was sold and the retreat house built by the Passionist Fathers in 1959 was demolished. In the following eighteen months a new residence and chapel were built on the site and the latter dedicated to St Mary and St Margaret Clitherow, was opened and consecrated by Bishop Konstant, on the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, 27th June 2002.
The new Retreat House, which can accommodate 44 guests, has a primary mission to the young people of the Leeds Diocese but at weekends and outside term times is available to adult groups, ecumenical groups and others who wish to take advantage of the excellent new facilities.
The Chapel is at the heart of the retreat centre and is dedicated to St Mary and St Margaret Clitherow.
There are three main aspects to the design of the Chapel.
1. The steep pitch of the roof as a reminder of the Old Testament qahal or tent as a meeting point.
2. The octagonal shape is reflective of the shape of early baptisteries and reminds us of the first sacrament.
3. The use of wood and stone is a response to the simplicity and nobility called for in the Second Vatican Council.
Mosaics in the chapel
In our Catholic tradition, it's important to remember that when we pray, we are not alone but we do so in communion with the saints, that is that they are praying alongside us. In the chapel at Myddelton Grange, we have reminders of some of the saints who pray with us in the form of mosaics. The saints which are represented in these mosaics also have significance to the local area as they all played prominent roles in generating, developing and defending the Catholic faith that we celebrate today.
St William of York, St Aelred, Robert of Knaresborough
St Cuthbert, St Aidan, St Bede
St Paulinus, St Hilda of Whitby, St Wilfrid
The Venerable Richard Horner, St Margaret Clitherow, Blessed Christopher Wharton