In 1882, a new church was built on the hause. In the same year, the roof at St Martin’s collapsed. Today, the church is used occasionally for evensong during the summer months.
There is an ancient yew in the churchyard, known to have existed since at least 1220, although there are unsubstantiated claims that it dates from as early as 700 AD. Yew trees have long been connected with religious symbolism. Being evergreen, they were associated with everlasting life and Druids viewed the species as a symbol of reincarnation – part of the regenerative power of nature. It is possible that trees such as this predate the place of worship because the church was built on a pagan site. However, it is equally possible that they were planted in the churchyard to symbolise eternal life. It is said that the Martindale yew was used by local archers to make their longbows for the Battle of Agincourt.
by Emma Bray