In the Red Book, there is one copy of a drawing of the church labelled “St Alkald’s Church, Giggleswick”. To judge from the costume of the two men walking on Church Street, the drawing must be dated between 1860-92, after which the latinised name “St Alkelda” first appeared. We do not know whether the modified name appeared first in Middleham or in Giggleswick. The name Alkald or Alkeld was the original name of her holy well. Another drawing shows 2 ladies in late Victorian costume, no earlier, because the tall Victorian monument is visible by the south door. The graveyard is notable for its lack of vertical grave slabs.
The internal layout and furnishings of a church tell of the theology, beliefs and practices of the people who worship there. The first to strike a modern worshipper is that in the pre-1892 Giggleswick church, the main eye focus was the pulpit. The worshippers sat with their backs to the holy table – altar situated in the east end of the church. To partake of the Sacrament of Holy Communion, communicants moved to the box pews surrounding the holy table at the east end. The Prayer Book service of Holy Communion followed a shortened Matins or Evensong service. People could choose to stay or leave. There is one Giggleswick entry from the 19th century, complaining of the unseemly haste of some worshippers to get out of the building before the service of Holy Communion began.
As the holy table was movable it could be placed, to a position north-south, if necessary for the convenience of those who sat around. In 1757, according to information from the church wardens’ records and pasted in the Red Book, the Sacrament of Holy Communion was only administered (as per some current Nonconformist practice), 3 times a year plus Easter, when it was the vicar’s job to provide the bread and wine at his own expense. At one festival during 1739 no less than 10 gallons of wine were consumed by communicants. It does not say who paid for all that. This practice of regular Matins and Evensong, plus occasional celebrations of Holy Communion tacked on to the Service of the Word, continued in many Anglican churches, Giggleswick amongst them, well into the 20th century.
The 18th and most of the 19th centuries were relatively quiet as far as any major upheaval affecting Giggleswick Church was concerned. Methodism had arrived in Settle by the end of the 18th century, but it never apparently touched Giggleswick Church. Neither was there any indication that local Anglican worship had been influenced by the Anglo-Catholic Tractarian movement which burst upon the national scene in the 1830s, around the time Settle Parish Church was built. The worship tradition of the latter was eventually considered “higher” than that of Giggleswick. The Evangelical Movement in the Church of England did not make its mark in Giggleswick Church until more than a century later, although lying loose in the Red Book, there is a pamphlet dated 1833, advertising various Anglican Evangelical societies like SPCK, CMS and the British and Foreign Bible Society. This pamphlet, noted the curate, Revd Rowland Ingram, afterwards vicar, could be bought in Settle.