The story begins in the middle of the 12th century, when a group of monks from the Abbey of St Mary in York, dissatisfied with the fairly lax way of life of the Benedictines at that time, moved to the more austere Cistercian Abbey at Fountains.
St. Michael’s was once the private chapel of the Tempest family and dates from 1100. Records refer to a priest of Bracewell in 1135, and at Fountains Abbey, records refer to a chapel at Bracewell before 1147.
As there was no Established Church within easy access for the townspeople, it was the fervent wish of the Reverend Richard Milner that there should be one.
Not much remains of the original structure. Perhaps a triplet window could be original, and an early English window on the North side. The font probably dates from that period, as does an old stone coffin alongside the porch.