The old church for the Parish of Whorlton was finally abandoned in 1877 when a new church was built in nearby Swainby which had by then overtaken Whorlton as the nucleus of the parish due to the influx of workers in the ironstone mines. The Church is dedicated to the Holy Cross and is not completely unused. The chancel is still maintained as a chapel and is used on occasions.
A church has probably stood on this site since Saxon times although this ruin dates from the 11th century. The tower is a 15th century addition.