Next stop on my walk (s.p.b.) was Rowley church and ‘Manor’. Rowley is a large parish incorporating the townships of Riplingham, Bently , Risby, Hunsley and Little Weighton (although L.W. is an independent civil parish). Throughout relatively modern times the parish has been dominated by large landowning families. The present church gives clues as to its medieval and modern building programmes. The chancel was re-built in the 14th century and the ‘open’ reticulated tracery of the east window (see above) remains, the slender circular pillars of the interior north and south arcades may be dated to the early 13th century and include delicately carved capitals. The square free-standing font is probably of the same era. In 1852 the church was restored and cement rendered (always a mistake), this being removed in 1984 when much of the ashlar walling had to be replaced (see above). This renovation was part financed by the Historic Churches Preservation Fund – now the Churches Conservation Trust.
In a side chapel the family tree of the Ellerker family is shown etched into stone slabs and the site of their Risby mansion may still be seen two miles away (s.l.n.).
An ejected Puritan ministers of the 1630s left to set up a new congregation in what became the settlement of Rowley, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Modern-day Americans from that area often visit the church I am told.
One hundred yards from the church stands the fine Georgian period house today known as ‘Rowley Manor’. This hotel/restaurant and tearoom has a splendid interior and is to be recommended (see their website for details). Given the height of the site from the French windows of the bar-room can be seen the outline of Hull Royal Infirmary and the central Humber Estuary.