Monthly Archives: July 2017

30th July, 2017. Rowley church and ‘Manor’.

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.

29th July, 2017. Skidby church, East Riding of Yorkshire.

Yesterday went on a walk from Skidby church (St. Michael’s), west of Hull and Cottingham and in the foothills of the dip slope of the Yorkshire Wolds. From there along a farm track (public right of way) west following the base of a dry valley to the road which passes round the grounds of Rowley Manor estate. The church is reminiscent of South Ferriby church in that it is small, with quite a lot of brick walling and in an awkward location. The embattled brick tower was built in 1827 although the ashlar stone at its base (see above picture) is medieval, a remnant of much ealier churches on this site. The brick south porch dates from 1777 (documentary evidence). Like South Ferriby much of the walling of the church has been patched-up over time using whatever walling material was available. Thereby giving it a rustic charm.

Like at Barton on Humber there is a small cluster of 19th century public buildings near the church – the building that was once the National school, dated 1849 (now, I think, converted to a house), a Wesleyan chapel building (now being sold for conversion) and a small plain Baptist chapel, now, I think, semi-derelict.

(More on the walk tomorrow).

27th July, 2017. Last of the three Yorkshire Wolds churches (s.p.b.).

St. Mary’s, Kirkburn (see above) (near Driffield), visited after lunch provided at the village hall, marred by heavy rain but helped by input from Mr. Adamson, church-warden. A fine Norman church, said to be second only in the East Riding to the grand Norman church at Newbald. The chancel although retaining the features of its original Norman build was in fact rebuilt just after the Napoleonic Wars and then restored in the 1850s, a restoration overseen by J.L. Pearson (a famous architect who worked on many Gothic Revival church restorations) and commissioned by Tatton Sykes of Sledmere House in the high Wolds. The west tower is a product of three upward extensions during the Middle Ages while the Norman carved decorative stone-work is concentrated in ‘orders’ around the south door and chancel arch. The triple ‘opening’ in the walling above the chancel arch is an addition to the traditional fabric, a whim of Pearson’s. The somewhat gloomy interior (to our eyes) is reminiscent of that in the great Norman church at Stow, between Lincoln and the R. Trent.

Here is a most remarkable ‘rustic’ Norman font, world famous for as Mr. Adamson told us it has been the subject of post-graduate students’ theses.

Immediately north of the churchyard is a gully at the head of which is the spring that is the very source of the River Hull. This figures in my illustrated talk on the History and Navigation of the River Hull which is to be included in those to be given at the Hull History Centre over the national Heritage weekend but which, like my other illustrated talks, has not yet been condensed into an article for Publications.

26th July, 2017. Second of three Yorkshire Wolds churches.

St. Andrew’s church, Bainton (the second church visited on the Yorkshire Wolds Heritage Trust study day – see yesterday’s blog) remains almost intact following a complete re-build of the 1330s, this much like Patrington church for example. It seems likely that a previous church, maybe on the same site (?), was destroyed during an incursion by Scottish forces in the early 14th century. The re-build was undertaken on a grand scale incorporating a majestic west tower, walling in freestone ‘imported’ to the site and employing the architectural fashion of the time as evidenced in the reticulated tracery of the windows, the tall octagonal pillars of the four-bay arcades and the proliferation of external figure carvings. This work and the elegant and detailed tomb recess in the south aisle would have required the employment of a high status master mason(s), costly logistics and a large skilled workforce.

The Norman font was presumably retained from the previous church.

A quirky section of earlier walling was incorporated into the new-built, this at the south-west corner of the chancel.

There is some evidence of the history of this church in the text of the Meaux Abbey Chronicle (s.p.b.).

25th July, 2017. Yorkshire Wolds church studies day, 11th July, 2017.

As promised an account of the above.

The three churches studied – St. Andrew’s, Middleton on the Wolds (see picture), St. Andrew’s, Bainton and St. Mary’s, Kirkburn gave opportunity to consider; churches in the landscape (as always), introduction to Norman and Gothic building styles, building materials (as always) and ‘Gothic Revival’ restorations and re-buildings. Also all three churches have remarkable Norman fonts. Unfortunately day became wetter and wetter.

Middleton church built of freestone ‘imported’ to the site both in 13th century and during large-scale restoration of 19th century by integrated building firm from Doncaster, although inner-wall of chalk (bedrock) in chancel.

Chancel fine e.g. of Early English + sedilia.

Church stands on a prominence making access difficult for anyone with more mobility.

24th July, 2017.

Am Hull on bus, back to EE shop to try and have problems sorted. Still wet and cold. Pm to R., eventually Liberty Gas engineer came teatime and now boiler needs another part! Dog to Baysgarth evening. Eventually front had moved into North Sea.