All Hallows, Bardsey, Yorkshire, West Riding
- Site Location
- National Grid Reference
- SE 366 431
Yorkshire, West Riding
now: West Yorkshire
now (or name of monument): All Hallows
- Type of building/monument
- Parish church
II General Description
'Nowhere in the neighbourhood of Leeds can the archaeological growth of a parish church be better studied, with the survivals in situ, in spite of some destruction, from pre-Conquest days to the later middle ages and beyond, than at Bardsey' (Kirk, 1937). The church consists of a W tower of Anglo-Saxon date including belfry level windows, an originally Anglo-Saxon nave with Norman N and S arcades, chancel and tower arches cut into it and 14thc. N and S aisles and chancel. The 12thc. doorway was reset on the new S wall in the 14thc. and the W end of the Norman aisles are marked by the surviving simple windows adjacent to the tower. According to Kirk, restoration in 1909-1914 uncovered these windows and lowered the nave floor. It probably also accounted for the retooling of various features. Sculpture is found on the S doorway, capitals of arcades and various fragments.
III Exterior Features
(i) S doorway, S aisle
Round-headed doorway of three orders. It is suggested by Kirk that the doorway belonged to the period 1100-25, along with the N arcade. It would therefore have been reset when the S arcade was made in the later 12thc. and when the aisle was widened in the 14thc. Two of the fragments inside the church are related to forms on this doorway (nos. 16 and 17). The doorway is of fine-grained pink and gold sandstone.
|w. of opening||0.99 m|
|h. of opening||2.245 m.|
|h. of capitals approx.||0.15 m|
|h. of capitals incl. ring approx.||0.18 m|
Plain and chamfered plinth; plain plinth. Bases worn but similar to fragment 17 in the S aisle, very upright, collared. The colonettes are of single pieces of stone. L capital and ring integral, very worn but basically double scallop with sunken shields. Impost as first order.
R capital: three scallops on each face, one on corner. The shields are outlined with a low semicircular moulding with a pointed one below near the top of each cone. This pattern is reproduced on the L capital of the third order. R impost renewed.
In the arch, point to point centripetal chevron not boldly sculpted. Fifteen voussoirs. In the spandrels to the face side, each voussoir but the central one has a symmetrical palmette. The stems of the palmettes are to the extrados, except on voussoirs 2, 3, 5 and 14, where they are in the point of the chevron. The palmette is the same on each of these voussoirs, and the four bear some resemblance to patterns of the 1160s (Stillingfleet south doorway, third order). The remainder, with their stems outward, are more variable in design and in an earlier style. The central voussoir has a 'daisy' very like those at Riccall (East Riding) on the label.
Base as second order. Colonnette, capital and impost renewed on L, using the pattern which just survives on the R capital of second order. R side, colonnette is probably original. R capital like the L capital of the second order, double scallop with hollow shields. Also very worn. Imposts as before. In the arch, a chamfer, a half-roll and a deeper chamfer on which are 17 beakheads. These are very worn so that, for example, the pitting on their beaks is unlikely to be decorative but rather owing to weathering of the sandstone. Nos. 13 and 14 show detail on the foreheads, with a beaded strap on 13 and nested vees on 14. No label in situ, but see below, Loose Sculpture (i) and (ii).
(i) W windows
The west windows of the 12thc. aisles are similar inside and out. The N window uses larger stones in its N jamb, and the arcuated lintel is more massive, later incised by two horizontal lines. The outer finish is flush with the wall. Inside they have plain splays and two or three steps up from the sill.
3. Exterior Decoration
c. Corbel tables, corbels
(i) Tower, S side
A photograph was taken of corbels on the S side of the tower. Though these are not thought to be Romanesque, it is possible that the two heads reset inside on the S wall of the S aisle might once have been part of such a corbel table but removed when the new set were inserted.
IV Interior Features
a. Chancel arch/Apse arches
(i) Chancel arch
No plinths. Jambs plain and square, ashlar on three corners, but random stone on S side to nave. Impost has slight hollow chamfer with single groove in upright face. One order to nave and chancel, plain and square. Label as nave N arcade, that is, plain with chamfered and grooved label. To the chancel, the label is bolder, may be restoration.
b. Tower/Transept arches
(i) Tower arch
Jambs plain and square up from the floor level, with possible re-use of Anglo-Saxon stones. Remainder as on the chancel arch. The impost connects as a short length of string course to the same level as the impost on the N arcade, but not on the S side as the S arcade is higher. At the base of the label on both sides is a sculpted head, but these are not original. It is not thought that the reset heads near the S doorway came from here as they are wider blocks of stone.
(i) N arcade
Of three bays. Round-headed arches. Dated to 1100-25 by Kirk. There are traces of crimson colour on E respond and Pier 2. Plinths are deep, plain and chamfered; plain in all four cases. Bases convex and concave separated by a slight ledge, all similar. All capitals have heavy, flattend roll-necking.
Pier 1: chamfered plinth, upper plinth worn off on corners, base as before. Capital square and the same on each side, except that the side to the nave has been renewed. Four bold scallops to each face with short cylinders in the gaps between the cones. Similar pattern seen on small capital in Durham castle gallery.
W respond: similar form to Pier 2, tucked darts. As on E respond, the decoration continues to the nave W wall. In the arches throughout the arcade, to the nave, plain, voussoirs unequal in size. Label chamfered, grooved and plain. In the arch to the aisle, one order plain and flush.
(ii) S arcade
Three bays, pointed arches. Dated to 1175-1200 by Kirk, though Ryder thinks 'south arcade here cannot date from long after 1150'. It has taller columns than the N arcade, and pointed arches. Plinths and bases the same throughout, that is: deep plain plinth, base a double roll. Necking, capital and impost integral throughout, impost has double groove near base.
E respond: half column; necking plain rounded. The capital may be renewed; it has volutes of leaf-like straps curled over billets. This form is used on Pier 2 and also at Bilton-in-Ainsty. Decoration continues E, it is recut on the N face of the respond but appears original on the S. Ryder describes the returns of the abacus as having 'sunk 'harp'-shaped ornament (triangles with their lower angles rounded), which has parallels in some pre-Conquest decoration. The piers are still heavy and rounded.'
IV Interior Features
5. Interior Decoration
(i) Re-set fragments
There are two heads reset in the S wall of the nave, either side of the S doorway. If they ever were 12thc., they have been recut. They appear to have been corbels, are not deeply cut and have been subject to wear. They are men's heads with the usual expressionless gaze. The head to the right (W) of the door is perhaps wearing a hood. The heads project from the block, which extends either side to about 0.3m in one case. This extension would probably preclude their having been originally label stop heads on the tower arch, where there are now two 19thc. heads.
VI Loose Sculpture
Fragments (i) - (xv) are found at the W end of the N aisle, and fragments (xvi) - (xvii) at the E end of the S aisle.
(i) Label fragment
Slightly curved and having a row of sawtooth on the face with billet pattern on the chamfer. This and piece 2 might have once belonged on the S doorway.
(ii) Label fragment
(iii) Part of grave slab with incised cross.
(iv)-(v) Font fragments
Kirk dates these fragments toc.1150. He compares the fragments to a font once in Nostell Priory, illustrated in Assoc. Archl. Papers, 185, 4-6, 253 (reference not located). The stone is a fine-grained sandstone of a rich almost raspberry-pink colour, most of the church is in gold or light pink tones. The pattern of a neatly carved beaded interlaced arcading is topped by cable.
(vi)-(vii) Voussoirs, broken
(viii) Incomplete cross-head
Incised with a compass-drawn cross and circle.
As (vi) and (vii)
Pieces which fit together to make most of a small stoup or mortar with pouring lip.
A dark grey vaguely-cylindrical piece with many pittings. See Kirk. Possibly a fossil - a Carboniferous root.
(xiv)-(xv) Unidentifiable fragments
Incised chevron-like pattern, like heavy tooling, on two faces and a foliage pattern on one face. It matches those on the S doorway but that has no obvious loss of its original voussoirs. The central star might have been an alteration in the design - the voussoirs are a little thin at the centre of the arch.
(xvi) Column base
Matches on the L of the S doorway.
|d. on foliage face||0.35 m|
At the time of the Domesday Survey, Ligulf held land of the king but there is no mention of the church. Faull and Moorhouse say that in 1166 a knight held Bardsey of Roger de Mowbray, and that after a rebellion of 1174/5, it was escheated into the king's hands. Kirk 1937c includes a reproduction of a wash drawing by J. Greig, 1851, a view of the church from SW (Plate 1).
VIII Comments / Opinions
- M. L. Faull and S.A. Moorhouse, eds., West Yorkshire: An Archaeological Survey to 1500, Wakefield, 1981.
- G. E. Kirk, All Hallows Church, Bardsey, Leeds, 1937.
- N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire: West Riding, Harmondsworth, 1967, 89f.
- P. Ryder, Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire, Wakefield, 1993, 31, 139, figs 22, 48, 57 and 153.
- West Yorkshire Archaeological Service leaflet, 1987.