Walton is a small village centred around the church on a small abrupt hill. To the S and E, the trading estate and the British Library depot at Boston Spa to the N, arable agricultural land.
A 12thc W tower survives with a Perpendicular top stage; the nave and chancel are 14thc with added vestry, organ chamber on the chancel and a S porch (Kirk, 1938, with a plan). Plate I in Kirk (1938) shows the church from the SE ‘before 1891’; the E face of the tower is marked by two former roof lines above the nave roof; the nave and chancel walls were covered with ivy. This record is particularly useful, as the modern roof now covers the lower of the two old lines (Plate II). See also Butler (2007, 423).
The W tower has a deep plinth in three stages of plain-and-chamfered layers, rising to about 2 m above ground level. The W face of the tower stands above a fairly steep slope of the churchyard. The window on the W wall is not quite round-headed, perhaps re-made as a pointed window at some date. Kirk states that the tower was clad in the 14thc and shows this layer on his plan. The 12thc tower arch is plain, with plain and chamfered imposts.
There is no mention of a church here in the Domesday Book, although it is a small settlement it is assessed highly for tax and was worth £4 to the six thanes who held the lordship. Kirk (1938b) says that a ‘chapel of Walton’ was mentioned in a grant which seems to have been made in the mid-12thc. Faull and Moorhouse (1981) say that Walton-in-Ainsty was in the Mowbray fee, and held in 1166 in the right of Juetta de Arches by her husband. It was originally a chapel-of-ease to Thorp Arch (Ryder 1993, 178).
Plain arch and jambs with plain and chamfered imposts. The jambs seem to run into the floor plain, but may have been recut. The lower parts of the jambs are chamfered, but this is not original. The corners of the imposts are renewed, but tooling is evident over much of the remainder.
|Width of opening||1.45 m|
L. A. S. Butler, ed., The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874), Yorkshire Archaeological Society record series 159, Woodbridge 2007.
M. L. Faull and S. A. Moorhouse, West Yorkshire: an archaeological survey to AD 1500, Wakefield 1981.
G. E. Kirk, The Church of St. Peter, Walton in the Ainsty of York, Leeds 1938.
N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: West Riding, 2nd ed, Harmondsworth 1967, 536.
P. F. Ryder, Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Archaeology Service, Wakefield 1993.