Nether Poppleton is a village on the NW outskirts of York. (Note: Nether and Upper Poppleton are now one compact built-up area). The church is in a rural location at the edge of the village and is near the river Ouse. It is a twin-cell building with N vestry added to chancel, and a west and north gallery in the nave. Plain walls but with ancient complexity hinted at in various blocked arches in the chancel; enlivened by modern craftwork throughout. Twelfth-century remains are the chancel arch and perhaps the blocked arches in the chancel N and S walls, which are suggested by Pevsner to be the remains of a Norman crossing (1967, 374). There is also a reset corbel in the west wall of the nave.
An Anglo-Saxon monastic community was here, led by Everilda (Everild, Everildis, Averil) who died c.700. All we know of her comes from the York breviary. The community of which she was abbess grew to about 80 before she died. She had settled on land owned by St. Wilfrid at a spot called “the Bishop’s Farm”. This is usually said to be Everildsham, now Everingham (YE), but Ekwall gives as the derivation of that placename ‘the ham of Eofor’s people’. Buttery gives reasons for thinking Nether Poppleton was rather the site for the bishop’s farm.
Domesday Book does not explicitly mention a church here, but VCH 1912, 281 quotes ‘Ode the deacon had 2½ carucates for geld. There is land for many ploughs. This was the land of St. Elurilda.’ Land was held by the Archbishop and Osbern de Arches.
Restoration minimal, Arts and Crafts. For drawing of 1831, complete with ?18th c. tower, see Buttery (1982), 38.
Of one order, common to E and W, both faces the same.The jambs rise plain from the floor, there are traces of paint, pinkish. Impost plain and chamfered, a trace of a groove near the bottom of the upright, for example, facing nave.The impost continues to the wall to N and S on both faces, it is renewed on the SW corner (to nave) and from there to the S wall of the nave has the remains of paint on it, chrome yellow and deep pink. The arch is plain and square, flush with the wall. Filling of old bricks on the E face at the top. The soffit has few through-stones, and the centre has random stone filling.
|Floor to top of impost||1.7m|
|W. of opening at floor||3.18m|
Inside, two opposing transept arches, blocked, are seen in the N and S walls of the chancel, also part of the lower arch on the S side. If the larger arches remain from transepts, they do not have the usual relationship to the chancel arch, ie., they do not share a single pier but are separated by lengths of wall.
The blocked arch in the N wall of the chancel shows almost all its soffit, and is rather like the chancel arch – few throughs, filled with smaller stones in the gaps. Jambs and arch plain and square, the impost plain and chamfered, less heavy than for the chancel arch.
A reset corbel, somewhat cat-like in appearance, with oval eyes, pointed ears, and zigzag-shaped interlocking teeth. This was for some time loose in the church and has been outside until recently (1999). Now safely reset and well-lit at the S end of the W wall of the nave.
|overall projecting length||0.395m|
Possible font, now outside to north of nave at a corner of the path in the churchyard. It is covered by a thin layer of algae and lichen and the stone itself is not recognisable, but probably limestone. The item is rectangular / trapezoidal in plan. Its sides are chamfered below and more or less vertical above. The interior has vertical sides with a gently concave floor. The drainage hole has been enlarged so that the hand can feel through; below the hole is a four-sided shaft.
|Depth of bowl inside||0.17m|
|External dimensions||0.6m x 0.52/0.508m|
|Height of bowl overall||0.365m|
|Internal dimensions||0.457m x 0.35m|
T. Bulmer, History and Directory of North Yorkshire in 2 vols (Preston, 1890).
D. Buttery, West of York in Times Past (Chorley, 1982).
D. H. Farmer, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 2nd edn. (Oxford, 1987).
N. Pevsner, Yorkshire: West Riding. The Buildings of England (Harmondsworth, 1959), 2nd. ed. revised E. Radcliffe (1967).
Victoria County History of Yorkshire, vol. II, revised edn. (London, 1974).