St Andrew, Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, West Riding

Feature Sets (4)


A church in Magnesian limestone in a red brick suburban setting. It has nave, chancel, south chapel, south aisle, tower and north porch.

In 1951-53 the church was moved to this site from Ferry Fryston, about three-quarters of a mile north of the present position, (approx. Grid Ref: SE 478 251). The OS map of 1893 suggests remnants of medieval strip fields in the area, which is now occupied by the Ferrybridge power station. The burial ground at the old site remains to the east of the power station. The church at Ferry Fryston had been restored by Ewan Christian about 1878, and faculty papers at the Borthwick Institute show the plan and sections of the medieval building (Fac. 1878/4).  A painting of the church from the SW dated 1905 is in the vestry. Ryder (1993, 152) has a photograph of the N face of the church on the old site.

After a long history of flooding and, latterly, erosion, it was decided to move the church to Ferrybridge, the modern centre of population. Mottistone & Milner-White (1956), and the mark 0.78m up the R jamb of the doorway, show the flood level of 1866. The rebuilding is said to have used approximately 60 per cent of the original walling and all the worked stone. One bay was added to the aisle at the W end. The S doorway became the present N doorway, and the N aisle was changed to the S side. The vice in the tower was moved from S to N. There are no faculty papers for the removal at the Borthwick Institute.

Romanesque sculpture survives on the N doorway, on the impost of the tower arch and on the font. Accessible parts of the sculpture have been retooled, for example parts of the font and the tower arch.



Until 1953, St Andrew's church was at Ferry Fryston.

DB says ‘in Queldale and Fristone Gamel had 7 carucates. Now Gerbodo has it of Ilbert [de Lacy]’. A church and priest are mentioned. At Weldale, 4 carucates, and at Fristone, 3. Ferrybridge is also mentioned, but is a less valuable place (VCH II, 247-8).

Padgett (1904) thinks that the church mentioned in DB was likely to have been somewhere around Wheldale farm because Queldale is mentioned first. The settlement has now disappeared, but survived in Padgett’s time as 14 acres of glebe. ‘Fristone’ seems to have been Water or Ferry Fryston.

In 1332 Fryston church was a chapel of ease, and had been so for some time.

Sir Stephen Glynne visited in January 1849. He says 'the western part of the nave has some First Pointed features, but all the rest is of late and almost debased Third Pointed character.' (Butler 2007, 178-9).


Exterior Features


Doorway to nave

The doorway has two orders and a label. It was formerly the S entrance to the church but on removal it was transposed to the N side. The arch is pointed, and there are waterleaf capitals. The doorway is in poor condition, evidence of the sooty atmosphere and the dampness endured by the building in the past.

First order: plain, chamfered, and without stops; if there were any originally, the damp would probably have necessitated their removal.

Second order: the bases have an unusually flat profile for 12thc. work. The detached columns are mostly renewed. The capitals are waterleaf with a slit to midway and a tongue showing above it. No ring survives and the impost is worn, but these forms are represented in the height of the course in the first order and by a ledge below the label. The arch is plain and chamfered.

Label: plain and chamfered, with nailhead all along the chamfer. This pattern is in poor condition, and perhaps was never very good, see for example the roughness of the interval in the last four nailheads at the bottom R. The measurements of these intervals taken clockwise round the circumference are 80mm, 105mm, 60mm, and 90mm.








1st order, L capital, h. incl. ring and impost approx. 0.27m
1st order, L capital, h. including ‘impost’ 0.245m
1st order, L capital, max. w. E face 0.19m
1st order, L capital, max w. S face 0.19m
h. of opening 2.48m
w. of opening 1.35m


Windows adjacent to doorway and on tower

 All windows outside look later than our period. However, this is not a complete picture.

(i) Pevsner 1967, 200, says there are two late 12thc. windows adjacent to the doorway. These pointed windowheads have been cut in an arcuated lintel. The painting in the vestry shows the church on the old site with at least one arcuated lintel in the round-headed form.

(ii) the window in the W face of the tower, as seen from inside, has a standard 12thc. splay.


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

Tower arch

Ryder (1993, 37-38) notes that the construction with ‘through stones’ in the arch harks back to Anglo-Saxon methods. The impost is not primitive but has a slightly concave chamfer; within the tower it has been hacked back. Otherwise, the jambs and the round-headed arch are plain.

There is a spiral staircase, or vice, on the tower.

Ht. to springing 2.72m
W. of opening 2.13m




The font is now in the tower space standing on a large modern octagonal peninsula. It is of three sections, base, pillar and bowl. The base has a double torus in a fine sandstone that is beginning to decay - it has all the appearance of a restoration. The stem is a plain squat cylinder, probably limestone, in two halves, like courses in some pillars. The limestone bowl has a ring at the junction with the pillar, then a chamfer with a rounded angle, after which it is vertical and cylindrical to the top. The flat rim has been repaired where the medieval lock and clasp were inset. The surface has been generally worked over with a claw.

The pattern on the bowl consists of incised ‘vertical’ grooves. These grooves end near the bottom of the chamfer in a bored hole, very like those commonly seen on waterleaf capitals, for example in Selby Abbey N porch, and just identifiable on the N doorway here. Sometimes the grooves join as they rise up the chamfer, making a form like the dart on a scallop capital. Perhaps it should properly have been reeded. Both the stem and the bowl could be Romanesque.




Depth of bowl, interior 0.32m
Diam. of bowl, exterior 0.77m
Diam. of bowl, interior within lead 0.53m
Ht of bowl 0.48m
Ht to ring (ie, ht. of base and pillar) 0.44m
Overall ht. of all three sections 0.93m



  • Borthwick Institute, Faculty Papers, Fac.1878/4

  • L. A. S. Butler, ed., The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874). Y. A. Soc. Record series 159, Woodbridge 2007.

  • D. P. S. Mottistone & E. Milner-White, The Moving and Re-erection of Churches, Westminster 1956.

  • L. Padgett, Castleford and District, London 1904.

  • N. Pevsner, Yorkshire: West Riding. The Buildings of England, Harmondsworth, 1959. 2nd. ed. revised E. Radcliffe. 1967.

  • P. Ryder, Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire,  Wakefield, 1993.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SE 481 243 
now: West Yorkshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Yorkshire, West Riding
now: West Yorkshire and the Dales
formerly: Wakefield
medieval: York
now: St Andrew
medieval: St Andrew (1443 )
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Rita Wood 
Visit Date
20 Jun 2000, 18 Mar 2015