Featherstone is 2 miles SW of Pontefract. This entry is for purposes of information only, as, despite suggestions of its presence at the site, no Romanesque sculpture has been identified here.
The church is in the historic 'Featherstone' on the ridge, but with the later development of the colliery village and railway station about a mile to the south, this smaller settlement is nowadays normally called 'North Featherstone'.
Pevsner (1967, 198) describes a ‘church of blackened stone, over-restored’ and having Perpendicular elements. Peter Ryder says ‘at Featherstone nothing [Norman] remains visible except for the twelfth-century north-west angle quoins of the nave’ (1993, 36). His plan (p.106, fig. 156) shows 12thc. walling visible on the exterior north wall of the nave, and at the south-east corner of the original rectangle; still to be seen from inside the church. He observes that 'very little in the way of datable features survives’ (ibid., p.115).
Ryder also mentions a reused block with ‘possible traces of carving’. This is said to be in the internal face of the wall near the south-west corner of the churchyard (1993, 116). However, when the fieldworker visited the site in June 2000, nothing was found except some short stretches of wall now covered with ivy. For this reason there was found to be no surviving Romanesque sculpture.
Featherstone church was probably granted to Pontefract Priory by Asfridr de Featherstone. There is an agreement implying this, dated 1108/1114. Featherstone church was subsequently granted by the priory to the canons of Nostell, confirmed 1120/1122, and confirmed again in 1154/1170 by William de Featherstone, Asfridr’s son (Faull and Moorhouse, 1981).
It was restored in the 1880s, according to faculty application papers at the Borthwick Institute, Fac. 1880/7.
M. L. Faull and S. A. Moorhouse, West Yorkshire: an archaeological survey to AD 1500 (Wakefield, 1981).
N. Pevsner, Yorkshire: West Riding. The Buildings of England (Harmondsworth, 1959); 2nd. ed. revised E. Radcliffe (1967).
P. F. Ryder, Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire.West Yorkshire Archaeology Service (Wakefield, 1993).