Bainton church, seen first with its tower, from the street, gives the impression of a Cotswold church, golden and Gothic. The interior is spacious, the plain tall whitish arcades reminiscent of Harewood (West Yorkshire).
There is a three-bay chancel, nave with four-bay arcades and W tower; S porch and N vestry off nave aisles. There is not much of the Romanesque period left, although enough to show that there was a stone church here in the mid-12thc.. This underwent a ‘total rebuilding’ in the 1350s, except around the SW corner of the chancel, and even that is of c. 1300. This rebuilding is thought to have been at least partly due to recent destruction of the previous church by the Scots. Restorations took place in the 19thc..
The identification of Romanesque work in the E respond bases of the arcades is suggested (plan and drawing in Petch 1986, 1); whether this is so or not, the footprint of the central nave might be that of a 12thc. church.
The cylindrical early 12thc. font survives, and there is a reset 12thc. corbel outside.
It has been suggested that the dedication to St Andrew, along with other churches locally at Middleton on the Wolds, Hutton Cranswick, Foston and Ulrome, was due to the activity of missionaries sent by St Wilfrid in the seventh century from his monastic base at St Andrew’s, Hexham (Ollard 1934). Ollard mentions another string of this dedication in the N of the Riding, listing Langton, Kirby Grindalythe, Weaverthorpe, Cowlam and Boynton.
There was one priest at Bainton in the Doomsday Book, but no mention of a church. The Fossards were lords of Neswick and Bainton, but not the only landholders in Bainton. Nigel Fossard gave the patronage to St Mary’s Abbey, York, before 1089.
This piece is described as a capital in both Petch 1985 and in Pevsner and Neave 1995, 269-70, but is a corbel. On the bell are incised eyes, and what might be taken to be the ring of a capital is better understood as the strap of a muzzle binding the animal's jaws. The centre strap of the muzzle passing up into the semicircular shield, the animal's forehead, is a hollow, which is unusual, and perhaps misunderstood by the workman. In the curved panel there are three ridges parallel to the curve and a leaf motif above them branching off the centre line to either side. The animal's eyes and ears can still all be seen.
The sides of the piece have been cloaked by mortar, and the downward face is probably filled with mortar; presumably it was found in the upper wall fabric during some restoration work, and reset as a curiosity.
This is a fine cylindrical font standing in a good open space in full view near the W end of the church. It is set on an octagonal plinth, above which is a circular base with projecting moulding. A band of mortar or cement conceals the actual base of the original font, which no doubt was irregular from being levered up and moved around (compare Kirkburn font where the uneveness is not cloaked). The font has a trellis pattern of double lines forming diamonds. The pattern moves regularly round the font, having three and a half diamonds in each vertical repeat, either with a full diamond at the top or at the bottom. The technique of marking out this pattern did not allow for the eventual meeting of the repeats, and this not only produced large diamonds, but irregular ones at the bottom. The rim of the font has a double cable pattern.
|Depth of bowl interior||0.485m|
|External diameter of bowl||0.81m|
|Height of font including lead||0.7m|
|Height of font (to octagonal plinth)||0.89m|
|Internal diameter of bowl||0.58m|
J. E. Morris, The East Riding of Yorkshire, 2nded, 1919.
S. L. Ollard, Bainton Church and Parish, Beverley, 1934.
M. R. Petch, ‘A guide to St. Andrew’s Church and parish of Bainton, East Riding of Yorkshire’, 1986.
N. Pevsner and D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed. London, 1995.
A History of the County of Yorkshire, iii, ed. W. Page, London, 1913.