The church has a chancel, nave with S aisle and a W tower, and it has been much altered and repaired over the centuries (Pevsner & Neave 1995, 381). Only the fine font survives from the 12th century.
In 1066, Chilbert had 13 carucates and there was land for 7 ploughs. In 1086, under the king, there were 2 estates comprising 13 carucates, of which one carucate was in Auburn; two rentpayers had 9 villeins with 3 ploughs (VCH II, 287). In the early twelfth century the hospital of St Leonard, York, had one bovate.
Robert son of Picot de Percy gave the church to Bridlington priory between 1148 and 1153. In the 12th and 13th centuries the church had dependent chapels at Fraisthorpe and Auburn; these became independent later (VCHER II, 126-7).
The font is briefly described and sketched in Cole 1902. It is a cylinder higher than wide and stands on a ring of end-wise bricks opposite the S door to the nave. At the time of the visit in 2005, parts on the N side were green with damp. Baptismal water is not being put down the plug hole (though that is open) so presumably ground water is being drawn up. The basin is deep and slightly angled between sides and floor. The rim has a cable pattern on the angle, separated by a channel on the horizontal rim, and a narrow plain border on the side. The units of the cable are narrow but well- rounded, visible equally on rim and side.
The sides of the cylinder have eight divisions marked into full-height lozenges by a channel gouged in the general surface. Where these channels cross and the lozenges would meet at a point, a small lozenge is left uncut. The horizontal centre line of the cylinder is roughly, not accurately, followed by a pair of chip-carved eightfold stars in each lozenge. The zone of the lozenges is edged top and bottom by a small plain moulding.
Above and below the stars, the tips of the lozenges are generally filled with a chevron-like pattern, but in one or two cases there are plain lozenges instead. The chevron is generally one where a hollow roll and a normal roll are separated by a ridge, but this too is varied, so that the lower portion of one lozenge has a series of ridges with flat chevrons between. One upper portion has a series of convex chevrons. The alternation of hollow and convex chevron was seen on capitals of the chancel arch at Goodmanham, and is seen occasionally elsewhere. No doubt variety is continued in the green areas, but I did not spend long looking there due to the damp and there is some damage there too.
The triangles between the lozenges, above and below, show very fine tooling which usually comes to a point on the vertical mid-line but sometimes follows a zig-zag course of its own. This textured surface was perhaps a key for gesso or plaster: a similar surface with a ‘tweedy’ texture was observed on capitals of the S doorway at Kirkburn.
|Depth of interior of bowl||0.31m|
|External diameter of bowl||0.74m|
|Height of font||0.715m|
|Internal diameter of bowl||0.55m|
|Width of one main lozenge||0.27m|
F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England's Patron Saints, 3 vols., London, 1899, 78
E. M. Cole, “Ancient Fonts on the Wolds of East Riding”, Trans. East Riding Antiquarian Society 10 (1902), 107-117
N. Pevsner & D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed., London, 1995
Victoria County History: East Riding of Yorkshire, II (Dickering Wapentake) 1974
Victoria County History: Yorkshire, II (General volume, including Domesday Book) 1912, reprinted 1974
R. Wood, "The Augustinians and the Romanesque font from Everingham, East Riding." Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 83 (2011), 112-47