Kildwick is a small village on the N bank of a bridging point over the River Aire, between Keighley and Skipton. The church is separated from the village by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The long structure of the church is mostly 14thc to 16thc. Several carved stones, loose and reset, are pre-Conquest, but two large carved stones re-used as a respond and as a pier base in the S arcade; a reset corbel, and a tomb slab, may all be Romanesque.
A church at Kildwick was recorded in Domesday Book where Archil has 2 carucates for geld, and 1 church (VCH 1912, 207). Subsequently the king had 2 carucates in Kildwick (VCH 1912, 307n), and was part of the grant made to Robert de Romeli.
Cecila de Romeli and her husband, William Meschines, founded Embsay Priory in 1120. When Cecilia later confirmed the gift of Embsay to the priory, she granted with it the whole vill of Kildwick (VCH 1913, 195).
The parish was extensive, including Kildwick, Silsden, Steeton, Holden, Farnhill, Estburne, Bradley, Cowling, Cononley, Glusburne and Sutton in Airedale (or Sutton-in-Craven).
In the lowest stage of the tower, reset over the W doorway, is a corbel of the mid-12thc period. It was probably found during restoration work in 1901, at the same time as the pre-Conquest carved stones. The corbel has been trimmed of 20-30mm of stone at the top and sides so that no more than the man’s face remains; there seems to be a small break below the mouth. The face has a squarish, probably bare, forehead; large eyes; a narrow moustache; and a mouth created by one stroke of the carving tool. The prominent eyes are outlined by a double line, making a shape which is rounded at the centre of the face but pointed at the outer corner; the nose is hardly indicated.
A tomb-slab perhaps of 12thc date: this slab was reused as the lintel for a 14thc priest’s doorway in the S wall of the nave. The doorway had been blocked, but was partially uncovered from inside during the 1901-1903 restorations. The slab has incised carving, in cable pattern, of a large saltire cross spanning the centre of the slab. Where the two arms intersect is a plain cornerwise square. In the quadrants at either visible end of the slab, a Maltese cross. The cross at the W end has an incised central circle and bored hole; its N and S arms are attached by cable straps to the hidden W termination of the slab. The cross at the E end is more worn, but seems to have had a similar central circle and hole; the E and W arms each contain an incised circle; there are no straps.
|Depth of recess approx.||0.55m|
|Max. E-W length in wall of S aisle||1.625m|
|Max. length exposed in soffit||1.21m|
|Thickness of slab approx.||0.15m|
This stone supports the base of pier 3 and is below floor level; the carving of the pattern can be glimpsed in a slot on the S side of pier 3 of the S arcade. The pattern is the same as the reused stone in the W respond. It is perhaps better preserved, but it is uncertain whether the carved stone forms the complete support on the S side, as there is a break on the E end covered with a sealant and the vertical face at the E end of the slot in the floor is filled in.
|Total width across break||0.88m|
|Width of stone N-S||0.24m|
|Width W-E to break||0.64m|
This stone forms part of the base of the W respond of the S arcade. The arcade is probably no later than c.1300 with much modern restoration of bases and capitals. The stone is above a chamfered plinth and is topped by a half-quatrefoil base uniform with the arcade. The wide E face is carved with a series of narrow, pointed upright leaves; the SE angle has a fan of worn rounded leaves; there are indications that the NE angle had a similar foliate fan; the S face has horizontal mouldings on the chamfer. There are the remains of a similar stone in the base of pier 3.
|Depth of stone (E-W)||0.42m|
|Height of stone||0.275m|
|Width of stone with pattern (N-S)||0.77m|
J. Billingsley, 'An early carved head and Anglo-Danish sculptures at Kildwick church, North Yorkshire', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 80 (2008), 43-50.
E. W. Brereton, History of the Ancient and Historic Church of St Andrew Kildwick-in-Craven, Crosshills, 1909.
E. Coatsworth, Western Yorkshire, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, vol. 8, Oxford, 2008.
J. E. Morris, The West Riding of Yorkshire, London, 1919.
N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire, West Riding, Harmondsworth, 1967.
Victoria County History: County of York, II, London, 1912, 207 and 307.
Victoria County History: County of York, III, London, 1913, 195.
R. Wood, 'A Romanesque corbel at Kildwick church, North Yorkshire', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 81 (2009) 355-56.