The village of Gisburn lies between Skipton and Clitheroe on the A59. The church has the long low profile, typical of many in this north-western part of the Riding; it has a W tower and continuous aisles of four bays. The chancel and its aisles are separated from the nave by a wall with three pointed chamfered arches resting on a pair of heavy circular piers (Pevsner 1967, 218; Leach and Pevsner 2009, 277). The origin of the cylindrical piers is uncertain, but the lower parts of the W tower and at least three windows and the plain tower arch are certainly of the Romanesque period.
In Domesday Book in the summary of ‘Cravescire’ (Craven) William de Percy and Roger the Poitevin both hold 2 carucates in Gisburn. (VCH ii, 307n)
Of the Romanesque period only slit windows remain in the tower. There are traces of larger openings in the chancel.
Three openings in the tower, on the S face at first stage, and in the N face at first and next upper stages; these are simple round-headed slit windows with one-piece window-heads.
The base of the S pier has a broad chamfer; the base of the N pier is hidden in the floor. The piers are squat and cylindrical; the chancel arch is pointed and chamfered. The piers receive arches of the arcades, of the aisle and of the chancel. All the arches are chamfered and pointed, and of two orders.
P. Leach and N. Pevsner, Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North, New Haven and London, 2009.
N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England, Yorkshire: West Riding, Harmondsworth, 1967.
Victoria County History: County of York, vol. II, London, 1912 (reprinted 1974).