Church with broad W tower, nave, chancel (Chantrell 1844-45) and S aisle (rebuilt 1867-68); porch and vestry on S side of the building added during 1891 restoration. The church stands up on a hill at one end of the village. Of Romanesque date are, on the exterior: the blocked W doorway; the lower part of the tower including plain N and S windows; and a reused window-head in the S wall of the S aisle, which has an incised pattern. Inside there is a blocked door with plain tympanum (once to a stair) in the NW angle of the tower; a magnificent tower arch of four orders; and five pieces of sculpture from the demolished church at Holme-on-the-Wolds, reset here in 1951 (see IV 5.c.)
Robert, Count of Mortain, held the manor in 1086; by the end of the 12thc. the Fossards held it. The Archbishop also had some land in Etton in 1086 (VCHER, pp. 106, 107). Another landholder was Hugh, son of Baudry, and the Stutevilles seem to have been involved (VCHER, p. 107). In about 1200 a rector was mentioned. 'The advowson generally descended with the Stutville's overlordship in the Middle Ages' (VCHER, p.111).
|d. of lintel||0.29 m|
|h. of blocked opening||1.54 m|
|h. of doorway||0.48 m|
|w. of opening||0.62 m|
|w. of tympanum||0.55 m|
Bases almost lost but they could be like those on the tower arch. Half column jamb supports. The N capital has three plain scallops on the main face, with those on the angles making a slight overhang, as if the stone had been prepared for a volute, but this was not proceeded with. S capital decayed. In the arch, an angle roll with a series of flat, beaded medallions standing proud of it on the arch face. In all but two of the medallions is a central, radial, inverted stem having two leaves which fill the semicircles. Two of the medallions have a star of flower-like form. This has six to eight radial, contiguous divisions and a central peak. (Much the same form recurs at Riccall and Stillingfleet; the latter church also has similar medallions.) From each of the medallions an inverted tree of a stem and two leaves 'grows', this curves with the roll moulding in towards the opening. Impost (here the best preserved): plain chamfer, fairly heavy upright with double scored lines at bottom. In the restored parts, a curved moulding is between the two lines.
Bases as before. Endelit nook-shafts; S capital plain double scallop, necking seems to have been plain. N capital is similar, its necking crossed by a zigzagging incised line so that flattish triangles are formed above the line but prominent knobs below it. In the arch is an order of beakheads over an angle roll. These have keeled beaks with hollowed sides, which is unusual. Their eyes are comma-shaped; a curved teardrop outline. The heads have a variety of patterns: as well as the variations of feathers, there are tile-like scales on the first from N and a square grid on the third from N. Beakheads towards the S have parallel vees following the outlining of the eyes. The sides of the heads have long inverted feathers or leaves.
Bases as before. Endelit nook-shafts. Capitals: S remade; N capital, plain double scallop, its necking decayed but perhaps cut like the second order L. In the arch, over an angle roll, is a motif, which has been described as 'beaker clasp' by Heslop (these are not, however, true beakheads). The platforms are ridged radially and have a central stack of vees, with semicircles at the outer edges. Compare Stillingfleet, where the platforms carry figurative sculpture and not only patterns.Label: Convex with fine circumferential ridges and a row of billets spaced their own length apart. There are label stops in the form of small heads, very worn but possibly human. The 1891 restoration put heads in this position on the vestry doorway.
|h. of impost above floor level||2.71 m|
|h. of opening (approx.)||4.44 m|
|w. of opening at floor level||3.465 m|
Coursed half-column with double width capital, the same design to N and S, that is, three scallops to sides, five on main face. These are about half the height of the capital and have the curve of the scallop emphasised on the angle by an incised line. The cones project on the N and S sides, but are more upright on the E and W sides. Necking on S side, cut in lozenges with lower edge curved (as on W doorway) and on the N side, flatter lozenges, double-outlined and with small domes in the spaces. Impost deep, plain chamfer, upright with two lines not close but marking about half and three-quarters of the height. In the arch, angle rolls to E and W, with a hollow between marked by slight ridge or stepped moulding. On the W face to the tower, chamfered and plain; on the E face to the nave a hollow runs circumferentially round the order, bordered by deeper steps. Spaced motifs stud this hollow - most of them are bosses criss-crossed like bunches of grapes but occasionally something else is carved - two men's heads and a pair of stars.
Bases as before. Engaged (coursed) nook-shaft. Neckings both cut in diamonds, capitals as for second order to tower. Impost as before. In the arch, point-to-point chevron meeting on the angle, the same on face and soffit. Plain outside the chevron roll.
Bases, shafts, neckings, capitals and imposts as second order. In the arch, the basic profile is flat on the face, turning into the soffit as a roll and finishing with a plain band adjacent to the second order. On the arch face and roll, a pattern of arches has been cut. The arches are outlined by two parallel grooves. The arches make a pointed apex on the joint between voussoirs. Their inner terminals, centred on each voussoir, are very varied in treatment. Occasionally ending in a simple point, more often the grooves continue to curve round and meet others on the joint or as a flat bar on the circumference, thus making a sort of horseshoe arch. Beading is used at '11' and 'one o'clock'. Foliage is often used in the outer spandrels of the pattern, in a form like that on the W doorway, and there is an enlarged central motif which is foliate. Terminals in the centre of a voussoir may be geometric motifs such as the 'daisy' radial stars in the lower left. This motif occurs at Riccall, Stillingfleet and Bishop Wilton, etc. There is a lion showing a short length of its tongue, a hare with long pointed ears and a figure described as an acrobat. This figure has a moustache, and what seem definitely to be legs and knees. It is an amazing - but just about possible - pose.
|diam. of necking||0.25 m|
|h. of capital (incl. necking)||0.28 m|
|w. of face with scallops and star pattern||0.205 m|
|w. of face with spiral||0.195 m|
The three larger pieces are carved with very competent figures of an almost Gothic fluidity but are still sufficiently solid to be Romanesque. Two of the three panels are shaped to fit in the spandrel between the arches - the steep sides of a Gothic arch would not be too hard to imagine. (Unfortunately the pieces are set too high to allow an adequate assessment of the curvature.) The third piece is squarer. The subjects are St Peter with key, St Paul (seated) with a sword, and a Harrowing of Hell. Morris's (p. 193) suggestion that the seated figure with a sword (St Paul) has two smaller people on either side is most likely a misinterpretation. It is now generally accepted that the two areas in the upper corners are foliage. The depiction of St Paul with a sword is not found very often in Romanesque sculpture in England.
The two capitals, neither of which is set in the proper orientation, get very little attention in the records or the guide (1997). However, they date from the first half of the 12thc. and would make a suitable pair for the S doorway at a village church. One, fragment 4, depicts a swordsman, and the other, fragment 5, has scallops on one face and chip-carving on the other.