All Saints, Harewood, Yorkshire, West Riding

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Feature Sets (3)


This redundant church is located in the park belonging to Harewood House. The present building replaced an earlier church on the same site around 1410.

The font may have 12thc Romanesque elements.


The church had a large parish pre-Conquest extending from Weeton and Dunkeswick on the N bank of the Wharfe to East Keswick, E of Harewood, and S to Allwoodley. All Saints was roughly central in this area (Faull and Moorhouse 1981, map 15).

The manor was held by the king in 1086, but by 1096 had probably been granted to Robert de Romilly. In 1166 de Curcy held it, and gifts were made to Bolton Priory (Faull and Moorhouse 1987; Butler 1986, 1992).

Harewood castle is a 14thc structure in the angle of the road up from the bridge over the Wharfe; Harewood House is an 18thc mansion in an extensive park. 

The site - or sites - of the medieval village have not been established, although several areas of earthworks have been noted; the present village of Harewood was built in the late 18thc as part of the general remodelling by the Lascelles family. 


Interior Features

Interior Decoration


Fragments of grave slabs

Ryder (1991, 26-28) says that Harewod has the largest collection of cross slabs in the county, although many are fragments of relatively little interest. He illustrates three (Ryder nos. 1, 3, and 6) which may be of 12thc date. Slab 1: Magnesian limestone with a simple incised design of a cross within a ring, and a stem. He does not suggest a date for his slab 2, a piece with shears, but Butler (1986, 108) suggests mid-12thc (his no. 2).

Two of these were placed loose in the chancel having come from the filling of one of the tombs; they have been stolen (Ryder nos. 1 and 2).

Ryder slab no. 3 is built into the internal face of the S wall of the chancel, one metre above the arch of the Ryther tomb. This slab is probably the same as that noted by Butler (1986, 102) as 'item 3... interior S wall of chancel, above S tomb, cross head with round leaf foliage, no leaf buds, narrow shaft, incised design'. Ryder describes slab no. 3 as having a damaged 'bracelet' cross design; late 12thc or early 13thc. 





The old font sits towards the E end of the S nave aisle (the modern font by Scott is near the W doorway). The old font is probably 13thc, as Leach and Pevsner suggest (2009, 297), but since the bowl is supported by two heavy roll mouldings and a third roll with cable, it looks back to 12thc forms. There is some white pigment, topped with a deep crimson, mostly just above the upper roll moulding. Some tooling was also noticed on the underside of the bowl. Inside, the original bowl seems to have been machine cut, reducing a medieval bowl to a shallow tray. The splayed foot of the font is in an even-grained light yellow sandstone and may not belong with the medieval part above; Peter Ryder in his field notes on the church (1988, 12) says that the base is modern.

Depth of basin 0.15 m
Diameter of bowl at top 0.75 m
Diameter of interior basin 0.526 m
Estimated max. diameter of larger roll moulding 0.57 m


The church, the churchyard wall, and two of the tombs have yielded fragmentary evidence of 12thc burials and architectural fragments, also an Anglo-Scandinavian stone or shaft of 10thc date (Butler 1986; Ryder 1991, 26-8; Coatsworth 2008, 161-2). In 2015 none of these pieces were seen in the church.

There is a mass dial reset in the second buttress E of the porch (Churches Conservation Trust leaflet current 2015); this is not thought to be of the 12thc. There are numbers incised in the bottom quadrant, and the lines seem to be contemporary with these. Notes published by the CCT suggest the dial is medieval.

There is a later E gable c.1793; restored 1862-1863. Nave and chancel, with aisles; W tower; S porch. There is an important series of six alabaster table tombs, spanning c.1419 to c.1510 (Leach and Pevsner 2009, 296-98). 

In the later medieval period, Harewood castle (GR SE 322 457) was used as a hunting lodge and a stand from which to view the hunt, according to recent archaeological work. It has been thought that the medieval village would have been cleared for the sake of the park at some date, so any relocation of the village may have been done before the 18thc reorganisation of the gentry housing, or for some other reason. It is possible that the medieval borough was founded in the first decade of the 13thc (1208, annual fair on July 1st, weekly market) and that this was at, or near, the site of the present village (Faull and Moorhouse 1981, 386-9; Butler 1986, 1992) but there seems to be no settled opinion. Leach and Pevsner (2009, 296-99) implies that the isolation of the church is due to its being between the medieval residences of Harewood castle and Gawthorpe Hall, and that the village of Harewood is where it was anciently, and not the result of 18thc reorganisation. In the mid-18thc Harewood House replaced Gawthorpe Hall, which was S and downhill from the present Hall. 

The report by Lawrence Butler (1986, 102) records the inspection of the churchyard walls for carved stones, as well as recording the fillings of two tomb chests under conservation. Butler, and Peter Ryder (1991), have searched the building inside and out for reset work and found many reset fragments from grave-slabs of 12thc and later periods. Two fragments reset outside: item 4 on exterior S wall of S aisle, a portion of a slab with step base; item 6 on exterior E wall of N chapel, a portion of a slab with deep single step base; and item 5: a stone coffin with a tapering profile and a 'well-formed head', now placed N of N chapel (Taylor, 345)'.

Butler (1986) notes several finds of 'worked stone' which are possibly of 12thc date. Most of these were found during conservation work on some of the tombs. 

Architectural pieces: three fragments of attached half columns (Max. diameter 0.2m), which Butler thought might have come from a door arch of the late 12thc; a fragment of rectangular wall shaft. Butler described the outer face as having three vertical roll mouldings, and the edge of the stone having a rounded chamfer. He compared it to the  the intersecting blank wall arcade in the choir at Bolton Priory.

Sculptural pieces: a fragment of relief sculpture with a figure ... ' (Butler 1986, fig. 5, 100-101), with comparisons suggested by Kit Galbraith, was found in the S churchyard wall and probably moved to the church for safety (Butler 1986, fig. 5, 99, 101) has not been traced, despite searching the church (except the tower); enquiries have been made to the Churches Conservation Trust, Harewood House, University of Leeds, and West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service, Wakefield. Already in fieldwork notes of 1988, Peter Ryder stated that the 'present location of these two stones has not been ascertained', the second stone being the pre-Conquest fragment which was displayed in a case in the church and has recently been stolen, (2015). It may be that Kit Galbraith's photographs include the possibly 12thc piece, as she comments on it in Lawrence (1986).

The two loose grave slabs displayed in the chancel have recently (2015) been stolen; no photograph is known at the CCT. The only known illustrations are Peter Ryder's drawings (1991).


  • L. A. S. Butler, 'All Saints' Church, Harewood', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 58 (1986), 85-108.

  • L. A. S. Butler, All Saints' Church Harewood, West Yorkshire, Halifax, 1992.

  • E. Coatsworth, Western Yorkshire. Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, vol. VIII, Oxford, 2008.

  • M. L. Faull & S. A. Moorhouse, eds., West Yorkshire: an Archaeological Survey to 1500, Wakefield, 1981.

  • P. Leach and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Yorkshire: West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North, New Haven and London, 2009, 296-98.

  • P. F. Ryder, All Saints Church, Harewood, Field notes for West Yorkshire Archaeological Services, Leeds, 1988.

The church from the SE in the churchyard.
Interior looking E.
Interior of S aisle looking E.
View N from near the church (A61 crossing river Wharfe).
View NW from near the church up Wharfedale (Almscliff Crag).
Harewood House from near the church.
Mass dial from S.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SE 313 451 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Yorkshire, West Riding
now: West Yorkshire
medieval: York
now: n/a
medieval: All Saints (1419, Borthwick)
now: All Saints
Type of building/monument
Redundant parish church  
Report authors
Rita Wood 
Visit Date
9 Jun 1997, 19 Mar 1998, 07 Jun 2015, 30 Jun 2015