Tadcaster is a market town sited about 10 miles SW of York. St Mary's is a large Perp. church made in the local limestone. Aisled nave and chancel, the N aisle modern, the S aisle and chancel of the 14thc. and the W tower of the 15thc.
Due to flooding from the river Wharfe, the church except for the tower was taken down in 1875 and rebuilt with a 5 foot plinth. (Borthwick Institute, Fac. 1875/7). An arch constructed from fragments and a random group of fragments were reset in a wall when the church was rebuilt in 1875-7. These fragments are the only sculpture remaining from the 12th century.
There was a pre-Conquest church, a cross-fragment being among the 12th-century pieces reset. Once the Percys had acquired the manor, and stone was being shipped here, rebuilding would have been likely. About 1189, the church was given to Sawley Abbey, a foundation of the Percys (Anker 1991, 16).
The HER schedule 1017407 says 'The castle became neglected from the 12th century when the Percy family ceased to have a dwelling in Tadcaster.' The area of the motte and bailey is marked as wooded on the OS map.
The church was burnt and sacked by the Scots in 1318 (Anker, 1991, 6). VCH Yorkshire III, 404, describes an incursion of the Scots from Berwick to Pontefract and back through Craven in that year, but does not mention Tadcaster.
|h. incl. Impost||0.20 m|
|h. incl. necking||0.20 m|
|L capital max. w. E face||0.36 m|
|R capital max. w. E face||0.29 m|
|w. of N face||0.24 m|
|w. of S face||0.24 m|
|fragment (iii) length||0.23m|
|Fragment (ii) length||0.17m|
|fragment (iv) length||0.143m|
|fragment (ix) h.||0.135 m|
|fragment (viii) d.||0.155 m|
|fragment (viii) w.||0.235 m|
|fragment (vii) width||0.15m|
|fragment (vi) length||0.18m|
|fragment (v) width||0.115m|
|fragment (x) h.||0.23m|
|fragment (xi) h.||0.22m|
|fragment (xii) h.||0.2m|
M. Anker (ed.), Guided Tour and Short History of St. Mary's Church Tadcaster (pre-1991).
Borthwick Institute, Fac. 1875/7
J. Fowler and J. T. Micklethwaite, 'Note on the destruction of Tadcaster church', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Second series, vol.6, pp. 442-5.
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England), An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, vol. iii, South West of the Ouse (Oxford, 1972).
I. Roberts, Tadcaster Castle Motte, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Archaeological Services, unpublished report no. 544 (1997).
Victoria County History of Yorkshire, vol. III (London, 1974).