Saxton is a village about 12 miles from Leeds. The church of All Saints has a W tower, nave with S porch and S chapel, and chancel with N vestry. An overriding impression of the interior was the dark pointing on the light grey stone: one unusual touch was that the stone slates of the porch were hung on wooden pegs on the rafters. (Pevsner, 1967, 431; Butler, 2007, 36).
There is a plan of the church in Borthwick Fac. 1876/5, but it is largely concerned with reseating, and so the windows (for example) are not entirely accurate: a better plan is in Kirk, 1960, pl. 1, drawn by J. H. Smith in 1959. An annotated plan drawn by S. D. Kitson in October 1920 is in the archive of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society; it is informative (summarised in Kirk, 1960, 14-15).
Apart from the N wall of the nave, which was rebuilt in later medieval centuries slightly to the N of the first line, the ground plan of tower, nave and chancel are basically from the twelfth century. The only Romanesque sculpture is in the waterleaf capitals and bases of the south doorway, and the simple imposts of the chancel arch. There are also two slit windows, and an aumbry - all supposed to be of c.1180 because of the waterleaf capitals.
In DB, Saxton belonged to Ilbert de Lacy (VCH II, 244, 297), and was held by the Peytevin family; there was a church. About 1160-74, Robert de Peytevin granted the advowson and some land to the hospital of St Peter (Farrer, 1916, 24). This is the family that had been concerned with the establishment of the Cistercians at Kirkstall. Lawton (1842), 73 says 'Torre calls this a parochial chapel within the parish of Sherburn'.
|Lintel||0.38m by 1.5m|
|w. of opening (interior)||1.06m|
|w. of opening (outside)||0.845m|
|Very approx. w. of opening||0.83m|
|h. of opening||2.96m|
|w. of opening||1.37m|
One complete window exists, at the E end of the N wall. It has a narrow chamfer outside. The interior facings of a second window also survive in that wall. The S wall of the chancel is much more complex, and both faces need to be examined to estimate what might have been the earlier fenestration. It resembles a general style found in various late twelfth-century churches in the S Riding.
The one nave window surviving seems oddly placed in the S wall. It may have been reset here in the late 13th century when the S or Hungate chapel was added and that part of the S wall opened up with the two pointed arches. Placed unusually high and close to the doorway, it would have lit the entrance. Slight chamfer all round - or at least as far as can be seen from the ground.
|Thickness of wall from E to W excl. chamfer||1.18m|
|Width of opening||2.98m|
Borthwick Institute Fac. 1876/5 (includes plan of church)
L. A. S. Butler (ed.), The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874) Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record series 159 (Woodbridge, 2007).
E. Coatsworth, Western Yorkshire. Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, vol. VIII (Oxford, 2008).
W. G. Collingwood, 'Anglian and Anglo-Danish Sculpture in the West Riding' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 23 (1915)
W. Farrer, Early Yorkshire Charters, vol. 3 (Edinburgh, 1916).
G. E. Kirk, Saxon Church, Lead Chapel, Towton Chapel (Leeds, 1960).
G. Lawton, Collectio rerum ecclesiasticarum de diocesi Eboracensi; or, collections relative to churches and chapels within the Diocese of York. To which are added collections relative to churches and chapels within the diocese of Ripon (London, 1842).
N. Pevsner, Yorkshire: West Riding: The Buildings of England (Harmondsworth, 1959), 2nd. ed. rev. E. Radcliffe (1967).
Victoria County History of Yorkshire, vol. II (London, 1974).