'Nowhere in the neighbourhood of Leeds can the archaeological growth of a parish church be better studied, with the survivals in situ, in spite of some destruction, from pre-Conquest days to the later middle ages and beyond, than at Bardsey' (Kirk, 1937). The church comprises a W tower of Anglo-Saxon date including belfry level windows; an originally Anglo-Saxon nave with Norman N and S arcades and chancel and tower arches cut into it, and 14thc. N and S aisles and chancel. The 12thc. doorway was reset on the new S wall in the 14thc. and the W end of the narrower Norman aisles are marked by the surviving simple windows adjacent to the tower. According to Kirk, restoration in 1909-1914 uncovered these windows and lowered the nave floor; it probably also accounted for the retooling of various features.
Sculpture is found on the S doorway, on the capitals of the arcades and on various fragments. The fragments have been arranged at the E end of the N aisle, in two groups. Apart from some roughly-tooled or broken voussoir-like chunks seen in 1998, all the pieces still seemed present in 2014.
At the time of the Domesday Survey, Ligulf held land of the king but there is no mention of the church. Faull and Moorhouse say that in 1166 a knight held Bardsey of Roger de Mowbray, and that after a rebellion of 1174/5, it was escheated into the king's hands. Kirk (1937c pl. 1) has a reproduction of an 1851 wash drawing by J. Greig, a view of the church from SW.
|h. of capitals approx.||0.15 m|
|h. of capitals incl. ring approx.||0.18 m|
|h. of opening||2.245 m.|
|w. of opening||0.99 m|
Plain and chamfered plinth; plain plinth. Bases worn but similar to fragment 17 in the S aisle, very upright, collared. The colonettes are of single pieces of stone. L capital and ring integral, very worn but basically double scallop with sunken shields. Impost as first order.
R capital: three scallops on each face, one on corner. The shields are outlined with a low semicircular moulding with a pointed one below near the top of each cone. This pattern is reproduced on the L capital of the third order. R impost renewed.
In the arch, point to point centripetal chevron not boldly sculpted. Fifteen voussoirs. In the spandrels to the face side, each voussoir but the central one has a symmetrical palmette. The stems of the palmettes are to the extrados, except on voussoirs 2, 3, 5 and 14, where they are in the point of the chevron. The palmette is the same on each of these voussoirs, and the four bear some resemblance to patterns of the 1160s (Stillingfleet south doorway, third order). The remainder, with their stems outward, are more variable in design and in an earlier style. The central voussoir has a 'daisy' very like those at Riccall (East Riding) on the label.
Base as second order. Colonnette, capital and impost renewed on L, using the pattern which just survives on the R capital of second order. R side, colonnette is probably original. R capital like the L capital of the second order, double scallop with hollow shields. Also very worn. Imposts as before. In the arch, a chamfer, a half-roll and a deeper chamfer on which are 17 beakheads. These are very worn so that, for example, the pitting on their beaks is unlikely to be decorative but rather owing to weathering of the sandstone. Nos. 13 and 14 show detail on the foreheads, with a beaded strap on 13 and nested vees on 14. No label in situ, but see below, Loose Sculpture (i) and (ii).
|Max. horizontal dimension||0.34m|
M. L. Faull and S.A. Moorhouse, eds., West Yorkshire: An Archaeological Survey to 1500, Wakefield, 1981.
G. E. Kirk, All Hallows Church, Bardsey, Leeds, 1937.
N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire: West Riding, Harmondsworth, 1967, 89f.
P. Ryder, Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire, Wakefield, 1993, 31, 139, figs 22, 48, 57 and 153.
P. Ryder, Medieval Cross Slab Grave Covers in West Yorkshire, Wakefield, 1991.
West Yorkshire Archaeological Service leaflet, 1987.