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All Saints, Thwing, Yorkshire, East Riding

(54°7′1″N, 0°23′42″W)
TA 050 702
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
3 Oct 2006, 22 May 2007

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Externally, the church appears as of 13th to 14thc date; the tower is of 1900. There was an 18thc restoration. Restored and some rebuilding by Temple Moore, 1898-1901. There is a fine south doorway with tympanum, a chancel arch and a cylindrical font all of the first half of the 12thc; a few corbels were discovered and reset in the Temple Moore restoration.


The Domesday Book entry is not very clear, but in the summary the king holds 17 carucates and 2 bovates. In the main text, 8 carucates were soke of the king’s manor of Burton Agnes; the area was waste. These lands were given to Robert de Brus after the survey was completed. Isabel daughter of Adam de Brus married Henry Percy in the later 12thc. Another 2 carucates and 2 bovates were in unknown hands, and a further 10 carucates are mentioned. (VCHER II, 325, 327).

At some time between 1180 and 1210, the rector of Thwing was called Adam. The church was a rectory of medieties, one of which was given to Bridlington Priory in the 13thc (VCHER II, 328). John de Thweng was made prior of Bridlington c.1362 and was later canonised (VCH III, 199, 205).


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Interior Decoration





The S doorway

The S doorway is of a similar construction to that at Wold Newton, though there the tympanum is in one semi-circular stone. The rebuilt doorway at Thorpe Bassett may have been related: it still has its shafts of white chalk; Skirpenbeck perhaps also.

The subject of the Agnus Dei also occurs at Speeton in a fragment which seems to include spiral columns. At Woolley (YW) a tympanum with the Agnus Dei and a border of vine scroll is reset in the S wall of the nave inside, while elsewhere in that church there is a spiral column also likely to have been from the doorway there.

Chancel arch

For the small foliate design on the R side, compare S doorway at Fridaythorpe, impost of first order, L side, where also a small area of foliate design in an otherwise geometric setting. For the difficulty with volutes, perhaps compare Wharram-le-Street, chancel arch, L side, though it is widespread.

The Font

The Rev. E. M. Cole, vicar of Wetwang from 1865, says that the font came from Sewerby (1902, 109). In a document known in Thwing and thought to date from about 1898, the imminent restoration is discussed. One paragraph states that ‘the fine old font which had been removed from the Church, and was lying in a flower garden in another parish, has been repaired and restored with a suitable “comely” cover.’ On this evidence, the font seems to be original to Thwing. The illustrations in Felton 1900 (the Rev. W. Felton was vicar of Thwing from 1883) show the font inside Thwing church before the restoration by Temple Moore – and with work going on all around it. The font is not mentioned in Morris 1919.

Pevsner and Neave 1995, 724, say the font is ‘Norman, drum-shaped, with a regular lozenge pattern, possibly cut much later’ but the bulk of the carving is certainly original, as demonstrated by the approximate regularity of the pattern in an worn area, and at the side against the pew, where the meeting of the diagonal patterns is irregular. As Pevsner and Neave go on to say, it resembles the font at Flamborough, but it differs from it too, in that Thwing’s font is now carved continuously round the drum whereas there is a blank passage at Flamborough. The font at Bainton, with trellis and double cable patterns, also has an irregular join in the trellis pattern. At Thwing, the pattern is shallow, hardly more than incised, whereas these other examples are more modelled. The font is relatively squat, and possibly had a plinth, as at Wold Newton or Barmston.


Comparisons for workmanship and shape of corbels exist, for example, at Butterwick and Scrayingham. The lack of exaggerated expression on the corbel with the man’s head suggests he is one of those who are intently watching for the Second Coming (Wood 2003, 14-25).


E. M. Cole, ‘Ancient Fonts on theWoldsof East Riding’, Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society 10, 107-117.

W. Felton, Restoration of Thwing Church, East Yorkshire. Scarborough 1900.

J. E. Morris, The East Riding of Yorkshire, 2nd ed, London 1919.

N. Pevsner and D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd ed., London 1995, 724.

Victoria County History, The East Riding of Yorkshire, Vol. 2, London 1974.

Victoria County History, A History of the County of York, Vol. 2 (General volume, including Domesday Book) 1912.

R. Wood, “The Augustinians and the Romanesque Sculpture at Kirkburn Church”. East Yorkshire Historian 4 (2003), 3-39.