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St John the Baptist, Carnaby, Yorkshire, East Riding

(54°4′24″N, 0°15′5″W)
TA 145 656
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
17 Oct 2005

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Feature Sets

The church has a chancel, nave with S aisle and a W tower, and it has been much altered and repaired over the centuries (Pevsner & Neave 1995, 381). Only the fine font survives from the 12th century.


In 1066, Chilbert had 13 carucates and there was land for 7 ploughs. In 1086, under the king, there were 2 estates comprising 13 carucates, of which one carucate was in Auburn; two rentpayers had 9 villeins with 3 ploughs (VCH II, 287). In the early twelfth century the hospital of St Leonard, York, had one bovate.

Robert son of Picot de Percy gave the church to Bridlington priory between 1148 and 1153. In the 12th and 13th centuries the church had dependent chapels at Fraisthorpe and Auburn; these became independent later (VCHER II, 126-7).





Because the large group of fonts in the East Riding seem to belong to the early twelfth-century, it is thought likely that this font would have been made before the church was given to Bridlington priory in 1148. The Augustinian canons seem to have had baptism as a pastoral priority, and not all churches that have fonts belonged to a priory (Wood 2011, 145-6).

The font from Auburn is now at Wragby (YW). It has lozenges, fine texturing etc., but is not so adventurous and individual as the one at Carnaby. The font at Fraisthorpe is a plain squat cylinder.

The small plain lozenge at the intersection of larger units is reminiscent of one of the patterns on the pillars of Durham cathedral; it may be a means of avoiding the intersection of too many straight lines, which would make weakness in the stone and might lead to flaking.

Chip-carved stars are not common on the East Riding fonts, but are seen on the font at Reighton, together with a similar cable moulding and lozenges (as trellis grid pattern). The font at Reighton is square in plan, like a few in the North Riding.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England's Patron Saints, 3 vols., London, 1899, 78

E. M. Cole, “Ancient Fonts on the Wolds of East Riding”, Trans. East Riding Antiquarian Society 10 (1902), 107-117

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

Victoria County History: East Riding of Yorkshire, II (Dickering Wapentake) 1974

Victoria County History: Yorkshire, II (General volume, including Domesday Book) 1912, reprinted 1974

R. Wood, "The Augustinians and the Romanesque font from Everingham, East Riding." Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 83 (2011), 112-47