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St Mary, Askham Richard, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°55′31″N, 1°11′1″W)
Askham Richard
SE 537 480
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now North Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
11 Apr 1995, 15 Mar 2014

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Askham Richard is a village 6.5 miles SW of York. The church of St Mary is a single-cell building of rubble masonry, restored in 1878-9, at which time a chancel arch, vestry and porch were added and the W wall brought into alignment (Borthwick Institute, Faculty papers). Surviving C12th features are the S doorway to the nave and the plain S doorway to the chancel. The exterior vestry doorway is thought to incorporate material from the original porch. Romanesque sculpture is found on the S doorway to the nave and on a loose block inside the church.


Askham Richard (Ascam) was held by Osbern d'Arques in 1086, and was given (as Escham) to Nun Monkton priory at its foundation by William and Ivetta d'Arches, 1134-53.


Exterior Features


Loose Sculpture


Collingwood states that the carved block 'has been thought to be pre-Conquest. The modelling of the surface, however, recalls an impost at Kirkstall Abbey of plaited design, and a stone at Coverham Abbey. There is no definite sign of pre-Norman work about it, though the motive is no doubt traceable to the dragons of the Anglo-Danish type'.

Coatsworth 2008, 286, describes the block as 'clearly post-Conquest', and cites Pevsner 1967, 343, on 'curiously Saxon-looking interlace' in the eastern parts of Kirkstall Abbey (Leach and Pevsner's revision of 2009 has deleted this passage). As far as the fieldworker is concerned, there is nothing like the block at Askham Richard known to her, nor does the work at Kirkstall resemble it, as there is no foliage for example. Pevsner suggests the stone might be a square cross base or support from the churchyard.


J. Bilson, 'Proceedings of the Society in 1913'. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 23 (1915), 108.

Borthwick Institute Faculty Papers, 1878/8, plans 1878/8c, 1878/8d.

E. Coatsworth, 'Western Yorkshire', Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture VIII (Oxford, 2008).

W. G. Collingwood, 'Anglian and Anglo-Danish Sculpture in the West Riding', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 23 (1915), 135.

W. H. Dixon, 'Notes on some Ainsty Churches', Proceedings of the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society (1933), pp. 1-28.

P. Leach and N. Pevsner, Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North (Yale, 2009).

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire: The West Riding (Harmondsworth, 1959). 2nd. edn. rev. E. Radcliffe (1967).

Victoria County History of Yorkshire (London, 1912), Vol. II.