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St Lawrence, Kirby Sigston, Yorkshire, North Riding

(54°20′42″N, 1°21′41″W)
Kirby Sigston
SE 416 946
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, North Riding
now North Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Jeffrey Craine
September 2001

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The church now stands in an isolated position, accessed via a track, though during the medieval period the village was a short distance to the SE. The current parish serves several small villages. The present church consists of a chancel, nave, N aisle, porch and tower. The absence of a S aisle creates a somewhat unbalanced feel to the church. A chantry chapel was constructed on the N side of the chancel by John Sigston, the then lord of the manor, in 1343, though this was subsequently demolished. The tower would appear to be an 18thc structure, with the porch added late in the 19thc. The building underwent a comprehensive restoration by Temple Moore in 1893. The original church has been considerably altered though it would appear from the masonry, and from a surviving window in the S chancel wall and also the remains of round-headed arches in both nave and chancel S walls, that the 12thc building comprised a nave and chancel. The remaining Romanesque features with sculpture are the N arcade and several reset and loose fragments.


There are few records for the church or manor, the Doomsday Survey merely noting that Kirby Sigston was soke of the royal manor of Northallerton.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration


Interior Features



Loose Sculpture


There are some further carved stone fragments both inside the church and in the grounds. They are Anglo-Danish in character and suggest the possibly of an earlier church on this site. Though the form of the water leaf capitals in the nave arch would indicate a date towards the end of the 12thc, the carving of the arch stone in the S wall of the chancel is much earlier. The arrangement of the enclosed decoration, which is reminiscent of some forms of Anglo-Danish carvings (cf. some of the fragments conserved at the nearby church of Stonegrave), and the simple form of zigzag may indicate a date of early in the 12thc. Three of the arches of the nave arcade are semi-circular but the final bay is narrower and pointed. The reason for this is not at all clear, though the appearance of the pointed arch lends further support to this work belonging to a period c.1190.


N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire, The North Riding, Harmondsworth 1966, 211-12.

Victoria County History, York: North Riding, Vol. 1, ed. William Page, London 1923, 405-09.