We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Andrew, Kirkby Malzeard, Yorkshire, West Riding

(54°10′0″N, 1°38′29″W)
Kirkby Malzeard
SE 235 746
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now North Yorkshire
formerly St Andrew
now St Andrew
  • Rita Wood
15 Jun 1998, 8 Apr 2015

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=11521.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.


Kirkby Malzeard is a village sited about 5 miles WNW of Ripon in North Yorkshire. A sizeable medieval church of which the nave retains most of its 12th-century S wall and its S doorway, St Andrew's consists of a North aisle, W tower, S porch, chancel, N chapel and NE vestry altered or added later. The church suffered a severe fire in 1908 which destroyed the roofs and the Anglo-Danish hogback grave cover illustrated by Collingwood, and it also meant that the N nave arcade had to be renewed (McCall, 1909, pl. showing interior view after fire).All that is original of the N arcade appears to be the arches of the two westernmost bays.

The S doorway and one respond of the chancel arch have 12th c. sculpture. There is also a N nave arcade (see Comments) and a possible early mass-dial. For a plan, see McCall (1909). See also Butler (2007), 249-251.


The origin of the place-name Kirkby was Danish 'village with a church', while Malzeard was Norman-French and suggests 'a poor clearing' (church leaflet). The site of a motte and bailey castle lies nearby.

McCall (1909), pp. 243-4, suggests that the date of the surviving doorway, and the first stone church, would fall between 1136, when Roger de Mowbray succeeded his father, and c. 1140 when the churches of 'Malessart' and Masham were given to Newburgh priory.


Exterior Features



Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches




Second order, lowest part of arch: the stopping of the hollow chevron with the convex passage is comparable to a late twelfth-century treatment as on the N porch at Selby Abbey.

Third order: In this order, the pattern of chevrons may be seen as cut entirely on the chamfered face; altogether, this doorway exhibits a fascinating use of a simple pattern and limited means.

Chancel arch

McCall (1909), p. 244, says the moulded base and cushion capital of the N respond of the chancel arch were 'preserved as detached stones in the building'. Neither these, nor the 'head or mask' formerly immediately to the E of the chancel arch on the N wall, were found on our visit. The description by McCall was written during the restoration and rebuilding which took place after the fire in 1908, which makes his comments about the changes of plan interesting, but also means his words have to be tested against what is seen there now.

N arcade

The bases and capitals of the renewed arcade are not as the original, but were made 'more pleasing' after the fire. McCall (1909, pp. 244-245) implies, and Leach and Pevsner 2009, 371) say, the capitals were designed by Oldrid Scott. All bases have been renewed, also with exaggerated style. Scott assumed the arcade to be thirteenth-century and reconstructed it on this basis (McCall 1909, 245). The arcade was continued into the N wall of the chancel, making eight bays in all.

Nothing would now suggest a twelfth-century date for the N arcade, without McCall's description and assertion of the date as 1190: 'The bases were most interesting, and unfortunately every one of them has gone to decay. Though differing slightly in each case, they presented in their mouldings a flat elliptical curve, with quirks and hollows, and a bead at the head, where they join on to the shafts. It is chiefly upon the evidence of these bases that we are able to date the arcade at about the year 1190'. His hope that they would be replaced by exact replicas was unfortunately not realised. His remark, that the bases differed slightly in each case, is perhaps another indication that his dating is preferable to Scott's.

Compare the drawing of a capital in McCall 1909, 245, with the present capitals. The drawing shows a capital with a round ring, hollow bell and plain upright, and an impost chamfered below with a plain upright.

McCall compares features of the arcade as it was before the fire with various other examples. The arches 'are of the same pitch as those of the nave of the church of Coniscliffe-on-Tees, of about the same date', the capitals 'were of a rather clumsy form, though not unlike capitals of the same period at Jervaulx Abbey and at Bedale Church' (McCall, 1909, pp. 244-5).


L. A. S. Butler (ed.), 'The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874)' Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record series 159 (Woodbridge, 2007).

T. S. Gowland, 'The honour of Kirkby Malzeard and the Chase of Nidderdale', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 33 (1938), pp. 349-396.

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

H. B. McCall, 'The Peculiar of Masham cum Kirkby Malzeard', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 20 (1909), pp. 233-253.