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All Saints, Hooton Pagnell, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°33′58″N, 1°16′9″W)
Hooton Pagnell
SE 485 080
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now South Yorkshire
medieval York
now Sheffield
  • Barbara English
  • Rita Wood
18 March 2010, 23 July 2012

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Hooton Pagnell is a village ten miles NW of Doncaster. The church lies at the S end of the stone-built village, next to Hooton Pagnell Hall, and on the top of the escarpment of the Magnesian limestone. The structure has early fabric of uncoursed rubble with quoins, which are Transitional and Victorian work. It consists of W tower, nave and chancel, N aisle, N chapel and S porch [Ryder (1982), 64, for phased plan].

The N and S walls of the tower continue the walls of the nave in a straight line, apparently of one build. The exterior walls of tower, nave and the S side of the chancel include occasional herringbone fabric. In the late 12thc or early 13thc, the chancel was lengthened and the N aisle added to the nave. The upper part of the tower was reconstructed in the 14thc and perhaps at this time was strengthened with ashlar buttresses.

A round-headed opening in the midst of the N wall of the chancel existed in 1860, but was refashioned during the restorations carried out between 1875-86 (see Comments). The surviving Romanesque features include the S doorway, the chancel arch, the tower arch and a capital in the Transitional N arcade.


The Doomsday Survey records that in 1066 'Hotone' was held by Earl Edwin and it was worth £8; by 1086 it had passed to Richard of Sourdeval, being Robert, Count of Mortain, tenant-in-chief, and it was valued at £5. During the first half of the 12thc Hooton was held by Ralph Paynel (or Paganel) and his son William, and the latter part of the name of the village derives from them.

There is no mention of a church in Domesday Book. The church was given to the Benedictine priory of Holy Trinity in York by its (re)founder Ralph Paynel around 1090-1100, a gift confirmed by King Henry I c.1100-1108. Ralph Paynel’s grandson granted the church to Nostell priory, but the grant appears to have had no effect, and between 1154 and 1181 he gave an interest in the church to Roger archbishop of York’s new foundation, the chapel of St Mary and the Holy Angels in York Minster. Moieties of the church were appropriated to Holy Trinity priory and to the chapel [Clay (1939), XII and nos. 1, 2, 4, 132].


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches
Tower/Transept arches








Documents in the Borthwick Institute foretell the alterations carried out: the Archbishop’s returns, 1865 said the church ‘wants entire restoration’. The church was altered in 1875 by James Teale, and restored, including the chancel arch, in 1885-6 by John Loughborough Pearson. The faculty papers for the Teale restoration include plans for proposed work but no record of the state of the church at the time (Borthwick Fac. 1874/4). A photograph of c.1880 shows drastic changes were made after that date to the upper parts of the nave, the priest’s door and to all the windows on the S side; in a drawing of 1875 the chancel arch is shown as depressed, with the south jamb far out of true - illustrations in Whiting (1938).

Hamilton Thompson (1909), 126-7, thinks the N chapel was added to the early 12thc chancel at about the same time as the N aisle was added to the nave, that is, ‘at a not very certain date… towards the end of the twelfth century’; he also comments on the tower arch.

Morris (1923), 269, says ‘originally [the church] was apparently an early aisleless Norman structure, of which the tower-arch (of the plain early type), and the chancel-arch (inclining towards the same pattern, but slightly more ornamented) … survive in the present building… all this E.E. work has a very Transitional look… Quoin stones of the Norman chancel seen on N side… chancel must (therefore) have been very short…’.

Ryder considers that ‘no original architectural features survive’ in the tower arch, but that a smaller, narrower arch was taken down and rebuilt on a larger scale; there is no herringbone work in this face of the tower (1982, 66). The plan of the first stone church is similar to that at Brodsworth, with tower and chancel wider than they are long. The chancel which was contemporary with the arch was about 3m deep; now nearly 11m.

A round-headed opening in the midst of the N wall of the chancel existed in January 1860, when Sir Stephen Glynne recorded that ‘the chancel has on the north a small plain Norman arch in the midst of much wall, dividing the north chapel’ [Butler (2007), 222]. This opening was refashioned in one of the subsequent Victorian restorations; see also Ryder (1982), 68. The tower arch needed little comment, being of Norman character.

S doorway

No interpretation of the symbols carved on the arch of the doorway has been suggested by Ryder (1982), 62, 65-6. For the wooden door and its ironwork, see Geddes (1999), 331.


Two grave-covers built into the rear of the sedilia on S side of chancel, probably in the 19thc, are possibly 12thc; some fragments in the porch may be from 12thc grave-slabs (no photos). The two entire incised grave-covers reset against the S wall of the tower inside were found in the SE corner of the chancel in the 1860s restoration [Whiting (1938), 14-5]; the one described above is given a late 11th or 12thc date by Ryder (1979), 69, item II. The volutes help date it. They represent foliage, as elsewhere in the early 12thc: for instance, the chancel arch capital in St Mary at Whitby, and numerous examples in Normandy. The slab illustrates the green or leafing cross, signifying resurrection.


Perhaps the lower part of a 12thc cylindrical font was reshaped with eight faces to fit onto an octagonal plinth or stem.


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

C. T. Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters 6: Paynell Fee, Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series Extra 3, Leeds 1939.

J. Geddes, Medieval Decorative Ironwork in England, London 1999.

J. Hunter, South Yorkshire: The History and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster, 2, London 1831.

J. E. Morris, The West Riding of Yorkshire, 2nd edition, London 1923.

N. Pevsner, revised E. Radcliffe, Yorkshire: West Riding. The Buildings of England, London 1967.

J. Raine, 'The Dedications of the Yorkshire Churches', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 2 (1873), 180-92.

P. F. Ryder, 'A notary’s grave cover from Hooton Pagnell, South Yorkshire', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 5 (1979), 151-3.

P. F. Ryder, Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, Sheffield 1982.

A. H. Thompson, 'The village churches of Yorkshire', in Memorials of Old Yorkshire, ed. by T. M. Fallow, London 1909, 106-164.

C. E. Whiting, All Saints’ Church, Hooton Pagnell, Yorkshire, 2nd edition revised, H. R. Wilson, Dewsbury 1967.