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St Laurence, Adwick-le-Street, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°34′16″N, 1°11′4″W)
SE 541 086
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now South Yorkshire
medieval York
now Wakefield
  • Barbara English
  • Rita Wood

18th March 2010

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The church consists of nave, S porch, N aisle, N chapel, chancel and W tower, built of rubble limestone with some ashlar. The church and churchyard lie close to the angle of two roads, opposite a park.

Items of interest to the Corpus are the S doorway to the nave and a sedilia and piscina built into the S wall of the chancel; remnants of windows and a doorway survive in the same wall.


Adwick-le-Street takes its name from the Roman road between Doncasterand Castleford, the suffix distinguishing it from Adwick-on-Dearne. The road also forms part of the parish boundary with Brodsworth. The settlement is named in Domesday Book, but the first mention of a church is when it was given, c.1170x1181, to the Cistercian nuns of Hampole Priory two miles away (Hunter 1828, 352-6; VCH 1913, 163). There is however a reference to Hampole in existence as a Benedictine house in 1156 (English Heritage/National Monuments Record website), in which case the gift, although unrecorded, may have been 1156x1181.


Exterior Features



Interior Features

Interior Decoration

String courses


Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


Loose Sculpture


The church is oriented in the same unusual direction as St Wilfrid, Cantley, i.e. NE, and may suggest that the site both of were influenced by some earlier feature (Brooks 1997, 2). Plan showing building periods in Brooks 1997, 3.

Ryder 1982, 88, says the church was ‘over-restored’ in 1862. He singles out the S doorway as ‘much restored’. Perhaps that explains the lack of a label and the curious capitals.

Pevsner (1959; 1967, 74) considers the sedilia contemporary with the C13 N chapel, ‘or a little earlier’. Ryder 1982 does not mention the sedilia or piscina. The sedilia interferes with one of the blocked windows in the same wall and is therefore presumably later than the window.

It might be that the two loose stones on the nearby sill were formerly part of the sedilia.


W. Page (ed.), Victoria County History: Yorkshire vol. III, 1913 (reprinted 1974).

R. H. Brooks, A brief history and guide to Adwick-le-Street and the Church of St. Laurence c.1150, Doncaster 1997.

Joseph Hunter, South Yorkshire, Deanery of Doncaster 1, Nichols, London, 1828.

G. Lawton, Collectio rerum ecclesiasticarum de diocesi Eboracensi; or, collections relative to churches and chapels within the Diocese of York. To which are added collections relative to churches and chapels within the diocese of Ripon., New edition, London, 1842.

J. E. Morris, The West Riding of Yorkshire, London, 2nd ed. (1911) 1923.

N. Pevsner, revised by E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England, Yorkshire, The West Riding, Harmondsworth, 1967.

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

P. F. Ryder, Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, South Yorkshire County Council Archaeology Monograph no.2. Sheffield, 1982.