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St Bartholomew, Aldbrough, Yorkshire, East Riding

(53°49′43″N, 0°6′40″W)
TA 244 386
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
05 Sep 2005

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The church has a W tower, an aisled nave and a chancel with N chapel. It is a large, heavy building, largely of boulders and ashlar, standing high on a raised walled churchyard in the centre of the village. The nave (without aisles) and the chancel seem to be on the twelfth-century plan.

Aisles were added in the late 12thc., but the arcades were completely rebuilt at the restoration. A watercolour of 1868 (Twycross-Raines 1920, 29) shows the interior before the arcades were substantially rebuilt in 1870-1: they look very plain early pointed; he describes the assortment of piers and arches then existing. In the rebuilding a single design of capital was used throughout.

Inside in the S aisle is a sundial often dated to the early 11thc.. Reset in the same wall is a small figure, called a ‘Roman soldier’. The altarpiece in the N chapel is set with tile mosaic from Meaux, the pieces being brought from Hilston church after the bombing. The effigy in the chapel (in the general view) is of Sir John de Melsa, died 1377.

For our Corpus, there are 11thc. windows, blocked, in the N wall of the chancel; and a third windowhead with sculpture in the S wall of the chancel outside. Chevron voussoirs are reused over the 14thc. priest’s doorway nearby. A reset figure is included, but its date is uncertain. Twycross-Raines says that the chevron voussoirs and the windowhead are not constructed from the same kind of stone as that used in later parts of the pre-restoration building (1920, 30).


Ulf had 9 carucates in 1066, and berewicks elsewhere. All land passed to Drew de Bevrere by 1086, and by 1115 it was part of the Aumale fee.

The 11thc. inscription on the sundial says the church was built by Ulf, perhaps the same who was the tenant of Atwick in 1066. In 1115, the church was given with others in Holderness to the priory, later abbey, of Aumale, (Seine Maritime). They held the patronage.


Exterior Features



Exterior Decoration

String courses

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches



Interior Decoration


Borthwick Institute Faculty papers and plan 1870/1

J. T. Lang, et al., York and Eastern Yorkshire. Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, III. Oxford 1991, 46-7, pp. 123-4.

F. Mann, Early Medieval Church Sculpture: a study of 12th-century fragments in East Yorkshire, Beverley 1985, p. 7, 8.

J. E. Morris, The East Riding of Yorkshire. 2nd ed. (1906) 1919.

N. Pevsner and D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed. London, 1995, pp. 263-4.

G. Poulson, The History and Antiquities of the Seigniory of Holderness in the East-Riding of the county of York London 1840.

G. F. Twycross-Raines, 'Aldbrough church, Holderness', Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society 23, 1920, pp. 29-32.

Victoria County History: A History of the County of Yorkshire, East Riding, Vol. 7 (Holderness Wapentake, north and middle sections) 2002, p. 10, pp. 22-25.

Victoria County History: A History of the County of Yorkshire, Volume 2, 1912.