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St Andrew, Middleton-on-the-Wolds, Yorkshire, East Riding

(53°56′5″N, 0°33′32″W)
SE 947 497
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
medieval St Andrew
now St Andrew
  • Rita Wood
08 August 2003

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The church is on an abrupt little hill, standing above the road and with a steeply rising churchyard. Although the building is said to be mostly from 1873-4 by J.J. Teale of Doncaster, the aisle arcades and the chancel (walls internally of chalk) are from the 13th c. The only Romanesque remains are a font and a capital.


A church and a priest are mentioned in the Domesday Survey; the church had belonged to the archbishop earlier, but by the time the Domesday Survey was compiled, it had been given to St. John of Beverley. Waste is mentioned in Middleton, and there are several disputes over land listed among various owners, VCH ii, 292. There is no later history in VCH of interest to us.


Exterior Features


Interior Features






The font's bandy profile, smoothed surface and raised lines within which all the decoration is interpreted seem very strange. We have a late 12thc. work here, if the nailhead rather than beading on the 'capitals' is to be believed. The form of the capital is represented as a strongly concave bell - perhaps an early Gothic form. However, the handling is very naïve for such a late date. This is highlighted not just by the roughness of the freehand work at close quarters but also by the use of the single cable pattern. This seems to be an early pre-Conquest style, used before the more usual Romanesque cable pattern became known in the area. Pevsner and Neave note that the font is 'Norman, a fine piece, circular with attached colonettes, fleur-de-lis above them, and a top band of intersected arches.' Morris says that it is a 'beautiful Transitional font in strikingly good preservation.' If such reputable guides were not so sure, one might wonder whether this font could actually be genuine. It looks as though the model for it was made in Plasticene. On the other hand, Romanesque work is always individual, and I therefore hope to find other fonts made by this workman.


J. E. Morris, The East Riding of Yorkshire, 1906, 2nd ed. 1919, 256,257.

N. Pevsner and D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed. London, 1995, 614-5.

Victoria County History Yorkshire, Vol. II, ed. W. Page 1912.