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St Margaret, Millington, Yorkshire, East Riding

(53°57′20″N, 0°44′11″W)
SE 830 518
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
17 October 2003

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Feature Sets

A long low church, with little difference between the nave and chancel. Later windows. Brick tower of 1824; a modern brick porch. The nave S wall features an unusual ‘Lombard frieze’ along its length; this wall also contains an original doorway. Pevsner & Neave include the chancel in the Norman building or ground plan. Leadman queries whether there were 13thc alterations to a Norman chancel arch, but we did not record it. He gives internal measurements as nave, 35'6 x 19'6; chancel 24'6 x 13'4.

There was a restoration by Temple Moore in 1882-3.

Neither Lawton 1842 nor Raine 1873 give the original dedication, but the church was linked to Pocklington.


The Domesday Survey records that the manor was held in 1066 by Earl Morcar and in 1086 by King William. Three carucates held, with 7¼ at Barmby, in an archiepiscopal manor at the Conquest (VCHER, 3, 142). Leadman says that the king had fifteen carucates, while the archbishop only three.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Morris says that ‘the little church retains what is supposed to be the original plan of the Wold churches – a Norman nave and chancel without aisles.’ He perhaps takes this idea from Leadman: ‘There is also a Norman S. door, with three shafts each side, and some traces of Norm. carving on the S. exterior of the nave… the chancel is on a skew to the nave. There is a plain priest’s door.’

Few doorways would have only one pattern for all six capitals and only one moulding section in the arch. The poor layout of the curves of the little arches in the third order; the misplaced orders on the doorway, and the inverted capitals in the third order are further strange features of this workman. Yet if he had so few models, where did the ‘Lombard frieze’ come from? Similar Lombard friezes from which it might have been copied are are not found in the county, or in wider England. A series of larger arches, with normal sized corbels in the position of capitals, is found elsewhere in the Riding.

Well-preserved parts show that the little stepped arches resemble the pattern used on the chancel arch label at Bubwith. With the occasional terminal of these little arches being ornamented, the comparison could be the third order of the tower arch at Etton, though the arches there are cusped. In all these comparisons this flat pattern is used as a sculptural decoration to architectural forms – which is how it is used at Millington itself on the doorway in the third order. But on the S nave wall, the pattern is in the position of a cornice or corbel table, that is, it represents a structural support. It is comparable to the corbel table at Kirkburn, where two arches alternate with the support for corbels. A further interesting comparison is with the small section of corbel table or cornice surviving from Fangfoss church in the grounds of Fangfoss Hall. Here the inner span of the arches is small (100mm), but the relief is deep (200mm), implying the function of the block as part of a miniature corbel table.


A. D. H. Leadman, ‘Five East Riding Churches’, Y. A. J., 16, (1902), 289-297.

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

N. Pevsner & D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed., London, 1995, 615-6

A History of the County of York East Riding, III, Oxford 1976.