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St Peter, Wintringham, Yorkshire, East Riding

(54°8′49″N, 0°38′36″W)
SE 887 732
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now North Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
medieval St Peter
now St Peter
  • Rita Wood
23 August 2007, 24 August 2016

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Wintringham village is about two miles south of the main road from Malton to Scarborough. The church is near the Hall and south of the village on the quiet road south that climbs up onto the Wolds; it is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It is a plain late Gothic building with spire on west tower, an aisled nave, and a chancel which is described as ‘Norman’ (Pevsner and Neave 1995, 759). The stone used seems in part to be the local Jurassic. The church was restored in 1823 and 1867-8; on the fieldworker's first visit in 2007 work was in progress for the Churches Conservation Trust, who had taken it over in 2004.

While the chancel is doubtfully 12thc., there is a capacious plain cylindrical font which is genuinely ‘Norman’.


Before the Conquest, Eddiue had 10 carucates; Ralph de Mortemer is the holder in Domesday Book and the value has reduced by two thirds (VCH II, 269, 324).


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features

Interior Decoration





Sir Stephen Glynne visited in 1842 and describes ‘a curious corbel table on both sides of the chancel with curiously varied heads’ (Butler 2007, 444). The corbels on the chancel are now much of a kind, and in poor condition; they might be restorer’s work, or at least in a repetitive non-Romanesque style. There is an unusual number of carved heads on the nave parapets and around; perhaps Glynne’s notes were too brief. The loose stone in the N chapel, with three various heads, may have come from a corbel table, but the man’s face is more advanced than on the usual run of corbels.

Glynne also describes on the N wall of the chancel, ‘flat buttresses, also a doorway with obtuse arch’. The N wall of the chancel has one pilaster in the centre of the wall, the S wall has two pilasters. There is a mass-dial on the pilaster to the E of the S doorway. The pilaster is narrow, included in the complicated plinth, and stepped near the top; it seems to have been built over part of the S doorway and is only coursed with the wall above the level of the doorway. The pilaster on the N side seems to be coursed with the wall all the way up. If the ‘Norman’ plan is still followed by the present building, it has been disguised.

Though the doorways are round-headed, they have moderate chamfers. The chamfer stops on the N doorway include a transverse bar in the form of a fine round moulding. This feature also occurs on the S arcade, pier 2, at Rowley (East Riding) as a stop to the chamfer in the pointed arch; it occurs also on the jamb of the E respond on the N arcade at Hayton (East Riding), where the arcade has round arches. It is hard to tell if the same transverse bar occurs on the corbels or if the profile is stepped.

The chancel was said by Pevsner to be ‘Norman’ but individual features are questionable and probably only the round-headed doorways justify the chancel’s inclusion in a Romanesque corpus. The two carved stones (one loose, one reset) in the chapel of the N aisle have similarities with Romanesque work, but are similarly discordant.

The bowl of the font is wide enough to crouch in. The village is four miles from North Grimston (to SSW) and these churches have two of the largest cylindrical fonts in the East Riding. They are probably both made of the Jurassic strata that outcrop from Birdsall and North Grimston towards Hovingham; for geology, see report for Weaverthorpe.


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

G. Lawton, Collectio rerum ecclesiasticarum de diocesi Eboracensi. London 1842.

N. Pevsner and D. Neave, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed. London 1995.

A History of the County of Yorkshire, Vol. 2 (General volume, including Domesday Book) Victoria County History, London 1912.