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St Katherine, Loversall, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°28′54″N, 1°8′0″W)
SK 576 987
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now South Yorkshire
medieval York
now Sheffield
  • Barbara English
  • Rita Wood
24 March 2011

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Feature Sets

Loversall is a village in the Doncaster borough of S Yorkshire. The church of St Katherine lies up a farm lane, on the northern edge of the small hamlet, surrounded by fields. Built of a creamy limestone, it is mainly Perpendicular with substantial Victorian rebuilding by Giles Gilbert Scott in the mid 19thc. The lower part of the tower is of c.1300. The only trace of the Romanesque here is the remains of a chancel window.


Although Loversall is named as a place in Domesday Book (Williams et al. (1987-1992), ff. 307v, 373v, 379) there is no mention of a church or a priest. Around 1100-c.1115 Nigel Fossard granted the church of Doncaster, property and land in that area, and four other churches outside the West Riding to St Mary's Abbey, York. There was probably no church in Loversall at the time of that grant. In 1207, however, a settlement was made by which the abbey of St Mary's quitclaimed to Robert de Turnham (who had married the Fossard heiress) the advowson of the chapels of Rossington and Loversall, belonging to the church of Doncaster (Thompson and Clay (1933), 87). This is the first recorded mention of the church that the fieldworkers have found.


Exterior Features



Glynne visited in 1869 after the restoration by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1854-6 and found nothing earlier than Early English in the church (Glynne (2007), 280-1). Morris (1923), 344, says the ‘cup font’ is ‘prob. Norm.’ but it is not considered relevant to the Corpus. It stands on a round-ended plinth made of large stones; has a cylindrical stem and a tall round-bottomed basin. This is likely to be a thirteenth-century font (compare Lockington and Filey). Morris (1923), 344, records ‘the nave is stated to have been rebuilt in 1855’, but does not give his source. He also says the Wyrall chapel on the S side of the chancel, is a very late one, perhaps built in the reign of Henry VIII. Borthwick Institute Fac.1893/10 plan 1 shows the unaltered church.

There is an unusually long, narrow nave, of a little over three squares in length (1:3.11); it is reminiscent of the long nave at Rossington (1:3.75), which is only three miles away. The S arcade runs slightly to the S of the rectangle suggested by the corners near the tower and the stubs of the chancel arch. Outside, the foundations were being dug out at the time of our visit, and this work has exposed plain and square plinths with a depth of up to three courses along the N side of the nave wall; similar stonework at the bottom of the chancel E and N walls. At the nave, these foundations include the buttresses, so perhaps they are not of 12thc date. Ryder notes ‘the plastered over remains of what looks to be a 12th century window are visible beside the Perpendicular arch to the south chapel.’ (Ryder 1982, 95). Blocked windows outlined by facing stones in the chancel walls have been seen at Stainton [6635] and Thorne [5831, 5831], also Adwick-le-Street.


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

Anon., St Katherine's church, Loversall.

A. Williams et al. (eds.) The Yorkshire Domesday, Alecto Historical Editions, 3 vols, London 1987-1992.

W. Farrer, Early Yorkshire Charters 2, Leeds 1915.

J. E. Morris, The West Riding of Yorkshire, London 1911, 2nd edn. 1923.

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

A. H. Thompson and C. T. Clay (eds.), 'Fasti Parochiales I part I (Deanery of Doncaster)', Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series (85) 1933.

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.