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St Martin, Lowthorpe, Yorkshire, East Riding

(54°1′54″N, 0°21′14″W)
TA 079 608
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
medieval St Martin
now St Martin
  • Rita Wood
12 November 2004

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Feature Sets

The present parish church is formed from the medieval nave of a church which had been collegiate. The ruined 14th-century chancel is of interest (Pevsner and Neave 1995, 606). Outside of it, immediately to the east of the chancel window, stands a cross which may be 12th century.


In Domesday Book there were two small estates which belonged to the king, another to the archbishop. The church is first mentioned in Domesday Book, when it lay in the larger of the crown estates. From 1333 it had collegiate status (VCH, II, 272, 3, 5).


Exterior Features



Morris (1919, 251) wrote that ‘adjacent to the end of the ruined chancel is a remarkable cross of a type not common in the neighbourhood. It is said to be the old market cross of Kilham.’

Pevsner and Neave (1995, 606) briefly commented on ‘an early standing cross, possibly C12.’

The base of the cross is said to be at Ruston Parva (see that report). It is not possible to check the cross-section at the very bottom of the shaft, but it appears too wide to fit the base at Ruston Parva, and that base seems too shallow to support such a shaft anyway. Perhaps the cross could be somehow associated with the college at Lowthorpe. Similar 'rose' motifs can be found on the capitals in the chancel, though 'the chancel arch with simple fleurons and leaves may be C16' (Pevsner and Neave 1995, 606).

The fieldworker is doubtful that this cross could be 12th-century.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 183.

G. Lawton, Collectio rerum ecclesiasticarum de diocesi Eboracensi; or, collections relative to churches and chapels within the Diocese of York. To which are added collections relative to churches and chapels within the diocese of Ripon, New edition (London, 1842), 305.

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.

Victoria County History: East Riding of Yorkshire, II (Dickering Wapentake), 1974.