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All Saints, Muston, Yorkshire, East Riding

(54°12′4″N, 0°19′11″W)
TA 097 797
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now North Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
05 Feb 2004

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=3329.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

The church is a neat Victorian building, 1863-4; it has a chancel, aisled nave and W bellcote. This modern church retains several remnants of the medieval building: two small carved heads reset in the porch are later than Romanesque (Pevsner and Neave 1995, 616-7).

Of relevance to our period are an altar slab, a cylindrical font, a possible stoup and a pillar piscina.


In the Domesday Survey, there were at least three holdings, linked to Hunmanby and under the lordship of Gilbert de Gant. The estates remained with the Gants until the late thirteenth century. One small estate was held by the king. Dugdale says that in 1115, Walter de Gant, Gilbert’s son, gave Hunmanby church, with Muston and its other dependant chapels, to Bardney Abbey. A vicar was appointed, apparently in 1269. Burials from Muston still went to Hunmanby as late as 1828 (VCH II, 278, 282).

In 1764, the parsonage house was built of chalk and thatch, it had two ground floor rooms and a chamber above (Clegg 1995, 11). A view of the church from the W is included in Poole, 1848; at that time the floor was of pebbles. In 1856, the church was described as ‘a small and mean, ancient, edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, and south porch. A small turret contains two bells’ (Sheahan & Whellan, 2, 484). In 1863-4 it was decided to rebuild on precisely the same site with the exception of extending a little to the W and adding a N aisle and vestry. Stone came from a quarry belonging to George Beswick of Gristhorpe and also from the ancient ‘Spital hospital’ at Willerby (Clegg 1995, 6-7).




Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


Altar slab. Poole 1848, 121, says this is ‘a very rare instance of a high altar of stone still remaining’. In a footnote he mentions another at St. Mary Magdalen, Ripon; this has been recorded for the CRSBI. It is difficult to know if any particular stone is in its original position, even size may not tell all, and of course it is difficult to date without any marks. But certainly every church needed an altar from the beginning, and it had to be stone, not wood.

A churchwarden (Duncan Bell) told me that the stone altar slab had been found in the E wall of the chancel when the old church was demolished. According to Clegg 1995, 10, the Norman font was discovered embedded beneath the altar stone. However (see the following comment on the possible stoup, sometimes called a font), it may have been the stoup that was found. Both stone altar and holy water were Popish furnishings to be put away, whereas the cylindrical font would still have been needed.

Possible stoup. In the past, this item has sometimes locally been called a Saxon font (writtten on a plan of the church from Duncan Bell, churchwarden). Morris thought it was a font (1919, 257) and its assymetry reminded me of the font at Conistone in Wharfedale (YW), but this basin is too low and there is no drainage hole. Also, the basin itself would not have been thought large enough for a font until at least the 18th century. It is more likely to be a holy water stoup, which would have been sited near the entrance door, where the outer surface was liable to be damaged and rough work did not matter so much. The cutting of the basin is neat, and likely to be roughly contemporary with the pillar piscina.


K. Clegg, A History of Muston. Scarborough 1995.

J. E. Morris, The East Riding of Yorkshire. 2nd ed. London 1919.

N. Pevsner & D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed. London 1995, 634.

G. A. Poole, Churches of Scarborough, Filey & the Neighbourhood. London & Scarborough 1848, 121-2.

J. J. Sheahan & T. Whellan, History and Topography of the City of York, the Ainsty Wapentake and the East Riding of Yorkshire…, 2 vols. Beverley 1856.

Victoria County History: East Riding of Yorkshire, II. Oxford 1974.