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All Saints, Bramham, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°52′53″N, 1°21′6″W)
SE 427 430
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now West Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Barbara English
  • Rita Wood
23 Nov 1998, 29 Apr 2014

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Bramham village runs down a west-facing slope of the Magnesian limestone outcrop. The church, of local limestone, stands in the middle of the village within an irregular layout of streets and within a large elliptical churchyard which slopes gently uphill. The building has, or had, a 12thc nave (although Ryder (1993) recognised some Anglo-Saxon walling there), W tower and N aisle, and an Early English S aisle as well as an extended 13thc chancel. Restoration in 1853 included the removal of a W gallery and the insertion of a wider imitation tower arch, and a Norman-style font. The round-headed W doorway in the tower was removed. (Borthwick Institute Faculty papers 1853/2; Kirk 1936 reproduces plans and elevations from Faculty papers.) Further work was necessary after a fire in the tower in 1874, which resulted in the insertion of new 'Norman' windows and long stones across the face of the tower to bond it. Sculpture can be found on corbels on all sides of the tower, in the N arcade, the tower arch (spurious), and on a loose slab.


The Domesday Survey records a manor, held by Nigel Fossard from the Count of Mortain, a church and a priest. The manor and/or the church was stilll held by the Fossard family in 1166, according to Faull and Moorhouse.

The medieval dedication is recorded in the Probate Register, 1560, Borthwick Institute.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches



Loose Sculpture


Ryder thinks that the fabric of the nave walls may be Anglo-Saxon, with a mid-12thc W tower and N arcade. (A W doorway is often associated with early or Anglo-Saxon buildings hereabouts.) He considers that the N arcade may have been interfered with 'in the gallery era' of the 18thc.

Ryder calls the loose piece of stone 'an interesting 12thc. headstone'; Kirk calls it a 'cross head' (for fullest discussion and illustrations see Kirk 1936; Kirk, 1938, 2-3). Kirk says it was found under the floor of the old chancel in 1936.

The situation of the corbels round the top of the tower, and particularly the stones on the angles, resemble the work at Snaith. At Bramham the corbels on the angles look more genuine, and contemporary with the rest, but the large size of the stone in that place and the placing of a motif on both faces is still an unusual feature.


M. L. Faull and S. A. Moorhouse, (eds.), West Yorkshire; an Archaeological Survey to 1500, Wakefield, 1981.

G. E. Kirk, "Finds in Bramham Church", Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 33 (1938).

G.E. Kirk, The parish church of All Saints, Bramham, Yorkshire: with some notes on its daughter churches, Leeds, 1936.

N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire: West Riding, Harmondsworth, 1967, 140f.

P. Ryder, Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire, Wakefield, 1993. 17, 30, 33, 144, figs. 42, 46.

P. Ryder, Medieval Cross Slab Grave Covers in West Yorkshire, Wakefield, 1991.