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All Saints, Frickley, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°33′56″N, 1°17′41″W)
SE 468 079
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now South Yorkshire
medieval York
now Sheffield
  • Barbara English
  • Rita Wood
21 May 2010

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Feature Sets

Frickley is a deserted medieval village about a mile W of Hooton Pagnell. Frickley church now stands alone, S of Frickley Hall, surrounded by fields and approached by a gated country road. Of creamy stone, the church consists of chancel, nave with N and S aisles, S transept, S porch, W unbuttressed and battlemented tower with short recessed spire. Much of the existing building is 13thc in date with Perpendicular windows on the N. The only Romanesque sculpture is found in the chancel arch.


Four Anglo-Saxon shafts of 9th and 10thc dates have been found here [Coatsworth (2008), 152-5]. The Domesday Survey records that South Elmsall, Moorthorpe, South Kirkby and Frickley were held as three manors by Ilbert de Lacy in 1086, and there was a church and a priest, but in these joint entries, it is impossible to be certain which vill had the church (the Domesday church is claimed by both Frickley and South Kirkby). Another small part of Frickley, in the hands of Roger de Busli, was manorial waste in 1086 [Williams et al. (1987-1992), 315v, 319].


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

The N and S aisle were extended during the restorations carried out in 1872-3 (Borthwick Faculty papers 1872/3). The church was closed in 1990 due to mining subsidence, and at this time some excavations were carried out in the church and churchyard by the University of Sheffield. The church was reopened in 1994.

Morris (1919), 225, found here a church with ‘small, but distinctly good, chancel arch.’ He also mentions a stone slab, having inscribed crosses as of an altar, it was ‘partly under the arch of the [north] chapel.’

Ryder (1982), 91 says that, as at Rossington, the shafts of chancel arch start high above floor level, suggesting there may have been a screen fitted.

Both Frickley and Rossington (SE of Doncaster) feature a long narrow nave, Frickley in the proportion of about 3:1, Rossington nearly 4:1.

The small face on the capital in the chancel recalls many other similar pieces in Yorkshire: at Austerfield and Rossington, and at Skerne and Bishop Wilton in the East Riding; these are on chancel arches and face the nave, but this one would have been gazing at the altar.


Borthwick Institute faculty papers 1872/3.

E. Coatsworth, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture 8: Western Yorkshire, Oxford 2008.

Guide to the church of All Saints Frickley.

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

N. Pevsner, revised by E. Radcliffe, Yorkshire: West Riding. The Buildings of England, 2nd ed., Harmondsworth 1967.

P. F. Ryder, Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, South Yorkshire County Council Archaeology, Monograph No. 2, Sheffield 1982.

A. Williams et al., The Yorkshire Domesday, London 1987-1992.