We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

All Saints, Halsham, Yorkshire, East Riding

(53°43′52″N, 0°4′45″W)
TA 268 278
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
15 Aug 2005

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=6672.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.


This is a scattered parish; the church is in West Halsham, the typically long, thin Anglian settlement. Pevsner & Neave (1995, 448) mention the ‘prominent earthworks marking the site of [the early medieval] manor house’ but these were not so noticeable when we were there, perhaps because of crops. The church is large, medieval, aisled and has a W tower. It is of ashlar, boulders, rubble and brick: the building history is complex. The church was restored 1869-71 by Ewan Christian (VCH V, 38).

There are the remains of a stone seat on the S side of the chancel, which may be eleventh century, alongside the Decorated sedilia and piscina. The N wall of the nave shows traces of the aisleless Norman church: seen from the N aisle are part of a shafted window opening, some corbels and string course on the formerly outside face of the wall. The N arcade is late twelfth century.


Halsham was part of an estate centred in Patrington which had been granted by King Cnut to the Archbishop in 1033; 7 carucates or so were held in 1086 as a berewick of the archbishop’s manor in Patrington. By the mid thirteenth century most of the Archbishop’s estate had been granted to the Forz family or its predecessors as counts of Aumale. The Constable family (founder, Ulbert, the constable under William le Gros, count of Aumale) had an estate in Halsham by the late 12th c., when Robert Constable mortgaged the vill. Drew de Bevrere also had a small estate. Some land was given to Thornton Abbey by Robert Constable by 1190 (VCH V, 32).

There is no mention of the church until 1207, when the advowson was in dispute between Robert Constable and St John’s college, Beverley. It had been given to the college by Robert Constable's uncle, and the canons won the dispute (VCH V, 37).


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

String courses
Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features




Loose Sculpture


N arcade

Morris calls the arcade Transitional; VCH calls it late twelfth century; Pevsner & Neave say c. 1180. The arches are not quite the usual Gothic curve but perhaps Burgundian, that characteristic and their plainness are reminiscent of Fontenay and, locally, Burton Agnes.

Old stone seat

Morris identifies without comment a ‘stone seat’ between a later medieval sedilia and the priest’s doorway in the S wall of the chancel (Morris 1919, 173-4); VCH calls it 12th century. Pevsner & Neave (1995, 448) suggest an 11th century date is possible: 'on the S side [of the chancel] the arms of a stone sedile of the most ancient form, possibly C11. It is cut into by the most spectaclar feature of the church, the Dec sedilia and piscina...'

The so-called sanctuary seat in Beverley Minster has a fairly similar structure. The Beverley seat is included in the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture although it is not given a date; the seat at Halsham is not included or mentioned.

The successive seats here probably relate to lengthening of the chancel, as suggested by Pevsner & Neave.


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.

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.

Victoria County History: East Riding of Yorkshire, V (Holderness Wapentake, south and middle, parts), 1984.