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St Wilfrid, Calverley, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°49′50″N, 1°41′7″W)
SE 208 372
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now West Yorkshire
  • Rita Wood
30 Mar 1998, 06 March 2015

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Calverley lies midway between Bradford and Leeds and overlooks the River Aire. Built in local gritstone, the large church of St Wilfrid appears to be mostly late medieval, and was restored 1869-70. It has a chancel with a N vestry and chapel, an aisled nave with a porch, and a W tower. One blocked window in the S wall of the nave shows that there was an earlier aisleless church, although the window head is undateable. Sculpture appears only on numerous grave-slabs found during the 19thc. building works (Ryder 1991; 1993).


There is no mention of a church at Calverley in the Domesday Book. In 1166 some estate is held from de Lacy.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


Loose Sculpture


Peter Ryder, 1993, 145, says: 'The nave walls are of 11th or early 12th-century date, but only one architectural feature has survived from that period: a blocked window above the south arcade which has its external, round-arched head cut from a single block of stone. It is impossible to say whether the window is pre-Conquest or later.'


T. Garnett, A Short History of St. Wilfrid's Church Calverley, Leeds, Leeds, 1977.

G. Lawton, Collectio rerum ecclesiasticarum de dioecesi 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.

P. Leach and N. Pevsner, Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North, London, 2009.

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

P. F. Ryder, Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Archaeology Service Wakefield, 1993.

H. Stapleton, Memorials of Calverley Parish Church, Leeds, 1913, 38-44.