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All Saints, Ledsham, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°45′45″N, 1°18′35″W)
SE 456 298
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now West Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
  • Rita Wood
05 June 2001, 13 July 2023

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Ledsham church stands on a small escarpment and is 'almost certainly the oldest standing building in West Yorkshire' (Ryder 1993, 165). It now comprises chancel, nave and tower, with a N aisle, N chapel, vestry and S porch. The church is known for its Anglo-Saxon features: the tower doorway, various windows in the lower parts of the tower and the nave, also the chancel arch, as discussed in Coatsworth (2008, 192-98). The carving at the chancel arch and on the S doorway in the tower has been subjected to restoration. The Romanesque parts, mostly in limestone, are relatively minor. They are situated on the upper part of the tower, including the belfry windows and perhaps corbels, and on the tower arch. There is a plan in Ryder (1993, fig. 153, 102), and the Faculty application for restoration of the church includes plans (Borthwick Institute, Fac. 1870/7).


Ledsham church was given to Pontefract Priory by Robert I de Lacy before 1129 (Wightman, 1966). Pontefract Priory acquired the whole of the vill during the 12thc. (Faull and Moorhouse, 1981).


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches





The corbels are not like other 12thc. corbels in the area (for example, Bramham), in either subject or form. It is possible that they were carved, along with the gargoyles on the angles, in the 15thc. when the battlements were added.


E. Coatsworth, Western Yorkshire. CASSS vol. VIII, Oxford, 2008.

M. L. Faull and S. A. Moorhouse, West Yorkshire: an archaeological survey to AD 1500, Wakefield, 1981.

W. E. Wightman, The Lacy Family in England and Normandy 1066-1194, Oxford, 1966.