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St Peter, Rowley, Yorkshire, East Riding

(53°46′50″N, 0°31′13″W)
SE 976 326
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
medieval St Peter
now St Peter
  • Barbara English
  • Rita Wood
25 Oct 2005

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Feature Sets

Rowley is an extensive parish in the southern Wolds. Little Weighton is the nearest centre of population, but there are several depopulated settlements around, including Riplingham, Hunsley and Risby, and the hamlet of Bentley to the east. There is no record of a medieval settlement (Pevsner and Neave, 1995, 662), and even now little more than the Manor and the church. The Manor was originally the rectory, built in the eighteenth century when Rowley was the most valuable living in the East Riding.

The older parts of the church are built of a brownish Jurassic stone in smallish pieces; otherwise the stone is a more conventional limestone ashlar. The church has W tower, an aisled nave, a chancel and S mortuary chapel. The S arcade of three bays is in Transitional style and the N arcade is a little later. (Pevsner and Neave 1995, 662).


In 1086, according to the DB, 3 carucates at Rowley were held by the Archbishop of York, and two by Robert, count of Mortain. Between 1144 and 1146 Bentley was given to St John’s College, Beverley. Parts of Hunsley went to Durham Priory in 1100 and after 1136. Various laymen also held land here: Gam had 5 carucates in (Little) Weighton and Cave (North Cave); Hugh had 16 villeins and four ploughs. (VCH, East Riding IV, 144-149) A church is mentioned, with a priest and two mills, TRE worth 40s, and now worth 50s. (VCH II, 277). A footnote in VCH II suggests that the church was at Rowley; however, the more recent VCH volume (ER, IV, 151, n.15) says that the church recorded in 1086 was at North Cave. The Meaux chronicle records a parson at Rowley in 1150. The advowson was with the Stutevilles in the 13th century. (VCH ER, IV, 151)


Interior Features



Trees carved on E respond: These trees are vaguely reminiscent of forms at Bilton-in-Ainsty or Great Driffield; perhaps one could look as far as the doorway at North Dalton.

Chamfer-stops on S arcade: Similar stops are seen at Fountains Abbey in the cellarium, also on the base of the tower arch at Sherburn-in-Elmet (both Yorkshire West Riding). Plain pyramidal stops are fairly common; for example, they occur at Goodmanham on the N arcade.


N. Pevsner and D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. edn. (London, 1995).

A History of the County of York: East Riding. IV (Oxford, 1979).

A History of the County of York, II (London, 1912), reprinted 1974.