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Holy Trinity, Rothwell, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°44′59″N, 1°28′52″W)
SE 343 283
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now West Yorkshire
  • Rita Wood
08 Mar 2001; 12 Apr 2014

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Feature Sets

Rothwell lies about 5 miles SE of Leeds. The church stands on a rise above the settlement, and there is a large churchyard to the N and S. The survival of pre-Conquest sculpture of late 8thc. to early 9thc. date (Coatsworth 2008, 242-44) suggests that this is an ancient site.

'The present church, mainly of modern reconstruction, consists of a chancel with aisle of three bays on the north side and an organ chamber on the south; a spacious nave of five bays, with unequal aisles; clerestory, south porch and western tower' (Kirk 1952, 7). There was a major restoration in 1892, but there had been others, including 1826 and 1873. Kirk (1952) has illustrations of the church exterior in 1849-50, 1867-77 and 1900.

The extensive changes have left little in situ from the Romanesque period (Ryder 1993, 171). Ryder reports that alterations to the vestry in 1988 revealed and destroyed a plain round-arched window with a keystone in the chancel N wall (Ryder 1993, 171), although it is unlikely to have been Romanesque.

Two pre-Conquest stones described by Collingwood (1915, 235-6) had been removed from the south aisle wall just prior to our first visit in 2001. Now (2014) cleaned, these two, together with other loose stones found at the church, have been set up in a display at the W end of the N aisle.


“In Morley wapentake are four manors… Rodewelle, Lostose, Carlentone, Torp and Mildtone”, but here is no mention of a church in DB. See also Kirk (1952, 5).

The church was given to Nostell Priory by Robert de Lacy (Lawton 1842, 151). The advowson was granted to the Augustinian canons of Nostell Priory about 1123-27 by Hugh de Laval, a tenant of Robert de Lacy (Kirk, 1952, 5-6).


Loose Sculpture


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

G. E. Kirk, Holy Trinity Church Rothwell, near Leeds, Leeds, 1952.

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