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

St Mary, Rawmarsh, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°27′28″N, 1°20′41″W)
SK 436 959
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now South Yorkshire
medieval York
now Sheffield
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Barbara English
  • Rita Wood
9th September 2011

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=8720.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.


St Mary's is a large Victorian church from 1839 (Ryder 1982, 96; Borthwick Institute Faculty 1896/10), with blackened stone by past industries. It is on the side of a steep hill in the centre of the village (Rawmarsh High Street). From the S, there is a wide view over the built-up valley towards Rotherham. The approaches to the church still have their Victorian railings on all sides. The interest to the Corpus is the S doorway and a cross-shaft formerly in the churchyard (Pevsner 1967), now inside the S entrance (the base of the W tower).


There was no church or priest recorded here in the Domesday Book. By the time of Henry II, there was a church; in the mid 12thc an ecclesiastical building at Rawmarsh was given to Welbeck abbey. In 1204 the building was called a chapel (Hunter 1831, 45, Thompson and Clay 1943, 27-8).


Exterior Features





Hunter (1831, 48) believed the three columns on either side of the porch door to be part of the original church. Later commentators recognized the S door incorporated ‘parts of an original Norman doorway’ (Pevsner 1969, 399) and ‘the present building preserves a plain and heavily retooled Norman door’ (Ryder 1982, 116). Collingwood (1915, 233) saw the cross in the churchyard, south of the church. It has a head which, he says ‘appears to be modern’. Baldwin Brown (1937, 148) says ‘there stands now in a conspicuous position south of the church an obviously Saxonic tapering shaft, crowned with a cross-head with enrichment in the same style that looks suspiciously modern’. Brown gives a photographic illustration (pl. XXXIX) of the cross-shaft standing in the grass, and there is similarly a drawing by ‘T.R.C.’ in the church [DSCN 7342]. The cross-head had disappeared by the time Peter Ryder visited, c. 1982. Coatsworth 2008, 288 says the ‘stone type matches that of the Barnburgh 2 shaft above (p. 286) and has ornament on a chamfer comparable to one used at Thrybergh; it also has two foliage patterns and pellets. The shaft is 12thc.’


G. B. Brown, The Arts in Early England, vol VI, part II, Anglo-Saxon Sculpture., London, 1937.

E. Coatsworth, Western Yorkshire, CASSS 8. Oxford, 2008.

W. G. Collingwood, "Anglian and Anglo-Danish Sculpture in the West Riding.", Yorkshire Archaeological Journal , 23 (1915), 129-299.

Joseph Hunter, South Yorkshire. Deanery of Doncaster 2, London 1831.

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 West Riding of Yorkshire, London, 2nd ed. (1911) 1923.

The Buildings of England. Oxfordshire.

J Raine, The Dedications of the Yorkshire Churches, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal , 2 (1873).

P. F. Ryder, Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, South Yorkshire County Council Archaeology Monograph no.2. Sheffield, 1982.

A. H. Thompson and C. T. Clay, Fasti Parochiales II part II. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series 107., Leeds, 1943.