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All Saints, Kirk Deighton, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°56′59″N, 1°23′36″W)
Kirk Deighton
SE 399 506
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now North Yorkshire
12 Aug 1997, 21 Aug 2014, 28 Aug 2014

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Kirk Deighton is a village north-west of Wetherby in North Yorkshire. The church of All Saints stands in a prominent position, deceptively high after the gentle approach from the S.

There is a nave (the corners of which are dated c.1100 by Kirk 1938, plan after Kitson), a W tower, N and S aisles, S porch; chancel with organ chamber and vestry to N. The round-headed arch at the E end of the N aisle is of 1874; the chancel arch is restoration work too. There are no papers for either restoration (1849 and 1874-5).

The only Romanesque remains are in the N arcade, and a few reset pieces in the interior.


Pre-Conquest, Merlesuan had 12 carucates; at DB Ralph Pagenel had it; there was a church at Distone. The value of the manor had declined from 60s under King Edward to only 4s at the time of the Survey (VCH II, 271). Subsequently, the manors of Kirk Deighton, Great Ribston and Ripley were exchanged for the manor of Bingley, and Kirk Deighton came under the fee of Trussebut (VCH II, 278, fn.1). In the 13th century, it came to belong to the Roos family.


Interior Features



Interior Decoration





North doorway

The blocked N doorway in the N aisle has a semi-circular label. The doorway is referred to by Kirk 1938, 9-10: 'in the 14th century the aisle [which was narrow and contemporary with the N arcade] seems to have been widened... the north doorway being, perhaps, refixed and chamfered - it is of Tadcaster stone'. It is very unlikely that this doorway was of the same date as the arcade because its features are not in accord. Apart from the wide chamfer which might have been cut later, the stone used is different, the arch is of only three large voussoirs, and the label is developed with moulded arch and animal-head stops, and that too is included in the three stones of the arch. The capitals or imposts are moulded and angled consistent with the chamfer, as are also the bases. The arch may have been made pointed in the soffit at a later date. Kirk 1938, 10, notes that from the 15th century, work at the church uses Tadcaster stone. Leach and Pevsner (2009, 373) suggest the aisle was widened c. 1300.

The chancel arch and the fragment in the S arcade

The chancel arch when seen by Glynne in May 1862 was 'pointed on octagonal corbels' (Butler 2007, 255). Leach and Pevsner (2009, 373) describe the present round-headed chancel arch as 'of 1849 with unscholarly Neo-Norman details (apparently derived from an architectural fragment inset above the E arch of the S arcade'.). If Glynne was accurate about the pointed arch, it would rather seem to belong to the 1874 restoration.

This chancel arch appears to be made up of two orders with wide chamfers; then a row of little arches and a chamfered and plain label. Kirk 1938, 10, says the arch springs from brackets of 15th-century character, but that they are modern, as also is the 'Norman' scalloped label. The little arches, the chamfered orders and the capitals are heterogeneous, and the structure is not architecturally correct, as Leach and Pevsner suggest in calling it 'unscholarly', but the pattern of little arches is not derived from the reset fragment seen from the S aisle, though it is a twelfth-century pattern, used, for example, at Sherburn-in-Elmet in this Riding, and at Bubwith in the East Riding.

Kirk (1938, 11, fn. 2) wondered if the fragment reset in the E bay of the S arcade was of 13th century date. It reminds the fieldworker of reset fragments at Boroughbridge, where similar foliage accompanies scenes of the Crucifixion which are probably mid twelfth century. At Kirk Deighton, the foliage is sunken below what seems to be a roll border on two sides, and the fragment seems to be shaped, perhaps to fit an architectural space. An earlier source than Pevsner and Leach for the linking of the chancel arch pattern to this fragment has not been traced (it is not Taylor 1875 or Speight 1906).

The fragment of a column reset on the N wall of the tower might perhaps be part of the central column of a late twelfth-century sedilia.

The two bracelet-headed crosses are compared to the elaborated version at Dewsbury. All three grave slabs are given a 12th century date by Peter Ryder (pers. comm. 2014).


L. A. S. Butler (ed.), 'The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874)' Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series 159 (Woodbridge, 2007).

G. E. Kirk, All Saints' Church, Kirk Deighton (Leeds, 1938).

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).

P. Leach and N. Pevsner, YorkshireWest Riding: Leeds,Bradford and the North (Yale, 2009).

H. Speight, Nidderdale, from Nun Monkton to Whernside (1906).

R. V. Taylor, The Ecclesiae Leodienses, or Historical and Architectural Studies of the Churches of Leeds and Neighbourhood…. (London and Leeds, 1875).