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All Hallows, Bardsey, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°52′58″N, 1°26′40″W)
SE 366 431
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now West Yorkshire
  • Barbara English
  • Rita Wood
19 Mar 1998; 09 Apr 2014

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'Nowhere in the neighbourhood of Leeds can the archaeological growth of a parish church be better studied, with the survivals in situ, in spite of some destruction, from pre-Conquest days to the later middle ages and beyond, than at Bardsey' (Kirk, 1937). The church comprises a W tower of Anglo-Saxon date including belfry level windows; an originally Anglo-Saxon nave with Norman N and S arcades and chancel and tower arches cut into it, and 14thc. N and S aisles and chancel. The 12thc. doorway was reset on the new S wall in the 14thc. and the W end of the narrower Norman aisles are marked by the surviving simple windows adjacent to the tower. According to Kirk, restoration in 1909-1914 uncovered these windows and lowered the nave floor; it probably also accounted for the retooling of various features.

Sculpture is found on the S doorway, on the capitals of the arcades and on various fragments. The fragments have been arranged at the E end of the N aisle, in two groups. Apart from some roughly-tooled or broken voussoir-like chunks seen in 1998, all the pieces still seemed present in 2014.


At the time of the Domesday Survey, Ligulf held land of the king but there is no mention of the church. Faull and Moorhouse say that in 1166 a knight held Bardsey of Roger de Mowbray, and that after a rebellion of 1174/5, it was escheated into the king's hands. Kirk (1937c pl. 1) has a reproduction of an 1851 wash drawing by J. Greig, a view of the church from SW.


Exterior Features



Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches
Tower/Transept arches



Interior Decoration


Loose Sculpture


Peter Ryder (1991, 12, nos. 2-6) identifies five fragments of grave slabs which are or could be of the 12thc. Of these, nos. 2, 3 and 4 feature in the assemblages in the W aisle; no. 5 is reused as "the inner lintel of the 'low-side' window on the north side of the chancel" and no. 6 is the "slab forming the threshold of the south door."

It is unusually harmonious that all the various arches of the 12thc. openings in the nave, including the pointed arches of the S arcade, have the same form: plain first order, and simple hoodmould.


M. L. Faull and S.A. Moorhouse, eds., West Yorkshire: An Archaeological Survey to 1500, Wakefield, 1981.

G. E. Kirk, All Hallows Church, Bardsey, Leeds, 1937.

N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire: West Riding, Harmondsworth, 1967, 89f.

P. Ryder, Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire, Wakefield, 1993, 31, 139, figs 22, 48, 57 and 153.

P. Ryder, Medieval Cross Slab Grave Covers in West Yorkshire, Wakefield, 1991.

West Yorkshire Archaeological Service leaflet, 1987.