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St Mary, Gisburn, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°56′6″N, 2°15′37″W)
SD 830 488
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now West Yorkshire
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Rita Wood
19 July 2010

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The village of Gisburn lies between Skipton and Clitheroe on the A59. The church has the long low profile, typical of many in this north-western part of the Riding; it has a W tower and continuous aisles of four bays. The chancel and its aisles are separated from the nave by a wall with three pointed chamfered arches resting on a pair of heavy circular piers (Pevsner 1967, 218; Leach and Pevsner 2009, 277). The origin of the cylindrical piers is uncertain, but the lower parts of the W tower and at least three windows and the plain tower arch are certainly of the Romanesque period.


In Domesday Book in the summary of ‘Cravescire’ (Craven) William de Percy and Roger the Poitevin both hold 2 carucates in Gisburn. (VCH ii, 307n)


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches
Tower/Transept arches

Pevsner (1967, 218-19) says the chancel arch and the W chancel chapels that rest on unusually strong short circular piers seem 13thc. Leach (2009, 277) suggests that these stout piers might be a contrivance to accommodate the different widths of the nave and chancel.


P. Leach and N. Pevsner, Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North, New Haven and London, 2009.

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

Victoria County History: County of York, vol. II, London, 1912 (reprinted 1974).