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All Saints, Kirby Hill, Yorkshire, North Riding

(54°6′42″N, 1°24′1″W)
Kirby Hill
SE 393 686
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, North Riding
now North Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Jeffrey Craine
September 2010

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The church is situated outside the village, just over a mile NW of Boroughbridge. It was substantial restored by George Gilbert Scott around 1870, and now consists of a nave and chancel, a N chapel and N aisle, a W tower and a S porch. A drawing made c.1850 and published by Glynne (Butler 2007, 248) shows a view of the church from the SE prior to restoration, with no steeple, an open porch and the blocked up doorway in the S wall of the chancel still in use.

There is considerable evidence of the reuse of stonework from earlier periods: Roman, Anglo-Saxon as well as Romanesque. The doorway in the S wall of the nave probably replaced a wider entrance. On the L side it is possible to see the original jambs supporting a block with Anglo-Saxon interlace carving.


In Domesday Book, Kirby Hill (Chirchebi in the Hallikeld hundred) was held in 1066 by Gospatric, son of Arnketil, and in 1086 by King William I, although Gospatric remained the tenant. Later it passed to the Mowbray family and was sold in part to the prior of Newburgh Priory. (VCH 1914, 367-71)


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches



Loose Sculpture


The number of much older fragments incorporated into its fabric suggest that this may have been a fairly substantial church before the Conquest in the Saxon period. The porch, constructed during the late 19thc has several early 11thc pieces and a block carved with interlace scroll work that is of Saxon origin incorporated into the walls. There is also evidence throughout the church of the use of irregularly cut masonry blocks. The church’s proximity to Alborough, which was the Roman civil capital Isurium Brigantum and the site of a considerable Roman settlement, would explain the frequent reuse of Roman masonry blocks. The church is quite difficult to read, due to the restoration work carried out by George Gilbert Scott in 1870. However, it would seem that the tower, nave and chancel were all in existence by the end of the 11thc, although comprehensively rebuilt. The N aisle would have been added during the second part of the 12thc, although again substantially rebuilt during the restoration work, with the N chapel added during the 13thc. The chancel seems to have been both lengthened and widened in the 15thc. The porch was constructed during the restoration. The C-shaped hinges on the door in the S wall of the nave may possibly be contemporaneous with the stonework, around the third quarter of the 12thc. (fieldworker)


L. Butler, ed., The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne 1825-1874, Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series, Leeds, 2007, 248.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Yorkshire: North Riding, Harmondsworth, 1966, 210.

H.M. Taylor and J. Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Architecture, Cambridge, 1965, Vol I, 354-65.

Victoria County History, The County of York: North Riding, I, London, 1914, 367-71.