Church of All Saints, Slingsby


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Church of All Saints, Church Lane, Slingsby, York, YO62 4AD


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Statutory Address:
Church of All Saints, Church Lane, Slingsby, York, YO62 4AD

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Church of England parish church largely rebuilt by R J Johnson of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1867-69, incorporating features of the original C13 church.

Reasons for Designation

All Saints' Church is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Conservative restoration: dating to 1867-9, All Saints' is an early example of sensitive rebuilding designed to respect the original history and character of the church. This is in marked contrast to the more sweeping approach typical of the architectural mainstream in the 1860s and predates the foundation in 1877 of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. * Architectural: an early, cutting edge example of the revival of English Perpendicular architecture, as particularly demonstrated by the low pitched roofs, a style not generally employed until the 1880s-90s. This is an early example of the reaction against High Victorian, eclectic, 'muscular' gothic architecture, instead drawing on English models, employing blunt sublimity to picturesque effect. * Architectural influence: for the possibility that RJ Johnson's design of the church influenced G F Bodley, a nationally significant architect who was also an early exponent of English Perpendicular architecture. In particular, a number of Bodley's churches of the 1870s feature carved panels within the base of windows in a similar way to the east window at Slingsby.


All Saints' Church, Slingsby, was reconstructed on the site of the medieval church by Robert James Johnson of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1867-69, funded by Admiral Edward Howard of Castle Howard, brother of the Earl of Carlisle. Johnson, an early critic of Victorian restoration practice (characterised by wholesale rebuilding to new designs, typically Middle Pointed Gothic, rather than careful restoration and conservation of the original (Faulkner, 1995)), reconstructed the church to its original, mainly Perpendicular design, reusing much medieval stonework including some C13 arcading. This is attested by a circa 1840 engraving of the earlier church and an 1863 description by Sir Stephen Glynne. As a result, All Saints' Church appears to be stylistically more typical of an 1880s-90s date, drawing on the concept of refinement, rather than its actual 1860s date when more eclectic, High Victorian architecture is generally expected.


Parish church. 1867-9 by R J Johnson incorporating medieval fabric. English Perpendicular style.

MATERIALS: medieval stone is calcareous sandstone and includes some carved grave-slab fragments, C19 stone is sandstone (possibly Whitby sandstone).

PLAN: west tower, three-bay aisled nave with a south porch. Two-bay chancel flanked by a single bay chapel to the south, and an organ chamber/vestry to the north.

EXTERIOR: the tower is of three unequal stages marked by string courses and supported with diagonal, stepped buttresses, that to the north incorporating a stair turret. The lower stage has a large west window with a pointed-arch and elongated reticulated tracery; the short second stage has a clock to the south elevation and a small trefoil-headed window to the west; the taller upper stage has 2-light square-headed belfry windows to each face; the roof has panelled battlements and angle finials, each corner having a projecting animal sculpture to the base of the parapet in addition to two medieval gargoyles on the north side.

North and south side elevations have stepped buttresses and 2-light square-headed windows to both the nave clerestory and aisles. The low pitched roofs are concealed by plain parapets. The chancel has a 2-light south window similar in design to the west (tower) window. The south door is pointed and has an embattled porch incorporating an elaborate niche above the entrance retaining a weathered statuette carved from oolitic limestone.

The east end has prominent angle buttresses and a boldly moulded plinth. The 5-light chancel window is similar in design to the west window, but incorporates carved panels to the base of the lights. Above there is another elaborate niche also retaining a statuette. The east window of the side chapel is a small window in the form of a vesica. The organ chamber has a 2-light window.

INTERIOR: the internal walls are stone ashlar, floors are tiled with timber beneath the pews with encaustic tiling to the chancel, increasing in richness towards the east end. The north arcade to the nave includes two C13 arches complete with their piers as well as a C13 stiff-leaf corbel reset at the west end. The nave arcades are asymmetric, subtly indicating some of the history of the building. The chancel is elaborately treated, with marble shafts and carved capitals to the arches and an alabaster dado to the east wall. The reredos is formed by the carved and painted panels to the base of the east window, decorated with shields bearing the Instruments of the Passion. The chancel and west windows contain stained glass by Clayton and Bell, with further stained glass to the vesica and three of the aisle windows.

MONUMENTS: in a recess in the side chapel there is the effigy of a mid-C13 knight with hands in prayer and legs crossed (lower portion missing) believed to be a member of the Wyvill family.

FITTINGS: oak choir stalls, pulpit and other fittings, the altar rail also incorporating elaborate ironwork. Carved oak screen dated 1928 to the tower arch. C17 bobbin-ended oak bench, other pews, forming a complete set, are also oak, but C19. The very large brass chandelier in the nave is thought to have come from Sledmere church and to have been designed by either Street or Pearson. The tower retains a clock of 1838 by James Harrison of Hull as well as a set of 3 bells dated 1803 hung on early bell frames.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 07 Sep 2001
Reference: IOE01/01325/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Miss Katie McAndrew. Source Historic England Archive
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