SD4761NW PRIORY CHURCHYARD
1685-1/6/231 Priory and Parish Church of St Mary
Anglican parish church. Largely c1430 on earlier site, with
west tower of 1754-5 by Henry Sephton of Liverpool (contractor
William Kirkby), with south porch and north chapel c1903 by
Austin and Paley, and with a north refectory and office formed
in 1982 from the former choir vestry of 1871 and the clergy
vestry of 1904; restored 1912. Dressed sandstone for the
medieval portions and sandstone ashlar for the rest, with
roofs of slate and lead.
West tower, and nave and chancel under a continuous roof, with
clerestorey and embattled parapets, N and S aisles, a S porch,
a N chapel, and a N office and refectory.
The 4-stage tower has set-back buttresses, corner pinnacles,
and an embattled parapet. The south doorway has a moulded arch
under a hoodmould from which hang small swags, a motif
repeated in all the arched openings above. The second stage
has a 4-light south window divided into 2 sub-arches with
reticulated tracery and a roundel above. The third stage has
on the north and south sides a round window, perhaps intended
for the clock face which is now placed above it. Each bell
opening has 4 lights, divided in the upper stage into 2 pairs
with an angel's head in the spandrel, but below a deep
unmoulded transom only 2 lights with cusped heads.
The 4-bay nave and 4-bay chancel are indistinguishable except
that the plinth steps beneath the eastern bay of the nave and
that the nave roof is more steeply pitched.
The 4-centred windows in both aisles and clerestory are set
under hoodmoulds and have splayed hollow-moulded reveals. They
are of 3 lights with cusped heads, and their hollow-chamfered
mullions rise straight to the arch. Between them are
buttresses with set-offs, which are rectangular below the
first set-off and v-shaped above it; the battlements rise to
form diagonally-set crocketed pinnacles above them (those in
the aisles have been removed). At the base of the battlements
runs a string course which breaks forward into a grotesque
head where it passes in front of the buttresses. Under the
south aisle window in the 2nd bay from the east is a low
4-centred doorway said by VCH to date from 1828, but
apparently late C19.
The 2-storeyed south porch has a taller staircase turret to
the east and buttresses which rise to freestanding pinnacles,
again with crockets and grotesque heads. The doorway has
moulded jambs with fleurons in the arch mouldings above;
between 2 cusped windows is a canopied niche containing a
statue of the Virgin and Child. The east window is of 5
trefoiled lights and has Perpendicular tracery.
INTERIOR: 4-bay nave and 4-bay chancel separated by a wide
chancel arch and arches across the aisles which, like the
chancel arcades, have rich mouldings in 2 orders under a
hoodmould. The piers in the chancel have deeply-moulded
capitals and 4 half-round shafts with hollows between; those
in the chancel arch have similar capitals and triple shafts
(with hollows) on each cardinal face. The nave arcades may
have been built slightly later (see north-east respond) and
have 2 orders of plain chamfers resting on octagonal piers
with simply-moulded capitals.
The King's Own Memorial Chapel is separated from the north
aisle by an arcade of 4 narrow bays with clustered piers which
have capitals carved with a 'black letter' Latin inscription.
The moulded south doorway, inside the porch, is of late C12
date and has restored angle shafts. In the west wall of the
nave is a doorway said to be pre-Conquest. It was found during
the 1912 restoration and has plain square jambs, the left-hand
one of fairly recent stone, with a plain lintel on shouldered
At the west end of the nave the central part of the C18
gallery survives and has carved Royal arms attached to its
front. The open timber nave roof dates from 1912.
FITTINGS include, to each side of the chancel choir stalls
with gables which are encrusted with foliage carving - Pevsner
called them 'about the most luxuriant canopies in the
country.' 10 misericords survive, all mutilated to some
extent. The reconstructed pulpit incorporates C17 woodwork,
including the date '1619'. The font is of 1848, but the carved
oak octagonal font cover is dated '1631'. The east window was
designed by Paley and made by Wailes. The early C20 glass in
the north chapel was made by Shrigley and Hunt, except for the
west window, which is a memorial to the dead of the First
World War. 3 brass candelabra of Flemish design were donated
in 1717. Wall tablets include one to William Stratford
(d.1751) by IF Roubiliac, and one to Sibyll Wilson (d.1773) by
Fishers of York.
Listing NGR: SD4735261932
This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 2 February 2017.