SE7872 TOWN STREET, Old Malton
801-1/6/234 (South East side)
29/09/51 PRIORY CHURCH OF ST MARY
(Formerly Listed as:
TOWN STREET, Old Malton
(South East side)
Church of St Mary the Virgin and
Part of nave of priory church; now parish church. 1147-1154;
partly rebuilt late C15-early C16, following fire; extensive
alterations c1732; C19 and C20 restorations. Priory founded by
Eustace Fitz-John; rebuilding for Prior Roger Shotton;
restorations by Temple Moore and George Pace. Ashlar and
rubble stone; roof not visible.
6-bay continuous chancel and nave with triforium; south-west
tower. East end has C19 three-light window of stepped lancets,
now blocked, beneath hoodmould. North wall rebuilt
incorporating 4 round-headed lights beneath continuous raised
band; eaves band beneath plain parapet. On south side blocked
original south arcade and triforium beneath plain parapet.
Panel-traceried double doors in west doorway of 5 orders of
semicircular arches. Roll-moulded arches, enriched with
dogtooth mouldings, on detached shafts with waterhold bases,
shaft rings and waterleaf capitals. Moulded hood on foliate
stops. Restored Perpendicular window above door, of 5
cinquefoiled lights beneath 3-centred panel-traceried head; at
each side, C13 jamb shafts survive from original window.
Doorway and window are flanked by blind lancets on slender
detached shafts with waterleaf capitals, beneath moulded
hoods. Crocketed gable cross.
To north of west front are remains of chamfered plinth of
north-west tower, and 2 stages of pilaster buttress abutting
the west front. South-west tower of 3 stages, on
double-chamfered plinth, with clasping pilaster buttresses,
the south-west one with inset angle shaft rising full height
of tower. 2 lower stages of tower west face have single lancet
windows, both of 3 roll-moulded orders, on detached shafts
with waterleaf capitals, and shaft rings to second stage
window. Inner order on ground stage is enriched with
continuous ballflower moulding, and on second stage is
chamfered. Both windows have leaf-stopped hoodmoulds. Belfry
openings are paired lancets of 2 orders beneath
dogtooth-moulded hood on leaf stops. Above belfry openings are
2 roundels of dogtooth moulding, pierced by quatrefoils.
North-west buttress has blind lancet on each stage, similar to
those on west front. Slit openings to vice in south-west
On south face, ground stage has single round-headed light.
Arcade of 3 lancets, outer ones blind, to 2nd stage, beneath
continuous hoodmould; similar arrangement to belfry, centre
lancet blind, with dogtooth hoodmould. Pierced roundels are
repeated above belfry openings. To east, ground stage has
blocked pointed arch to former south aisle, between multiple
shaft responds, the south one bearing traces of leaf capital.
Single round-headed light to 2nd stage. Tripled lancets to
belfry, the outer 2 blind, beneath continuous dogtooth
hoodmould, and pierced roundels.
On the north face, 2nd stage round-headed light is blocked,
and belfry opening is single lancet. Belfry openings have
On the west face, dogtooth moulded string course at 2nd stage
level continues across west front, broken by inserted west
window, and returns on south face. Plain string course to
belfry stage encircles tower. Tower surmounted by plain
parapet over corbel table, carved as unfurled leaf buds.
INTERIOR. North arcade of 3 round arches of 3 orders at
eastern end, and 2 rebuilt 2-centred arches of 2 orders at
western end; 6th bay is built-up. Inner order of all arches is
chamfered, and rebuilt piers are octagonal with moulded
capitals, except westernmost which has clustered shafts with
octagonal capitals and bases. Eastern arches have moulded
hoods. 4th pier from east has a double tier of cinquefoiled
panelling under crocketed ogee hood, and abacus inscribed:
Rogerus prior Orata p(ro) bono stat(u) m(agist)ri F.
Inscription incorporates the Shotton rebus, a tun shot through
by an arrow. 2nd and 6th piers have inset vaulted niches
beneath crocketed canopies. In 5th bay is a blocked-up door
with a 3-centred head.
C12 triforium gallery survives over 3 eastern bays. Each
triforium bay is arcaded with semicircular centre arch between
narrow pointed arches, springing from detached shafts with
moulded capitals and bases. Centre arch encloses paired
pointed sub-arches on central shaft with leaf capital, beneath
quaterfoil pierced through tympanum. Moulded string course at
sill level. At western end, triforium area rebuilt,
incorporating cusped panelling over continuous sill string
course, stepped-up above rebuilt eastern arches.
South arcade: round-arched, corresponding to eastern bays of
north arcade. From east, 4 piers are cylindrical; 5th is
keeled with angle shafts; 6th is clustered with 12 shafts, 4
with fillets; all have waterhold bases and moulded capitals.
West respond is keeled, between 4 attached shafts, and has
leaf capital. C12 triforium gallery survives.
On each side, stubs of vaulting shafts spring from corbels at
triforium sill string level. Original corbels are carved
either with scallop or stiff-leaf foliage; replaced corbels
are angels holding shields inscribed with the Shotton rebus.
Tower: entry through westernmost arch of south arcade. Deeply
splayed lancet in west wall, between corbelled shafts with
moulded bases and leaf capitals. Round-headed window later
insertion. Vaulted ceiling reconstructed.
Fittings. Re-used misericords in choir stalls. East end dossal
and tester, sanctuary panelling, and traceried organ case by
Temple Moore. Fine carved screens close off tower arch and
west doorway. In south-east corner of sanctuary is coffin lid
carved with floreated sword.
The church, though much reduced in size, is the only surviving
building of the Gilbertine Priory of St Mary, founded between
1147 and 1154 by Eustace Fitz-John, and is the only church of
the Gilbertine Order still in regular use. The Priory site is
scheduled as an Ancient Monument, County No.383. Part of the
undercroft of the refectory is incorporated in buildings of
the adjacent house called Old Abbey (qv), also known as Abbey
(Buck S: The South-West View of Malton Priory in Yorkshire:
1728-; Pace G G: A Brief Guide to St Mary's Priory Church, Old
Malton: York: 1977-).
Listing NGR: SE7986372548