Parish church with early Anglo-Saxon origins, surviving later Anglo-Saxon features, Norman and C14 fabric, restored and partially rebuilt in 1853 by G.T. Andrews.
Reasons for Designation
The Church of St Peter and St Paul is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Date: the church contains considerable amounts of medieval and earlier fabric, including features that are identifiable as Pre-Conquest and possible dating to as early as the C7-C8, and certainly to the later Anglo-Saxon period;
* Architecture: the restoration of the church in 1853 by G.T Andrews, which added a south aisle, bell-cote and windows in Decorated style, was sensitive to the earlier form of the church and preserved much of its character as the parish church of a rural community. Andrews is acknowledged as 'the railway architect', having designed the Old Station at York among others;
* Fixtures and fittings: a large and ornate brass chandelier, stencilled columns and good quality stained glass by Kempe and Clayton & Bell add to the special interest of the interior.
There is evidence in the fabric of the church that it has its origins in the Pre-Conquest period, possibly early Saxon (C7-C8), and some of the stones appear to be re-used Roman material. Two blocked windows in the north wall may be late Saxon in origin. There are records of Rectors of the church back to 1208, and medieval fabric survives in parts. The north door is of C14 date. Until the mid C19, the nave was narrower than at present.
In the mid C19 the architect G T Andrews was engaged to restore and enlarge the church, and this work was completed in 1853. The south wall was rebuilt, adding an aisle to the nave, a vestry was built to the north-east, a bell-cote added to the west end gable and new openings made for most of the windows. G T Andrews was a notable railway architect who worked extensively on railway buildings for the Great North Eastern Railway, including the Old Station at York (listed Grade II*). His connection with Scrayingham is strengthened by his association with George Hudson, the 'railway king', who is buried in the churchyard immediately outside the south porch.
Church, C7-C8, Later Anglo Saxon, Norman, C14 and 1853, partially rebuilt by G T Andrews in Decorated style.
MATERIALS: gritstone, some re-used, and ashlar Magnesian limestone, a timber porch and grey slate roofs.
PLAN: the church has a nave with a south aisle and a south porch, a chancel and a north-east vestry, with a bell-cote at the west gable end of the nave, aligned east-west. While the existing building shares its north wall with the Anglo-Saxon church and its east wall with the C14 church the full extent of these earlier buildings is not clear.
EXTERIOR: the south side of the chancel is in coursed limestone, rebuilt in 1853 but with re-used medieval material including some carved stones and resting on a low plinth of earlier date that includes the footings of an entrance. A central pointed arch timber door has a hoodmould and there is a two-light window to each side with tracery and hoodmould. The east end is medieval in its lower part, C19 above, and has a diagonal buttress to the south-east and an angle buttress to the north-east. The east window is a three-light window with quatrefoil tracery. The north side of the chancel has an attached vestry from 1853 with a pent roof. It has a trefoil window to the east, a lancet window to the west and a shouldered arch doorway to the north, with a stone chimney stack rising from the south-west corner. The north chancel wall is windowless and built in part in coarse gritstone blocks with a discontinuity of construction visible in the upper part.
The north wall of the nave is mainly coursed gritstone, medieval or earlier and has two stepped buttresses. A blocked doorway towards the west end with a foliate capital supporting a pointed arch is C14 in date. A single lancet window of 1853 is towards the east end. There are two blocked windows, both small with semi-circular heads cut from three trapezoidal blocks, of Pre-Conquest date. At the eastern end of the nave is the scar of an old roof line descending from a socket near the top of the north-eastern quoin. The west end of the nave is constructed of coursed gritstone, possibly rebuilt in its upper courses, and has a stepped buttress between the nave and the south aisle. Both the nave wall and the aisle wall have a tall lancet window with trefoil tracery dating to 1853. At the apex is a bell-cote with two bells, one medieval. There is a diagonal buttress at the south-west corner. The south wall of the south aisle, rebuilt in limestone in 1853 reusing earlier material, also has a diagonal buttress at the south-east corner. It has three geometrical traceried windows and an open porch in stone and timber with a pitched roof leading to a pointed arch doorway.
INTERIOR: the chancel has a doorway and two windows to the south. A lancet window and the three-light east window are attributed to Clayton and Bell. The roof trusses are scissor-braced, with painted decoration on the underside of some of the trusses. On the north wall is a memorial plaque of 1638, of which most of the surround is missing. The nave has modified queen strut roof trusses, with the struts angled outwards from a centre point to join an upper tie beam at purlin level, and additional braces. The nave is separated from the south aisle by a row of four columns supporting pointed arch openings; the capitals of the columns have stencil decoration of stars, leaves, flowers and fleurs de lis. There are wooden bench pews, a stone font at the west end and a hexagonal lectern by the north wall adjacent to the chancel. A coloured glass screen divides the nave and chancel above the springing of the chancel arch which has foliate decoration on the capitals. The west and north lancet windows of the nave and the eastern south aisle window have stained glass by Clayton and Bell, and there is a further window by Kempe. A very large brass chandelier, commissioned and designed by J L Pearson and originally in Bishop Wilton Church, hangs in the nave. A vestry on the north side of the chancel, dating to 1853, has a number of carved stone fragments built into the north wall. These include corbel heads and foliate crosses from coffin lids, and a fragment of Romanesque carving.
SUBSIDIARY ITEMS: a low marble tomb at the south-west corner outside the church contains the remains of George Hudson, the 'railway king' (1800-1871) among other members of his family.