To select but 10 churches for a ‘best of’ list was impossible so I tried to find 10 varying churches in each Riding and this is my effort for the West Riding of Yorkshire. I would be happy to consider for inclusion a readers top ten if you send me details.
- St John Baptist Adel is one of our finest Norman churches and is a Grade 1 national treasure and an architectural gem. Internal decoration, chancel arch and carvings are of top quality. Through the church yard is York Gate a garden open for Perennial the gardeners charity
- St Cuthbert Fishlake (above) is believed to have safeguarded the remains of Cuthbert from the Vikings. The priest’s doorway is Norman and the south doorway is one of the most decorative in the country.
- Hatfield St Lawrence is a large cruciform church with a crossing tower externally perpendicular with some good windows and crenelations . Norman and medieval features include a fine clerstory, monuments and font.
- St Mary’s Sprotborough like other churches had its tower heightened in the perpendicular period. Monuments from 13th century onward and an interesting rood screen make this an interesting church to visit.
- Shipley St Paul’s (above) is the original 1826 parish church of Shipley. It has dark, soot blackened sandstone walls that befits a church from and set in the industrial West Riding.The building, an historic “Waterloo” or “Commissioners'” church also has a “listed” organ
- Birkin St Mary’s is an impressive Norman church with a 14th century south aisle. Due to associations with the Templars there are items of quality in many areas of this fine church.
- Halifax St John is the largest 15th century parish church in Yorkshire. Fine 17th century ceilings and communion rail, poor box and box pews are key features.
- St Andrew`s Church Aldborough was partially destroyed by Scots raiders in 1318. The present building is the third church to occupy what is thought to be the site of a Roman Temple of Mercury in Roman garrison town of Isurium Brigantium. The north wall dates from around 1330, and carries a brass of William de Aldeburgh dating from around 1360.
- Dewsbury All Saints or minster has been rebuilt in 18th & 19th cneturies but many sculptural pieces from the 9th century have ben reincorporated. There is also some stunning stained glass.
- St. Mary Tickhill housed Austin friars and has north and south porches. There is also an important church organ from the mid 19th century
The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874) Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record is available by clicking on the picture below but at a price of £28.50. You may choose to spend the money visiting or donating to the churches mentioned ABOVE.
The medieval review says this book (Editor L.A.S. Butler) has ‘effectively rescued Glynne’s Yorkshire Church Notes from merely describing a frozen moment in time into a valuable resource for those who wish to trace for themselves the 19th-century changes in church architecture’. ‘A major contribution to the study of Yorkshire church architecture at a time of change’. Leeds Civic Trust.