English Church Architecture.
ILKLEY, All Saints (SE 116 479),
CITY OF BRADFORD.
(Bedrock: Carboniferous Namurian Series, mixed deposits from the Millstone Grit Group.)
An over-restored town church,
included here for its association with Mallinson and Healey.
Ilkley is one of the most attractive little towns in the West Riding but the parish church is not of much architectural significance for it has been heavily restored in all parts except the chancel, which itself is wholly the work of the nineteenth century, executed in 1860 to the designs of Mallinson and Healey. The building consists of a short W. tower, a nave with unequal lean-to aisles and a long, low, windowless S. porch, and the chancel with its adjoining independently-gabled N. chapel and vestry. The nave and tower may broadly be described as Perpendicular or - in the case of the N. aisle and N. clerestory - Tudor in style. The tower rises in two diagonally-buttressed stages to battlements and corner pinnacles, and windows everywhere are square-headed except in the W. wall of the tower, the E. walls of the aisles and the E. wall of the chancel, for the last of which Healey produced a curious mongrel design, formed, as it were, of five untraceried lights with a row of quatrefoils interposed at the springing.
Inside the church, the building’s oldest structural feature is the re-used doorway inside the porch (illustrated below left), bearing two orders of dog-tooth surrounded by a roll. This is essentially Early English work, probably dating from the early thirteenth century. The nave arcades are formed of double-flat-chamfered arches springing from octagonal piers, but some small interest resides in a few of the capitals, two of which have prominent leaf carving while a third (shown below right) has a series of parallel horizontal mouldings interrupted by vertical mouldings, for which there is no obvious precedent. The chancel arch, which was probably not part of Malinson and Healey's work, is strikingly four-centred. The nave and chancel roofs have purlins ⅓ and ⅔ of the way up the pitch, but whereas the tie beams link the wall plates in the former, they join the lower purlins in the latter and are perhaps more accurately described as unusually low collars.
This leaves the most interesting features in the church to describe, which are the Saxon crosses now standing inside the tower, after having been gathered up from various places in the churchyard, showing the site at least is of great antiquity. The shortest cross is believed to date from the late eighth century while the other two are probably the products of the early to mid-ninth. Thought formerly to have been grave-markers in an early Saxon cemetery, it appears they were once painted in a variety of vibrant colours.