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English Church Architecture.

 

BUGTHORPE, St. Andrew  (SE 773 579),

EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE. 

(Bedrock:  Triassic Mudstone Group, Keuper Marl.)

 

An odd church with a nave rebuilt by Mallinson & Healey in 1858-59 but whose curious plan still betrays its unfinished enlargement in the late thirteenth century.

 

 

 

One of the subjects examined by this web-site is the near-complete oeuvre of a little-known but regionally dominant, mid-nineteenth century architectural firm specialising in ecclesiastical work, in order to discover how they built their local reputation, how they maintained a financially competitive edge and sustained a very busy practice with few or no staff, and what 'success' looked like in terms of monetary reward and the provincial architect's acquired position in Victorian society.  The firm chosen is the partnership between James Mallinson and Thomas Healey (fl. 1845-62/3), who worked out of offices in Halifax and Bradford.  The majority of the extant church buildings for which the partners were responsible are listed below and should ideally be examined in chronological order.  They are:

  1.  Queensbury, Holy Trinity (Bradford)  (1843)  (Mallinson alone) 19. East Keswick, St. Mary Magdalene (Leeds) (1856)
  2.  Wyke, St. Mary (Bradford)  (1844)  (Mallinson alone) 20. Claremount, St. Thomas (Calderdale) (1857)
  3.  Clayton, St. John the Baptist (Bradford) (1846) 21. Clifton, St. John (Calderdale) (1857)
  4.  Baildon, St. John the Baptist (Bradford) (1846) 22. Salterhebble, All Saints (Calderdale) (1857)
  5.  Manningham, St. Paul (Bradford) (1846) 23. Thornaby-on-Tees, St. Paul (Stockton-on-Tees) (1857)
  6.  Mytholmroyd, St. Michael (Calderdale) (1847) 24. Thornhill Lees, Holy Innocents (Wakefield) (1858)
  7. Bankfoot, St. Matthew (Bradford) (1848) 25. Bugthorpe, St. Andrew (East Riding) (1858) (nave only)
  8. Shelf, St. Michael & All Angels (Bradford) (1848) 26. Bowling, St. Stephen (Bradford) (1859)
  9. South Ossett, Christ Church (Wakefield) (1850) 27. Girlington, St. Phillip (Bradford) (1859)
10. Barkisland, Christ Church (Calderdale) (1851) 28. Lower Dunsforth, St. Mary (North Yorkshire) (1859)
11. Boroughbridge, St. James (North Yorkshire) (1851) 29. Welburn, St. John (North Yorkshire) (1859)
12. Langcliffe, St. John the Evangelist (North Yorkshire) (1851) 30. Ilkley, All Saints (Bradford) (1860) (chancel only)
13. Cundall, St. Mary & All Saints (North Yorkshire) (1852) 31. Horton, All Saints (Bradford) (1862)
14. Heptonstall, St. Thomas the Apostle (Calderdale) (1853) 32. Hepworth, Holy Trinity (Kirklees) (1862)
15. Mount Pellon, Christ Church (Calderdale) (1854) 33. Dewsbury, St. Mark (Wakefield) (1862)
16. Thorner, St. Peter (Leeds) (1854) (partial reconstruction) 34. Heaton, St. Barnabas (Bradford) (1863) (Mallinson with T.H. Healey) 
17. Withernwick, St. Alban (East Riding) (1854) (reconstruction) 35. Tockwith,  Church of the Epiphany (North Yorkshire) (1863) (as above)
18. Mappleton, All Saints (East Riding) (1855) (not the tower)  

 

 

 

This is a curious church when viewed from within.  Outside (as shown above from the southeast) it appears more conventional but the chancel is four bays long and the nave, only three, and there is a N. chapel and vestry running alongside the chancel, ending flush with the chancel E. wall except for a protruding semipolygonal stair turret which rises to a projecting pyramidal spirelet that gives access to the roofs. The building has also a W. tower but the key to its understanding seems first to have been provided by J.E. Morris his Little Guide to the East Riding of Yorkshire (London, Methuen, 1932) who considered that a decision had been taken in the late thirteenth century to extend to the east what was formerly a Norman church, providing extra accommodation in the nave while keeping the chancel to a length of three bays.  In consequence, a new east wall was erected, one bay east of the original E. wall, the chancel was built up to it on a considerably grander scale, and a new chancel arch was erected, one bay east of the still surviving Norman arch.  However, after all this was done and a N. transept or chapel had been added to what was now intended to be the easternmost bay of the nave, operations were suddenly broken off, leaving the Norman chancel arch still standing and the three original bays of the nave in their original humble state.  A rather crude drawing of the church in this condition (shown below), hanging in the tower, illustrates how odd the church must then have appeared.  It was certainly never going to satisfy Victorian sensibilities and so in 1858-9, Mallinson and Healey were commissioned to rebuild the nave in its turn, on more appropriate scale.  This phase of construction is witnessed outside from the slightly greater width of the nave.  The tall S. windows to the chancel each have a quatrefoil above a pair of two-centred trefoil-cusped lights, and Mallinson and Healey's nave windows are similar but shorter except that one on each side has a trefoil in the head.  The rather modest W tower rises in two unbuttressed stages to battlements and crocketed corner pinnacles, lit to the west by a two-light window with a straightened reticulation unit in the head, possibly suggesting an early Perpendicular (i.e. late fourteenth century) date, although the double-flat-chamfered arch to the nave could equally well be earlier.

 

Inside the building, the view to the east (shown below) is dominated by the two chancel arches - the old and new - creating in the bay between, the appearance of a crossing, which the N. chapel seems almst to confirm although according to Pevsner, this was demolished in the eighteenth century only to be rebuilt from the old materials in 1905 (Nikolaus Pwvsner & David Neave: The Buildings of England: York and the East Riding, New Haven & London, Yale University Press, 2005, p. 361).  (Precisely where these materials lay during the long years between he does not venture to say!)  The double-flat-chamfered eastern arch, like the arch between the chancel and the chapel, is double-flat-chamfered and supported on semi-octagonal responds, but the Norman western arch, although renewed above the springing, retains three shafts each side, arranged in two orders (as shown in the photographs at the foot of the page), topped by capitals featuring an assortment of rather crudely carved figures above a reduced form of beakhead running down the outer shafts.

 

 

Furnishings in the church include the round, thirteenth century font, with a little line of nailhead around the top of the bowl, and some remarkable painted carpentry, dating only from 1936, however, when the interior was refurnished by H.S. Goodhart-Rendel (ibid., pp. 361-362).  The altar today stands between the two chancel arches, where it has been provided with a spectacular Canopy of Honour featuring twenty-five wavy yellow suns, set in little panels of Cambridge blue, which are themselves surrounded by a red, black and white framework replete with pendants holding trefoiled arches around the sides.  The other roofs are also strikingly painted, chiefly in deep blue.  Finally, monuments include a particularly large one on the W. wall of the chapel, commemorating Mary Payler (d. 1756) and featuring an image of the deceased in bas-relief in a roundel, set against a grey stone pyramid below a cartouche held up for by a flying putto.  It was not mentioned by Gunnis in his Dictionary of British Sculptors: 1660 - 1851, but Pevsner considered it to be the work of the celebrated Sir Henry Cheere (1703-81).