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English Church Architecture -

North Yorkshire.

 

KIRKBYMOORSIDE, All Saints (SE 697 866)  (April  2015)

(Bedrock:  Upper Jurassic, Upper Calcareous Grit Member)

 

This is a large church (shown above, from the south), not least as a result of the reconstruction of the east end by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1873-5 (Pevsner), who erected the present three-bay chancel and the independently-gabled chapels on either side, each as wide as the chancel, and in the case of the N. chapel, fully as long, although the two-bay S. chapel ends short of the chancel sanctuary.  Scott's windows are rather a mishmash:  the three-light S. chapel E. window has intersecting tracery in the style of 1300;  the S. wall of the sanctuary is lit by a re-set Norman window and a replica Norman window alongside;  and the N. and S. walls of the two chapels are pierced by two-light windows with differing geometrical tracery, separated by buttresses rising between the bays.  The perversely ungainly arcades between the chancel and chapels carry a hollow on the inner order and a flat chamfer on the outer order, which die into upward extensions of the octagonal piers above the capitals.  The arches from the aisles to the chapels are also part of Scott's work, but the chancel arch is not.

 

The rest of the church is embattled and consists of a W. tower, aisled nave, and large and interesting S. porch. The tower is probably an eighteenth century addition:  it rises in three stages supported by diagonal buttresses to the first stage only, lit by a round window low down in the W. wall, a modern Y-traceried window above, and another round window above that, all before the bell-openings are reached.  The arch to the nave appears as if it could be of two different dates, with responds perhaps older than the double-flat-chamfered arch they support.

 

The aisled nave also presents something of a puzzle because the westernmost pier on either side is round rather than octagonal and has a very differently shaped capital, and as the two eastern bays would appear to be too short by themselves, ever to have run the entire length of the nave, the otherwise obvious explanation of regarding the westernmost bay as an extension of the building must probably be ruled out.  (The photographs above show a general view down the nave from the west, and then the western and eastern piers of the N. arcade respectively.)  The chancel arch is similar to the eastern arches of the arcades, albeit with the addition of broaches where the chamfers meet the responds.  The aisle windows are renewed, untraceried and square-headed on the S. side, and on the N. side, comprised of a two-light window with cusped Y-tracery beneath a round arch and a two-light square-headed window with ogee-pointed lights, both broadly in keeping with the Decorated style. The nave clerestory formed of windows each with two rectangular openings, seems likely to be Tudor.

 

This leaves the porch to be discussed (shown at the foot of the page), which from an architectural perspective, is the most rewarding part of the building.  Two storeys high and massively constructed, it is distinguished by its completely covered tunnel vault that continues uninterrupted down the walls.  Almost equally surprising is the stair to the upper storey which rises straight up from the nave without turning, just inside the inner doorway to the left (west).  Finally, just three pieces of carpentry require mention from among the church's furnishings, namely the rood screen and parclose screens between the aisles and chapels, which were designed by Temple Moore in 1919.