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Yorkshire Archæological Journal
NOTES ON YORKSHIRE CHURCHES.
By the late SIR STEPHEN GLYNNE, Bart.
(CONTINUED FROM P. 433, VOL. XII.)
August 11th, 1827. Made an excursion from Escrick to visit some of the beauties of the North and East Ridings.
Passed through York and took the road to Scarborough. The country from York as far as Whitwell (12 miles) is not very interesting, but at Whitwell it begins to improve and is more woody.
At Whitwell we walked about three-quarters of a mile to the right of the road, to visit the ruins of Kirkham Abbey, which are situated in a beautiful valley, close to the river Derwent; the hills on either side are covered with wood, and the vale watered by the rapid and clear river has a pleasing and retired appearance. There are many fragments of walls, &c., remaining, but so much shattered and so imperfect that it is impossible to trace the original plan of the Abbey. The principal feature and the most perfect of the remains is a very beautiful gateway of curvilinear character. The arch is of horse-shoe character and the mouldings plain, but it has a crocketed triangular canopy. In the upper story are two very beautiful small curvilinear windows of two lights, with very rich tracery-there has been considerable enrichment in this gateway. The remnants of the Abbey buildings are very imperfect, and scattered wide of each other; they are mostly of Early Gothic character, but there is one Norman doorway. The buildings seem to have been formerly of considerable extent. There is some Early Gothic groining
pretty perfect, which seems to have formed a crypt. There are also two very rich Early Gothic lancet windows left now insulated; they have richly-moulded architraves, and seem to have belonged to the church, but there is no other portion of the walls of the church existing.
Returning to Whitwell, we went round by Castle Howard and saw the house: the surrounding country very fine from the thickness of the woods.
We then arrived at the town of New Malton, seated on the Derwent amid fine, rich scenery, with a romantic view of the Northern Wold hills. The town contains two churches, St. Leonard's and St. Michael's, both chapelries to Old Malton.
ST. LEONARD'S CHURCH.
St. Leonard's stands on high ground in the eastern part of the town, and is a structure neither remarkable for beauty nor for any curious architecture. The whole of the exterior has been modernized in the most disgraceful way, so as to resemble a meeting-house rather than a church. At the west end is a plain tower which seems to be ancient, crowned by a stone spire, which, though yet lofty was never finished, so that it ends abruptly in a flat surface and has an awkward appearance. The church consists of a nave, chancel, and north aisle. The north aisle is divided from the nave by three plain semicircular arches without any architrave moulding. They rest on cylindrical pillars with square capitals. The aisle of the chancel is used as a vestry, and opens to the chancel by two smaller semicircular arches, springing from a central cylindrical shaft with circular moulded capital. The windows of the nave are all of the wretched conventicle form. Over the arches runs a cornice of grotesque heads, &c., of Norman character. The chancel is of very late and debased rectilinear work, and opens to the nave with a pointed arch. The nave is neatly pewed, has a north and west gallery, and there is also a gallery in the chancel. The font, circular and plain, of Norman work. The tower has a fine peal of bells, and from the churchyard is a fine prospect over the Derwent and the surrounding scenery.
ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH
Stands in the market-place, and is not surrounded by a burying-ground. It is a structure of regular form and nearly entirely of good Norman work, with no traces of later work excepting in the tower and chancel. There is not much beauty either externally or internally, the stone of which it is built being of a gloomy colour and rough appearance, the interior fitted up somewhat shabbily, the pews being irregular, the pillars tastefully painted in imitation of marble, and the whole much injured with coarse wash, paint, &c. The church consists of a nave with side aisles, a chancel with north aisle, and a tower at the west end, which is low and plain, and of rectilinear period. The nave is entirely Norman, and has a very good clerestory of that style, consisting of plain single semicircular-headed windows, having on the exterior a band of chevron moulding carried above them, and forming a dripstone to each window. Beneath the parapet is a cornice of heads and other corbels of Norman work. The nave has four arches on each side, of semicircular form, springing from circular pillars with square capitals. The arch between the nave and chancel is also semicircular, and springs from clustered shafts. The windows in the aisles are mostly modern and bad. The chancel has two clumsy pointed arches opening to its northern chapel. The ceiling of the chancel is of panelled wood, and has been painted and gilded, but is much faded. There are some lancet windows on the south side. The east window is a good large rectilinear arc of seven lights. The altarpiece is of wood, of late and poor rectilinear work. The nave has north, south, and west galleries, and there is a good organ at the west end. The font is circular with some panelling, but of indifferent workmanship.
OLD MALTON CHURCH.
About a mile N.E. of New Malton is the village of Old Malton, the church of which is the mother church of those in the town, and formerly belonged to an Abbey. It is a fine structure, though consisting only of the nave of the original church. It is interesting from the fine speci