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© Mr Tim Nichols

IoE Number: 331742
Location: CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL, MAIN STREET (north side)
Photographer: Mr Tim Nichols
Date Photographed: 04 September 2007
Date listed: 30 March 1966
Date of last amendment: 30 March 1966
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

NORTH YORKSHIRE HARROGATE 5338 SE 45 SW TOCKWITH MAIN STREET (north end) Cowthorpe 3/40 Church of St Michael 30.3.66 - I Redundant church. 1456-58 for Sir Bryan Roucliffe, C19 restoration. Coursed squared sandstone, limestone and ashlar, graduated stone slate roofs. 3-stage west tower partly incorporated into the west bay of the 4-bay nave which has a south porch, bay 2; 2-bay chancel with narrow door left. In Perpendicular style. Tower built partly in front of the west wall of the nave on 2 external buttresses with large central deep arch on 2 transverse ribs forming a recess in which there is a large pointed 3-light mullion and transom window with cusped lights, to nave wall. Second stage, south side: a circular cusped window, a string course above. The bell stage openings have 4-centred arch lights in chamfered flat headed surrounds, of 2 lights on each side except to east which is of 3 lights with shield stops to the hoodmoulds. Oversailing battlemented parapet. South porch: chamfered arch with 2-piece lintel, turned-in kneelers and gable coping; flanking stone benches within; the inner door is of massive planks reinforced by rows of iron nails. Flat headed 2-light Perpendicular window with cusped lights to right of the porch and to the chancel. The board door to the chancel is in a deeply chamfered pointed arch. A 3-light Perpen- dicular east window. North side: blocked north door to nave; a decorated 2-light window to the chancel; the nave window matches that on the south side. Interior: C17 altar rail of oak with cup-and-vase balusters, square- section standards and knob finials. Early C19 panelling at the west end of the nave appears to be the remains of pulpit and reading desk and now screens the bell ropes. The internal wall of the tower is supported on a round arch carried by large corbels. Original fittings include the font, also at the west end of the nave, with an octagonal base, cruciform stem and square bowl carved with tracery and shields of Roucliffe, Hammerton, Roos and Plompton. The rare wooden Easter Sepulchre is in the form of a chest with 6 blank panels, thickly cusped, with a canopy over which has pierced crestings and a frieze incorporating the chess rooks of Roucliffe and the fleur-de-lis of Burgh. Remains of the original heraldic stained glass in several windows. There are 3 bells (not seen at resurvey), one of which has the earliest use of English lettering in Yorkshire: "0 thou blyssid Trinite, of Bryan Rodlyff hof pyte". On the north wall of the chancel the remains of a brass memorial to the founder (d1494) and his wife Joan Hammerton, are attached to a marble slab. Bryan Roucliffe was an eminent lawyer and Baron of the Exchequer and inherited the manor and living of Cowthorpe from his maternal uncle, John Burgh, c1450. In Feb 1456 the Archbishop of York granted Bryan permission to build the new church to replace an old chapel near the River Nidd, some of the sandstone blocks in the new church possibly coming from it. The unusual structure of the tower is similar to that of castle gatehouses of the period. The brass memorial was stolen from the church c1850 and the recovered parts mounted in 1886; the C19 restorations were restricted to renewing some window tracery and replacing the roof to its original design and pitch. L A S Butler 'St Michaels Church Cowthorpe, Redundant Churches Fund, 1985. N Pevsner: Buildings of England, Yorkshire West Riding, 1967, p 171.

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