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St Leonard's Church and cross base adjacent to St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Sand Hutton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0188 / 54°1'7"N

Longitude: -0.9407 / 0°56'26"W

OS Eastings: 469502.349306

OS Northings: 458603.903308

OS Grid: SE695586

Mapcode National: GBR PPWZ.44

Mapcode Global: WHFBZ.J78Z

Entry Name: St Leonard's Church and cross base adjacent to St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 22 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017557

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30126

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Sand Hutton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Sand Hutton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the standing and buried remains of a 12th-century church
and the base of an associated medieval cross. It does not include the wider
surrounding churchyard which is still in use as part of the adjacent church of
St Mary.
The village of Sandhutton is recorded as Hottune in the Domesday Book. It is
not known if the church of St Leonard was already in existence by this time.
The oldest part of the surviving fabric is the round headed south door which
dates to the early 12th century. The building is very simple in plan with a
twin bayed nave and a single bayed chancel. The surviving windows are
perpendicular in style and are dated to the 15th century. The south wall is
supported at either end by plain buttresses dated to the 18th or 19th
centuries. The church is believed to have been ruinous by the mid-19th century
when the adjacent church of St Mary's was built by the local landowner.
The church is rectangular in plan, measuring about 13m long by 5.5m wide. It
is of a cobble and rubble stone construction with both sandstone and limestone
dressings. The north and west walls survive as footings, as do the central
sections of the east and south walls. The west end of the south wall,
containing the round headed door, and the south east corner of the church,
which retains a window on the south wall and a fragment of the east window,
survive up to a maximum of about 3m in height. A fragment of the north east
corner also survives to over 1.5m. Inside the church, close to the north wall
and just east of the south door, there is a stone font. This is circular in
plan, and carved from a single piece of stone without ornamentation. It is set
on a rough, rubble stone built cylindrical column set on a square plinth.
Just beyond the west wall, on the centre line of the church, there is a set of
stone steps leading down to a crypt beneath the west end of the church. Access
to this is barred by an iron grill. About 8m to the south of the south door
there is the square base of a medieval cross. This measures 0.6m square and is
in two sections with an octagonal upper face and a central square socket 0.3m
The ruins of the church, including the font, are Listed Grade II.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and
containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for
Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on
Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated
into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in
its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and
are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides
accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the
priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes
provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional
altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west
end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon
and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish
churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south
or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation
were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were
rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of
the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little
fabric of the first church being still easily visible.
Parish churches are found throughout England. Their distribution reflects the
density of population at the time they were founded. In regions of dispersed
settlement parishes were often large and churches less numerous. The densest
clusters of parish churches were found in thriving medieval towns. A survey of
1625 reported the existence of nearly 9000 parish churches in England. New
churches built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries increased numbers to
around 18,000 of which 17,000 remain in ecclesiastical use. Parish churches
have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for
their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later
population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour
and technical achievement. A significant number of surviving examples are
identified to be nationally important.

Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they often
formed stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of
Palm Sunday. They were also used as places for preaching, public proclamation
and penance and could also function as boundary markers between parishes,
settlements or properties. They sometimes also defined areas of sanctuary.
Standing crosses were mostly erected during the medieval period and are
thought to have numbered in excess of 12,000 throughout England. However their
survival since the reformation has been variable, and less than 2000 are
thought to survive in their original locations with or without crossheads.
Standing crosses contribute to our understanding of medieval customs, both
secular and religious, and to our knowledge of medieval parishes and
settlement patterns.
St Leonard's Church was abandoned by the mid-19th century at the latest. As a
result it was not renovated by the Victorians, unlike many other churches
nationally. St Leonard's Church thus retains significant medieval fabric and
remains which have not been disturbed by later restoration and improvement
work. Evidence of construction details and other information that may have
been lost in churches which remain in use will survive. The in situ survival
of a contemporary cross base and font adds to the importance of the site.

Source: Historic England


Record form, National Archaeological Record, SE 65 NE 04, (1990)
Record form, National Archaeological Record, SE 65 NE 4, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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