Cawood, North Yorkshire – All Saints’

I continued along the B1223 to the village of Cawood. It looked lovely and I passed what looked like a castle. I found  All Saints’ church is beside the River Ouse at SE578377 – Not a lot of parking nearby, but I found somewhere to leave the car and walked up to the church. Very good little guidebook, written last summer. It points out that, although the church is beside the river, it is on the highest piece of land – a good place to keep watch. It is likely that Danish troops landed near here before the Battle of Stamford Bridge. There is no mention of this community in the Domesday Book – no doubt it had suffered invading Danes and Normans.

The original church was built between the C12 and C15 centuries, and the stone came from quarries at South Milford along The Bishop’s Dyke. This is an 8 mile long man-made waterway, and probably worth a bit of research. The first reference to the church is in 1294, but the wall to the north of the tower is 1150. A century later the south aisle was added, and the tower was built between 1450 and 1525. There was a Victorian restoration in 1887, so most of the glass dates to then. The current statue of the Virgin and Child in the tower is a replica – the original was moved in the restoration and lost. This one was added in the 1960s.

The church was open and welcoming, with a long table at the back – we celebrate the Last Supper here every week!

This memorial is to Archbishop Mountain. He was born in the village, became bishop of Lincoln, then London, then in July 1628 Charles I made his Archbishop of York. He was enthroned on 24 October, and died the same evening. “He was scarce warm in his seat before he was cold in his coffin.”

On one side is a rather lovely village tapestry, on the other a window by Anne Sotheran commemorating Dot Hunt, lay reader of the parish.

Three rather lovely windows. The War Memorial window is Curtis Ward and Hughes on 1926. It includes the badges of the regiments that Cawood men served in. The green is the badge of the East Yorkshires, purple the Manchester Regiment. Add in the Northumberland Fusiliers, Royal Artillery, West Yorkshire Regiment, Durham Light Infantry, Lincolnshire Regiment, Royal Flying Corps and Royal Engineers. A rather more imaginative way of portraying them than the standard parade of badges in a side panel. I liked the Victorian east window and this one in the south wall.

Outside there is a snowdrop-filled wildlife garden and some nice memorials.

The guidebook has a tantalizing photo “The procession of November 1930 to mark the 400th anniversary of the enforced departure of Cardinal Wolsey from Cawood.” I had to look that up. tells me all I need to know. Wolsey had gone to Cawood, one of the palaces of the Archbishop of York, in November 1529 when he fell out of favour with Henry VIII. A year later William Walsh and the Earl of Northumberland arrived. Wolsey assumed it was a social call, but it was not. He was arrested for High Treason, allowed to say farewell to his staff, and put on his mule for the journey south. They reached Leicester where he died. The Castle is now a Landmark Trust property. I couldn’t park to get a photo.

I would also like to have had a proper explore of the swing bridge – opened in 1872. Lots of lovely photos at Parking was not possible, though I did manage (having driven across the bridge) to get a photo across the fields to the church.

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2 Responses to Cawood, North Yorkshire – All Saints’

  1. Mrs Phoebe Newton says:

    It is just the gatehouse that remains, from the time of Archbishop Kempe (1426 -51).
    I have a photo of it somewhere, but probably pre-digital.


    What a fascinating place. Great photos, Thank you

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