St Peter's Church, Addingham

9th August 2017

St Peter's Church is a Church of England parish church in Addingham, West Yorkshire. It is a Grade I listed building, with the main structure dating to a 15th-century rebuild but with some of the earliest parts dating from the Norman period.

Addingham is a village and civil parish in the English county of West Yorkshire. It is situated near the A65, 6 miles south east of Skipton, 3 miles west of Ilkley, 19 miles north west of Bradford and around 20 miles north west of Leeds.

The area around Addingham is thought to have been populated from at least Bronze Age times, indicated by the 'cup and ring' carved stones that can be found on Addingham Moor. Its beginnings may date back to the late Mesolithic period, as evidenced by the scattered remains of early flint tools across Rombald's Moor to the south. (LINK)

During the late 15th century, this church was built to replace an earlier church, and Norman fabric has been re-used inside the tower. The west tower and the wall of the south aisle were rebuilt between 1757 and 1760. The chancel was restored in 1875. Most of the church is in Neoclassical style, other than the north aisle, which is Perpendicular. In the church is the fragment of a Saxon cross.

A really good information leaflet online can be read HERE about the church and it's history

Click photo to enlarge to read.

Thanks to; Leaflet produced for St Peter's church by Addingham Civic Society.
Text: Arnold Pacey Photography & design: Don Barrett



Robert Thomson was a carpenter who specialised in using oak to produce furniture in the style of the 17th Century.

He always carved a life size mouse onto every piece of furniture he made. This tradition is still carried out today by Robert Thompson’s Craftsmen Ltd.

The mice shown are on the 2 front pews on the right hand side. There are others in the church and I’ll leave the rest for people who visit the church to find.(LINK)

I found the two on the pews, didn't think to look for more !

The East window 1856

 For each church I visit, I have tried to chose a grave stone or a plaque to later look at the name and try and find something about this person, I chose this one as it mentioned the South African War. The grave at Arthington had also been to this war.

It wasn't till I was looking through my photos I realised he lived in Giggleswick, this is were my parents live and dad's family is from.

The Second Boer War, known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, South African War or Anglo-Boer South African War, started on 11 October 1899 and ended on 31 May 1902.

You can see a short information video here by Andrew Marr

Anglo-Saxon  cross
Anglo-Saxon  cross
A 10th Century Cross shaft inside St Peter's, Addingham, West Yorkshire.
The Christian history of this
site goes back to the 8th or 9th
centuries. Worship at that time
may have taken place around
the Anglo-Saxon cross whose
shaft survives and may be seen
in the church. It is also possible
that there was a wooden church
here, although nothing remains
of it today.



In the centre of the third tie-beam from the chancel arch is the boss carved with a different face on each of it's four sides.
One face may be intended as a "green man", and the one has a tongue out, like several other cheeky caricatures among the roof timbers.

 Even with a few lights on , I was unable to get a good photo of the other faces.

Glastonbury Thorn

The Glastonbury thorn is a form of common hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna 'Biflora' (sometimes incorrectly called Crataegus oxyacantha var. praecox), found in and around Glastonbury, Somerset, England. Unlike ordinary hawthorn trees, it flowers twice a year (hence the name "biflora"), the first time in winter and the second time in spring. The trees in the Glastonbury area have been propagated by grafting since ancient times. The tree is also widely called the holy thorn, though this term strictly speaking refers to the original (legendary) tree.

It is associated with legends about Joseph of Arimathea and the arrival of Christianity in Britain, and has appeared in written texts since the medieval period. A flowering sprig is sent to the British Monarch every Christmas. The original tree has been propagated several times, with one tree growing at Glastonbury Abbey and another in the churchyard of the Church of St John. The "original" Glastonbury thorn was cut down and burned as a relic of superstition during the English Civil War, and one planted on Wearyall Hill in 1951 to replace it had its branches cut off in 2010.(LINK)

Sundial on Village Hall , Addingham

 Addingham and the area has 14 churches to discover, including Bolton Priory 


A stunning church with so much to see, and another one I will visit again.


Good amount of information in the church and on-line.

Despite been a notable church it has managed to keep is village and church charm.


St. Peter’s Church mice
Anglo-Saxon cemetery and medieval manorial centre including fishponds and part of the open field system adjacent to St Peter's Church


  1. A really really super post Amanda with so much information and beautiful photos. The church and village are wonderful. So many features of interest in and around the church - and it is such a good idea to put the leaflet with some history online. Interesting to read of the Anglo-Saxon burial ground they discovered too.

    There are some unusual gravestones in the churchyard - have never seen anything like the ones with a tree/plant, the bird and the sheep. Thanks for all the information on the Glastonbury Thorn - I had heard of the original but didn't realise there were others planted elsewhere around the country. I do like the clock on the church tower - it looks huge! :)

    So glad you found some of the Thompson mice - they always seem so well hidden and love the shaft of the Anglo-Saxon cross and the caricatures. You really are finding some beautiful and interesting churches to visit- can't wait to see where else you discover :)

    You must let me know if you find out any more information on the soldier killed in the Boer War - a lovely idea to pick one of the names you see and try and research the person.

    1. Thanks RR for the lovely comment, a great little church, loving finding all the history that surrounds the church and the village they are in. Will be going back to the village as there are many more churches to discover. I had heard about the tree before but didn't realise it was here. Haven't had chance to look any more on the Yorkshire men in the war , but I will do....

  2. Hello, beautiful tour of the church. The inside and outside are both gorgeous. The blue clock really stands out. I love the stained glass windows, the mouse carving is so cute. I love the cemetery and gravestones are beautiful. Lovely collection of photos. Enjoy your day and weekend!

    1. Thanks Eileen, so nice of you to have a look at the church blog, I hadn't really noticed the clock but will look more closely at them in the future as they are an important part of the church. The mice are great as well as the beautiful windows so pleased you liked the place.
      Amanda xx

  3. We just love Robert Thompson's mouse carvings - loved visiting his museum in Yorkshire some years ago. And on our recent hol, we visited... Barter Books in Alnwick (with railway going round the top etc.). I bought several items and would have bought more if we had not felt it was time to move on to Belsay Hall (where years ago we went on our first organised bat watch!). WHAT an Aladdin's cave of wonderful things! Sadly the weather was very wet and windy most of the time...

    1. Thanks Caroline so much for leaving a comment, quite a few churches have Robert Thompson's mouse carvings, a old friend of mine new the family as well. Hope to find some more.
      I love Barter Books in Alnwick have been there a few times now.
      Amanda xx

  4. Hi Amanda,

    You haven't chosen an easy name to research, Thompson is far too common. However William Thompson's father changed his name and was actually born a Coates.
    When William was born in 1878 his father was 63 years old and his mother, Mary 25 (she was born Mary Louisa Crabtree). William had two sisters Mary born 1876 and Violet Elizabeth born 1887.
    You have a picture of the gravestone of William, this is the Celtic style cross at the east end of the church and this tells us he had a wife Annie who died 11 April 1973.
    William and Annie (aged 25) married on the 5th April 1906 in the Parish Church at Addingham. Her father was Benjamin Hirst a merchant and they lived at The Hall, Ilkley. William's father was already dead by the time they married.
    On the 1911 census William Senior has died, the Head of the Household is Mary (widow) and William Junior is at home, they are still living in The Rectory. I think I have traced Annie to an address in Shadwell where she is described as a visitor.
    To the left of the cross there is a partial gravestone, I can read the names Coates, Violet, Thompson & Thompson, I am wondering if this is William's sister(s) grave.
    The wheel cross decorated with knot-work and daisies is to Rev John Coates, Rector of this parish for 55 years. This is William's Uncle.
    You then have the marble slab to the Cunliffe Listers. You will see it starts with a Coates and that one of the family was baptised with the Thompson name.
    I was trying to find out why William Coates changed their family name. I found that Rev. John Coates was born in 1763 in Addingham, Yorkshire, he married Mary Cunliffe daughter of John Cunliffe and Mary Thompson on 29 July 1806. They had three children during their marriage. He died in 1830 in Addingham, Yorkshire, at the age of 67, and was buried there. I think this is where the name change came from and it also shows that they were probably related to the Cunliffe-Listers.

    Fascinated by the cutting of the Glastonbury Thorn. Back in the early 60's my parents took me to Glastonbury Abbey and I remember there being a thorn tree there and being told the legend which made a long lasting impression on me.

    Another lovely set of photos of an interesting church.




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