Wednesday, 2 August 2017

All Saints Parish Church ,Otley

All Saints' Church in Otley, West Yorkshire, England is an active Anglican parish church in the archdeaconry of Leeds and the Diocese of Leeds

The Belvoir Angel is a motif local to the Vale of Belvoir (Beever) and the Framland, in the East Midlands, carved in slate in the late 1600’s and first part of the 18th century. Usually found immaculately preserved on small slate headstones, it speaks of the blessing of God at the time of passing from the earthly to the heavenly state, with a protective angelic covering. A typical Belvoir Angel design has certain standard features,

This angel is on stone and not slate, so is not a typical Belvoir, but still a nice angel.  It could be that the Belvoir Angels were expensive and some people copied them.

Right in the middle of the churchyard is the most impressive Willow tree were it's branches come right down the the ground.

Ordinance Survey Benchmarks

Before the days of GPS and satellite earth measuring technologies map makers, surveyors and architects measured altitudes above sea level and took measures of verticality using triangular marks with a single horizontal line – known as benchmarks. In the Victorian era over 35’000 ordinance survey benchmarks were carved through out the UK and their locations are recorded in the OS database. Benchmarks were never carved kerbstones which could be moved at anytime due to flooding or road changes, but into static vertical structures like walls, bridges and buildings.

In the past two years the church has been modernise, large glass electric doors and chairs have replaced the pews, and children  play areas, it feels more like a meeting room rather than the "spirit" of a church, brooms propped up against the walls and boxes of stuff about the place. There were no evidence of the Anglo-Saxon fragments. The building is used well by the community from knitting groups to Cubs.

There was good amounts of information on the church and it's windows.

North Transept Window
Press to enlarge photo to read .

South Transept Window
Fairfax Tomb

14th July 1906, Situated in the south transept of Otley Parish Church, carved memorial to Lord Thomas Fairfax and his wife Helen Aske. Lady Fairfax was descended from the Clifford family of Skipton Castle. This couple were the grandparents of Sir Thomas Fairfax (Black Tom) who fought for Cromwell and Parliamentary cause during the Civil war. The silk standard carried by the Parliamentary force at the battle of Marston Moor was draped across this tomb for a long time.

The Chancel Screen

There were people popping in to pray, a young man was in the Chancel, it did not feel it was right for me to go in and take photos.

The East Window



Worth a look but to modernised for me.

Inside the church there were ( not on display, not sure were they were )fragments of two Anglo-Saxon crosses are preserved. Four fragments, including one carved with the busts of three Evangelists, are believed to have been part of a great cross dating to the 8th century, a replica of which is in the
War Memorial Garden in Bondgate


Thanks to All Saints Parish Church for the information provided in the booklets and used on this blog.


  1. Great post Amanda - looks interesting church and churchyard although a shame about modernisation inside. I've noticed how many churches are well-used these days for all sorts of activities from playgroups to coffee mornings but at least it means the buildings are being used and a part of the community :)

    Churchyard looks absolutely fascinating - so many different tombs and gravestones. Fascinating about the look-alike Belvoir angel carving. So much to see when you look. That is only the second OS benchmark I have seen - found one at our local Berkswell church - something else to look for on exterior church walls :) Good to see the Fairfax tomb and read about connection with Skipton Cliffords - oh and I love the churchyard Willow tree :) A shame there was no sign of the two Anglo-Saxon cross fragments.

    Thanks so much for sharing :)

    1. Thanks RR, as it's used so much I can emagin the fragments are put away, as they could go missing. Had not seen the OS mark on my visit so great spotting it this time. I do think the church has a nice grave yard. The first post I did was about the wildlife area at the back, still there but most of the wild flowers were finished.
      Amanda 🐰🐰