Tuesday, April 24, 2018

St.John's Church, Salton

The village of Salton, a couple of miles down the road, we were told that it had rather a good church, Saxon even, well it may have had before the totally Norman church there is there today, but it would have been wooden. So we drove down the single-tracked pot-holed lane, did anyone read Matthew Parrish in the Times on 'Austerity and Potholes'? he finishes with the thought, 'the way to deal with potholes is to get to  them before they become a pothole!.
The church is described thus  "one of the most complete little Norman churches in Yorkshire" and of course sits in a very small hamlet, so presumably the lands were handed out to a rich Norman baron.  It has an earlier interesting Anglo-Danish story but I will get to that later. It has pretty pink walls in the nave unfortunately due to the fires started by Scottish raids in the 12th century as they burnt the villagers inside the church who had take refuge there.
The exterior has a row of corbelled heads all the way around, smoothed away by weather you can hardly see the features, in the porch they are called 'beak headed' 

animal or human heads?

Porch with beaked heads

Chancel arch showing two orders of zigzag ornamentation and a carved hood.

Western arch

13th or 14th century with a newer lid

Priest's door

The village settled around the green

The story of Ulf's horn, which the historian for our village has used as well, I expect as a story it goes round the villages Ulf owned a lot of Yorkshire....  Father of sons Ulf happened to hear his children apportioning his land out between them after he died.  Furious Ulf seized his beautiful horn and rode to York, where he gave his lands to the York Minster, handing out the horn as a pledge of the gift of land.
The horn is made out of elephant's tusk and bears the inscription "Ulf, a prince in Deira, gave this horn with his lands".
Wonder what happened to his sons?  The Horn of Ulf


  1. Never having ever heard of this horn it was featured in the new Alice Roberts series a couple of weeks ago! It looks a gorgeous church...absolutely to my taste with all the carvings and beak head designs!

  2. Thanks Aril just found the Alice Roberts bit on the horn. It was very large just under two feet. Poor elephants were hunted for their ivory from a very early age!

  3. Perfect little church Thelma. I have been once but it is a long time ago. Have you been to Hubberholme Church in Wharfedale? It is a beauty - JB Priestly thought it the most beautiful place on earth. I saw him there once many moons ago and actually spoke to him. Now his ashes are scattered there.

  4. No but will try and get there one day Pat, duly noted.

  5. We have nothing so old here in the US, so it is nice to see your pictures and read about your history on your blog.

  6. What a fascinating post, especially about Ulf's horn. His sons obviously really upset him!

    I came across the Beakheads when I was at a Quilting and Textiles Fair in Bath last year. A lady called Chris Gray had done a lot of research into them, and made some brilliant textile art work featuring them. See her blog, Textile Butterfly, in my sidebar.