church remains to this day one of the best examples of unaltered
Norman architecture in Britain. The church has its origins in
Saxon times from a wooden church (grave markers were found beneath
the church in 1866 that date from the late 10th./early 11th
These stones are in the Leeds Museum (3).
present church was built in 1816 and would have had a thatched
The church is older than Kirkstall Abbey (3)
and was built on moors and is dedicated to St. John the Baptist
who was a wilderness preacher) (3).
church features two extensively carved arches with chevron
ornamentation - a device much favoured by Norman carvers.
Externally, the south doorway was the chief glory of the sculptured
stonework. Unfortunately a protective porch was removed in
1816 since when the stonework has deteriorated quite badly.
On the door is fixed a bronze handle. It consists of a circular
plaque incised on which is the head of a beast devouring a
human head. An incised moveable ring passes through the mouth
of the beast. The whole is similar to the sanctuary knockers
at Durham cathedral and All Saints' at York but there is no
evidence that Adel ever had the right of sanctuary extended
to criminals fleeing the place where they had committed a
the Chancel arch remains almost as sharp as the day it was
carved. Again the carvers make extensive use of the chevron-zigzag
form. Several grotesque heads surmount the arch. The capitals
of the arch have interesting carvings. One of the carvings
depicts a centaur with a bow and arrow, a favoured device
of King Stephen (1135-1153).
east window, set in 1681, contains the Arms of Dr. Brearey,
the Rector, The Arthington family, those of Kirke of Cookridge
and the Royal Arms. The three personal names survive today
in areas and villages close by Adel.
glass in the church is the work of Henry Giles of York. Mr
Giles also added the inscription to his 'ever honoured friend'
Thomas Kirke who died on 24th April 1706 and is buried in
the churchyard. That is now incorporated in the small two-light
window in the south wall of the chancel.
stained glass in one of the windows in the south wall was
put in during 1933 as a memorial to a member of the congregation,
Colonel Arthur Bray. The three panes depict Ralph Paganel,
Ilbert de Lacy and Alan, Abbot of Marmoutier, represented
by the legend of its founder, St Martin, giving half his cloak
to a beggar.
Church (St. John,) is a fine specimen of Saxon and Norman
architecture, though it has no tower. The rectory, valued
at £623, is in the patronage of Major General Davy.
Addle is in Skyrack Wapentake, and is the site of a Roman