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Kirk Sandall Then and Now

St. Oswald's Church Kirk Sandall

St. Oswald’s church in Kirk Sandall, South Yorkshire has been a constant in an ever-changing landscape since its foundation, in years before the Norman Conquest.

This church was built at the centre of a rural medieval community. The Industrial Revolution saw the advent of the River Dun Navigation Canal, which now provides a picturesque backdrop and a pleasant walk.

The 1900s saw the development of the Pilkington’s Glass factory, completely enveloping the church, the factory becoming disused, redundant and dilapidated in the 1990s. For twenty or so years, the church suffered disuse and vandalism hidden in a blighted post-industrial wasteland, until it was rescued by The Churches Conservation Trust.

New housing development from 2017 has seen a vast housing estate with its new road network constructed around St. Oswald’s, with the hope this church will experience a new lease of life.

Amongst the treasures of this spectacular building, two intricately carved 16th-century screens, late-medieval stained glass with a panel depicting St. Oswald along with St. Margaret slaying a dragon and the Rokeby chantry chapel also dating from the 16th century, being the burial place of John Rokeby, Archbishop of Dublin. He died in 1521 and requested his heart to be buried in Halifax, West Yorkshire, the rest of his body at Kirk Sandall. The chapel contains several fine monuments to the Rokeby family.

The Friends of St. Oswald’s regularly open the church for visitors – their website advertises those dates – more information at

Other information about this church can be found on The Churches Conservation Trust’s page at

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