All Saints


The medieval All Saints’ Church at Mattersey stands on rocks of Triassic age (Sherwood Sandstone Group). However, this succession does not generally yield good building stone and so many of the churches in the area have imported their building materials from further afield. All Saints’ is no exception. The church is almost completely built of large ashlar blocks of dolomitic limestone from the Cadeby Formation (formerly called Lower Magnesian Limestone) of Upper Permian geological age. The limestones are pale yellow-buff in colour when fresh, commonly coarse grained and show a variety of sedimentary structures including low angled cross-bedding and lamination. The limestones show variable grain types ranging from very coarse, rounded peloids (algal lumps) to occasional shell fragments and spheroidal ooidal grains. Some of the blocks are finely recrystallized with no obvious grains evident.

The only other stones varieties present in the building are those that have been used for repair work. They principally include pale yellow, ooidal and bioclastic (shelly) Middle Jurassic Lincolnshire limestone (probably Ancaster Stone) used to repair window mouldings and in the columns either side of the porch entrance. A carved block of white, fine grained, Upper Permian Cadeby Formation limestone has been recently used inside the porch, probably from Cadeby Quarry.

Source of the Cadeby Limestone in the church

Local information suggests that the limestone used in the church was recycled from the nearby priory buildings at the Gilbertine Mattersey Priory. If this is accepted, which from the size and quality of the blocks used seems a strong possibility; it still leaves open the question as to where the priory stone was original quarried. The nearest local source of Cadeby dolomitic limestones is a few kilometres to the west between Maltby and Anston. In the past this area has been heavily quarried for building stone. The colour, textures and mineralogy of the church limestone suggest a likely source from former quarries in the Maltby - Roche area.

Roofing slates examined, lying on the ground, outside the church are green Cumbrian slates probably from the Burlington quarries. However, most of the visible roofing is purple Welsh slate from the Penrhyn quarries in North Wales