Cowlam Church is included on this site for one reason only: along with North Grimston, Langtoft and Kirkburn, it has a Norman font of the East Riding Group.
It has to be said, though, that this is almost the ultimate “farmyard church”: you have to drive into the farmyard to reach it! Farmyard churches tend to have very old fabric, often of Norman origin because not much money got spent on them. Cowlam is the exception. It is one of the so-called “Sykes Churches” that were built or restored by Sir Tatton Sykes (1772-1863) and his son of the same name (1826-1913) both Baronets of Sledmere. Cowlam was rebuilt in 1852 to plans supplied by Mary Sykes, Tatton’s daughter. Pevsner notes tersely that it was “a sensible job”.
Today Cowlan comprises, to quote Wikipaedia, “six farms, the Church, the Rectory, three cottages, four houses, a bungalow and a bus shelter”! The village suffered grievously during the Black Death of 1348-50. The church is horribly difficult to find so do read my footnote!
This church was rebuilt: there is nothing here to interest anyone except as an example of the Gothic Revival. I agree with Pevsner, however. This is a smart little church that should offend nobody’s sensibilities.
We know almost nothing of the original church but the font obviously indicates