A mystery lintel
The old priest’s door was bricked up in 1858 – and “rediscovered” during the 1901-3 renovations.
They found a carved lintel over the doorway. It’s a recycled stone that has been cut down to fit, but whose stone it was has to be a guess.
One tradition is that Robert de Stiveton (the older one, not the one we think is buried here) travelled to the Holy Land – and this may be his tombstone. The graves of the Knights of the Order of St John typically had no name inscribed because that person was already “Known unto God”.
The stone has a large St Andrew’s Cross carved in it. At either end is a Maltese Cross.
St Andrew is, of course, an appropriate symbol for a church dedicated to that saint.
The Maltese cross is the symbol of the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller. Robert “The Elder” lived in the later part of the 13th century and there are records in the Bolton Abbey accounts that land in Cononley was leased to The Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in 1286. Dates and circumstances fit, but as we have no documentation; we cannot know for sure for whom this stone was carved.