WELL done to reader Margery Maude who correctly identified last week’s object as the carved outline of what is believed to be a crusader’s sword at the parish church of St Peter in East Marton.

The outline of the sword can be found hidden under a carpet on the altar steps of the church, and is believed to be most likely from a crusader’s tomb that stood within the church itself and relocated during a later re-ordering. The church differs from many others of its period in that it has a ceiling, rather than the more usual timbered roof.

The first church at East Marton it is believed was built in the 10th century and attached to a Saxon manor, the outline of which can just be seen in a nearby field. It was probably not a stone building, and many not even have been a building at all, just a cemetery and a preaching cross.

The dedication to St Peter was popular among the Saxons, and whatever was there before, it is probable there was a small wooden church on the site more than 1,000 years ago.

The present, stone building was built probably sometime between 1147 and 1186, probably during the reign of Henry II. It was originally under the control of the monks of Kirkstall Abbey, but by 1186 it was being administered by the canons of Bolton Abbey.

The oldest part of the church is the tower, and is a typical example of the massive and sturdy Norman church, complete with battlements. A number of navvies who died in the building of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are buried in the churchyard. Know what this week’s curiosity is? Email news@cravenherald.co.uk