St Mary & All Saints Church, Whalley


Whalley was a place of some importance during the roman occupation of Britain. It was probably not a military camp as was Ribchester but a place of summer residence. A roman road can still be traced near the northern boundary, close to Little Mytton.

Roman coins have been dug up in the church yard and at one time there was a collection of these coins in a case made from wood of an old pulpit. These coins where from the reigns of Vespasian, Constantine and others but unfortunately the collection has been lost.

The block of stone in the church yard, by the southern side of the tower dates from Roman times. It was found in the foundations of the tower close to where it now rests.


There was a church in Whalley in Saxon times and it was known as 'The White Church under the Hill' this belief is strengthened by an entry in the Domesday Book in 1086. By the time of the Norman Conquest the Church was well established that is was pre-Norman in its foundation.

It has been documented that the church was founded between the 7th and 10th centuries.


In AD 1080 a Norman Church was built. Little was known of this building and only a few fragments remain. Within one hundred and fifty years of the church being built some kind of disaster happened. In the absence of evidence it could have been destroyed by fire, which was an enemy of ancient buildings at that time but about the year 1200 or a little later the present Church began.


The enclosure of the churchyard did not take place until the early years of this time. To permit this to be completed a number of cottages behind the DeLacy pub had to be demolished.


The Celtic Crosses are the oldest and most treasured possessions of the church. The Monks of Whalley attributed them to St. Augustine, and if they were correct they would be some 1,400 years old. Expert opinion puts the oldest at the 10th century and it seems that they were placed to commemorate a Scottish mission from the island of Iona rather than the Latin mission led by St. Augustine in AD 597.

There existence proves that a Christian centre was established before the Norman Conquest of 1066 but their precise age remains in doubt.

The southernmost and tallest is the oldest and has most interesting carvings but it is not easy to tell what is being represented. At the top is a dove, symbolising the Holy Spirit and below that a figure of Our Lord, with uplifted hands, and in the third panel 'The Dog of Berser', the Scandinavian emblem of eternity which was drawn in Christian art to represent God the Father. The mutilated cross-head may not be original, although it is of the period.

The cross-shaft near the Chancel door is also 10th century. The carving is now almost invisible but it probably depicted the feast of the Annunciation and was mounted in the 14th century. It bears on one side the I.H.C. and on the other side a crucifix.

The very boldly carved shaft opposite the south door of the Nave is dated to the 11th century. (SEE PLAN IN GALLERY). Part of the shaft is missing and the head is mutilated. It represents the Tree of Calvary.

During rioting, a mob headed by a person called Webster, of Clitheroe overturned the Crosses and threw them into a ditch. William Johnson the vicar from 1738 - 1776 had them restored and firmly fastened them into their original bases.


There are two stone coffins near to the Tower, dating from the 13th century.


This is to the South East of the Chancel and bears the inscription 'Lat. 53. 40., A.D. 1757'. There is also an earlier date, 1737, the dial itself being older than the pillar upon which it now rests. The dial was purchased in 1738 and the steps made in 1773.


The churchyard does not have memorials of outstanding interest, but one or two are worthy of note. Close to the sundial is a stone to the memory of Ann Crowshaw bearing the date April 31st 1752 and to George Crowshaw, of Read, husbandman, February 21st, 1811, aged 105.

Near the cross by the Chancel door is a stone bearing the name of Jacob Green, in his third year, with the date 30th February 1819!!! There seems to be considerable confusion here, as the register shows that the child was buried on 2nd March, 1817.

On a flat gravestone to the south of the Chancel is an epitaph to James Whitaker, of Ribchester. It reads :-


A box-tomb to the South of the Church, to the memory of John Wigglesworth, records that he was 'for more than fifty years the principal Inn-keeper of the town, and that notwithstanding the temptation of that dangerous calling, he maintained good order in his house, kept the Sabbath Day holy, frequented the public worship with his family, induced his guests to do the same'.

Samuel Jellicoe, great-grandfather of Admiral Earl Jellicoe, is buried next to the Whalley family vault, by the Vestry door. He was connected by marriage with the Whalley family, of Clerk Hill.


The above is 20ft. square and 66ft. high and was built in 1440. The buttresses at the north-west and south-west corners add to the strength and to the appearance of massiveness of the Tower.


In the early 18th century there were four bells in the Tower, but the condition of three of them was so serious that only one was able to be rung. The result of this, was that the bells were re-cast and increased to six in 1741. the number remained at six until 1924, when the treble and tenor were added, one as part of the Church's memorial to the men who died in the 1914-18 war and the other was a gift from Dinah Ann Green.

On the floor of the Tower visitors may see a bell with very fine ornamentation. It was never part of the Church peal, but came from Church Kirk in 1866. it was cast by Peter Vaden Ghein (Peter of Ghent) in 1537, and a translation of the inscription is: 'I am Mary, cast by Peter Vaden Ghein, in the year 1537'. The designer was from Ghent in Belgium.


The porch is modern (1844), but the doorway into the Church contains some of the remaining pieces of the Norman Church.


This is on the south side of the Chancel. It is from the 13th century and retains the original iron work and the bronze head of the knocker. Sadly, the knocker-ring is missing. There is no record to prove that this was an ancient sanctuary knocker, and many more Churches claim to have had the privilege of giving sanctuary to fugitives than can possibly have had that right. When, however, we consider the distances separating Whalley from its nearest neighbours in bygone centuries, and the antiquity of the church, it is possible that the Right of Sanctuary belonged to this Church, and that this is an authentic sanctuary knocker. It is thought that the head represents Our Lord, with the hair dressed in the style of the 13th century.


In the north and south aisles of the Church, as seen from the outside, do not call for much comment. They appear to have been enlarged, but the work was not neatly done. It is possible that the additional stone work came from the Abbey at its closure.


These are thought to have been circular at first and much smaller than the present ones. When the Tower was built in the 15th century, a very fine West Window, was blocked and the Church considerably darkened. The enlarged Clerestory windows (Clerestory meaning a lighting and cooling system), partly compensated for the loss of light, but this did not satisfy a later generation, who added a Dormer Window in 1695. A second Dormer Window to the West was built early in the nineteenth century.


This is a beautiful piece of work. It dates back to the 15th century and replaced a group of three (or perhaps five) lancet windows. The stone lines dividing the windows appear to be original, except the most northern one, which was replaced in 1934. The buttresses below the Window are from the 13th century and they were untouched when the window was altered.

The coats of arms are an unusual of this window. They were inserted in 1816. The window was restored in 1934, re-leaded and much improved in appearance. Small diamond-shaped panes were replaced by squares, and coloured edging similar to that in the window over the sedilia (seats for the clergy) was removed.

Above the five rows of family crests are the Four Evangelists, flanked on the left by the arms of Doctor Whitaker, Vicar of Whalley at the time, and on the right those of Bishop Law, of Chester in whose Diocese Whalley then was. Nearer the top left is a picture which relates to the name of Assheton, and on the right a picture relating to the name of Bolton. Also in the window is a crowned Lancaster rose and a crowned Portcullis. These were the two royal Tudor badges.


This is made of Oak and the bulls-eye glass panelling is modern.


The present roof is of later date than the Tower, as there is still evidence of a higher one as can be seen by the lines beneath the clock..

The roof of the Nave is of Oak. There are roses at the intersections and are beautifully carved. They are from the 15th century. Between 1764-1834 the roof was hidden by a flat roof of plaster.


This is the second that the Church has possessed. It was installed in 1819.


It dates back to 1791.


The interior of the Church illustrates almost every period of the history of the English parish Church. In medieval times when the church was built, it was a monastic church, with a large choir where the priest offered the Mass shut off from the Nave, which was without pews. There were benches for the weak and old along the wall.

The Nave and the choir were divided by a screen which had a wooden cross on the top with the altar behind it. Both the screen and a medieval pew survive here.

After 1666 the Nave became the centre of worship for everyone. It was filled with family pews attached to local landowning estates and a gallery for people of a lower class.

At the back of the Church was the Churchwardens Pew and the Constables Pew, which can still be seen. Above this was the Singers gallery occupied by singers and either a company of musicians or more rarely, by an organ.

More relics of this time have survived with The Cage, The Starkie pew and The West Gallery in front of the organ.

As a result of the Oxford Movement in 1833 the singers where moved from The West Gallery to the Choir in 1868. Boxed pews disappeared and the pews where arranged in fashion to face the East in 1909.

In the same period the three-decker Pulpit was removed, while a Lectern and Pulpit were placed in their present position.


Here are some dimensions which may be of interest.

The length of the Church (including the Tower) is 154ft.

The Chancel is 55ft. long, 25ft. wide and 33ft. high.

The Nave is 77ft. long, 50ft. wide and 45ft. high.

This was built between AD 1200-1220 and there has been no structural alteration since, except to the East Window.


The roof is made of Chestnut and the marks made by smoothing tools may still be seen.


This was erected in 1928, in memory Sir Henry W.Worsley Taylor, Bart., and is the work of a person called George Jack. It shows the Annunciation with worshipping angels on either side and the name-saints of the donors. (People who donated money to the reredos)


It is designed by Bainbridge Reynolds, of London, in gilders metal gilt and enamel, in 1909. Its' enamels are copied from Italian and Spanish masters.


These are from the 18th century in a Renaissance style.


It is believed to be German from the 15th century.


A Piscina is a niche near to an altar containing a bowl with which to wash altar vessels. This can be seen in the south wall of the sanctuary.


This is a small table upon which bread and wine are placed before Holy Communion. It can be seen near to the south wall of the Sanctuary.


The place where the clergy sit. The stone forming this seat may be a fragment from the Norman Church.


It is made up of 20 lights and is a fine piece of 18th century workmanship. This is the sole survivor of three, which where the only means of light for the Church. The top of the structure is in the form of a dove.


These are the Church's most beautiful possession. They were carved for the Abbey about AD 1430 and were brought into the Church when the Abbey was dissolved. The panelling and parts of the canopies and one or two seats are of later date, but the work as a whole is the original Choir seating of the Monks.

It is believed that a second tier of canopy work above the existing has entirely disappeared. The name of a wood carver at the Abbey, Eatough, has been preserved, and the name is still found in the Parish.

The illustrations on the Choir stalls are called Misericords. Three of the seats have inscriptions beneath them. One is in English, one is in Latin and one in French. Although similar Misericords are to be found in other ancient Churches, it is believed that no others are in existence with inscriptions beneath the carving.

The Stalls were rearranged and added to in 1868.

Visitors are invited to inspect the Stalls, but if the seats are down they should be lifted with care.

The word Misericord means 'loving kindness'.

The seat was the medieval solution to the problem of how to obtain relief from much standing during long services in Church, as the stalls can be used for sitting either turned up or for leaning on.

Here is a description of each Misericord :-

(1) An angel (modern)

(2) Flying dragon carrying in its arms an infant in swaddling clothes.

(3) A man shoeing a goose.

(4) The Abbotís stall with vine and grapes.

(5) Face, with plant growing out of the mouth.

(6) Angel with wings and flowers in the hand.

(7) Alexanderís Flight.

(8) A Pelican feeding her young with her blood.

(9) Pomegranates between birds and with laurel leaves.

(10) Lion and winged dragon.

On other side :-

(1), (2), (3) Flowers (modern)
Reynard, the fox, stealing a goose from the Rectory.

(4) Huntsman with dog pursuing a stag.

(5) St. George & The Dragon.

(6) Two eagles tearing the intestines of a pig.

(7) The Priorís Stall.

(8) Plant.

(9) A large rose with two small roses, one on either side.

(10) Three faces on one head. The Holy Trinity.

(11) Vine, flowers and mouse.

(12) Warrior with discarded sword and buckler (shield), being
beaten by his wife with a frying pan.


These were made in 1909 and are a fine example of local craftsmanship. In the carving it reads 'Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty'.


This is late 15t century. Originally it had a Rood Loft (shaped like a crucifix) wide enough to support an altar. This could be reached by a spiral staircase and the markings noticed in the wall of St. Nicholasís Chapel (north aisle)are most likely due to this staircase.

Above the Screen a Rood (crucifix) once hung and cuttings in the stonework of the arch on either side, show where the beam which carried the rood was fixed.


It is late Norman in style, supported on cylindrical pillars with rounded capitals on top.


The most striking of these is the figure in the Sanctuary of Dr. T. D. Whitaker, Vicar of Whalley, between 1809-1822. His book 'History of Whalley' is still a great book of reference, although some people have had the occasion to correct some of his writings. The monument is by a person called Salvin and was erected in 1842.

To the left of the Vestry door is a Medallion Memorial to his son who was also the Vicar of Whalley between 1840-1881.

Nearby is the memorial to Alice Cottam, sister of Adam Cottam, who was a great donator of money to the church. He also built the Almshouses on Mitton Road. He bought the organ, a silver flagon and the painting on the north wall of the Church. He died in 1838 and is buried in the Churchyard next to his sister, just to the north of the Chancel.

To the west of the Vestry door is a small brass, formerly above the Altar, in memory of the Rev. Stephen Gey, Vicar between 1663-1693.

Many of the other memorials are to members of the Whalley family, who lived at Clerk Hill in the Parish, during the 18th and 19th centuries.


The Nave is of four bays with north and south aisles built during the second half of the thirteenth century.


These are an interesting feature, being round on the north side and octagonal on the south side of the Church and both carry Early English pointed arches.

The pillars are of Norman style in the thirteenth century.

The carved heads above the second and third pillars on the north side and the carved stone above the third pillars (from the east) on the south side, are thought to be relics from the Norman Church.


The large pew on the south side of the Nave is still spoken of as 'The Cage'. It is an ancient term for such a pew and often used to describe a Chapel enclosed by screens. Inside the Cage the lower east side bears the inscription (translated), 'Made by Roger Nowell, Esq., in the year of Our Lord, 1534'. Another inscription outside facing west bears the date 1610. the upper parts have the initials 'R.N.R.' (Roger Nowell, Read) and the date, 1697.

The date 1830 over the two doors, and the initials I.F.R. (John Fort, Read) and I.T.M. (John Taylor, Moreton) bear witness to a dispute between these two families concerning the ownership of the pew. This feud began when the Nowell's family lands where disposed of to the Fort's and Taylor's, each claimed sole right to the pew. When judgement was given dividing the Cage between the two families, neither would use it to sit so, this led to the building of two separate galleries on the south side, each with its own staircase, to accommodate the two families. Both the feud and the galleries have happily disappeared.


This is situated just outside the Chancel near the Lectern, although only part of the original remains. It was built by Sir John Towneley in his right as Lord of the Manor of Hapton. The panelling on the wall is Jacobean but the pew itself was in the Church for more than a century before this.


The square pew is in front of the pulpit and is a very beautiful piece of wood carving. Notice the initials 'W.R.S.' and the date, 1702. the carving on the door panel appears to have been left unfinished.


This is modern work but of pleasing design. It replaced, in 1878, a 'three-decker', which stood against the first pillar, facing south.


This is made of some local yellow grit stone as are the pillars of the Church. It is plain and massive and dates from the 15th century. The oak cover is 17th century and the stonework of the Font still bears the marks of the lock which was ordered to secure the cover when the Font was not in use.

In medieval times the baptismal water was believed to have healing virtues in cases of sickness and was carried away for this purpose. An end was put to this practice when the Font was kept locked.


It is a massive oak 'safe', metal bound and with provision for three padlocks, as was customary, with one each being for the Official and Churchwardens. It dates from 1684 and held the Registers and other valuable Church documents secure from almost every danger except fire.


These can be described as interesting and rather than beautiful. They date back to the 18th century.


The original organ was built for Lancaster Priory by Gerard Smith in 1727. In its magnificent 18th century case, it cam to Whalley in 1813 as a gift from Adam Cottam. On four subsequent occasions it was enlarged and improved, the last being in 1928 when electric blowing apparatus was purchased by the Abbey Lodge of Freemasons.

It is recorded that during the '1745' Rebellion, which hoped to restore the Stuarts to the Throne of England, the organ was played by a notable Stuart supporter, Colonel Towneley, during the Royalist troopsí retreat through Lancaster. When he was warned that the enemy forces where very close he ended with the well-known Jacobite tune :-

'I hope to see the day when the Whigs shall run away,
And the King shall have his own again'.

The Colonel did not have his wish. Within three weeks he was a prisoner in Carlisle Castle, and shortly afterwards was executed in London.

Organs and organists where rarities when the organ first came to Whalley. There was no other organ in the neighbourhood but a small one in St. John's Church, Blackburn.

Until 1865 the organ was a 'G' organ with a keyboard of black naturals and white sharps. In that year it was made into a 'C' organ with the keyboard of the present-day colouring.

A loft for the organ was first built in 1812. In 1909 it was re-built, the front being made from one of the Galleries which had been removed. The Royal Arms are those of George III.


The two Chapels in the north and south aisles where originally Chantries founded on the dissolution of the 'Hermitage' (small building) about 1440. No trace of the Hermitage remains, but it was situated in the Churchyard to the west of the Tower. It was founded in 1361 as the residence of a female recluse, providing a Priest to say Mass daily, two maid servants and ample provisions of food. When the Hermitage was closed because of unsatisfactory conduct of the inmate, the endowments passed to the Abbey, with the condition that Priests came daily from the Abbey to say Mass in the two Chantries.

At the Reformation, Chantries were abolished, but Mass was continued to be said in these Chapels daily until 1560.

On the floor of the Chapel is the tombstone of Christopher Smith, the last Prior of Whalley Abbey.

As a memorial to the men of the Parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18, this Chapel was refurnished, and is now known as the 'Soldiers' Chapel. On the north wall is the Roll of Honour. Stained-glass panels have been placed beside the north window to commemorate the men of the Parish who fell in the World War 1939-45, with their names recorded upon them.

The east window was given by members of the Green family in memory of their parents and their brother Arthur, killed in 1916. it shows King Arthur, St. George and St. Nicholas. Below are scenes from the legends of King Arthur and St. Nicholas, and above are the Arms of the County and the Abbey.


This encloses the Chapel and dates back to the 15th century, although much of it has been restored. Carved on it to the left of the Chapel entrance is an inscription (translated)- 'Pray for the soul of Thomas Law, Monk'. He was one of the Priests provided by the Abbey. After the dissolution of the Abbey he served the Parish Church until his death in 1560. Thomas Harwood is another name that has come down to us as a Monk of Whalley who served here after the Abbey was closed.


The brass depicts a man in armour kneeling facing his wife. Behind him are nine sons, and behind his wife, eleven daughters.

The brass was removed and was in possession of Robert Sherburne of Mytton, in 1659, it was seen by Dr. Whitaker at Catterall Hall, near Garstang, and he recognised it as being the Brass missing from Whalley. By permission of the owners, it was restored.

The name 'Mytton Chapel', by which this Chantry was later known, derived from its use by the family at Little Mytton Hall.


The communion table is a lovely piece of work in the Hepplewhite style. It was acquired in the 18th century and later removed from the Church and sold into private hands. It was bought in 1911 and restored by an anonymous benefactor.


This depicts St. Giles and St. Antony, and is from the design of Edward Woore, a pupil of Christopher Whall, whose work is to be seen in the south aisle.


The family of Abbot Paslew lived in the Parish at Wiswell Hall and had a Pew in this Chapel, which has since been removed.

The Coat of Arms on the Pew immediately outside the Chapel, bearing the date 1638, are those of Sherburne, of Stonyhurst. The Sherburne Pew stood where the Pulpit is now, and the Arms were no doubt moved for preservation when the Pew was taken away.


This stone is to be seen against the north wall of the aisle just outside the Chapel. Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, a novelist, maintains that is the Tomb of the last Abbot of Whalley, John Paslew, who was hanged after the suppression of the Rising the 'Pilgrimage of Grace' in 1536.

The Stone is a Memorial to a Priest, as the Chalice shows, and the initial 'I' at the left hand bottom corner could stand for ìJohn.î Unfortunately the opposite corner is broken off.


Now in the south west corner of the aisle, is of similar stone to the Paslew Tomb. The translation on the monument is :-

'Here lies Thomas, second son of Thomas Bradyll, Esq, and Jane his wife, who departed from this light the 19th day of February, 1672, and in the 10th year of his age'.


On the wall near the north door is the Painting that for many years previous to 1928 was the centre piece of the Reredos behind the High Altar. The artist James Northcote, R.A., named it 'Christ in the Garden'. It was another of the gifts to the Church from Adam Cottam, and was presented in 1816.


This is situated at the west end of the north aisle. It contains eight seating places assigned to the Churchwardens of the eight Townships chargable with the upkeep of the Parish Church. On the panel of each seat is the name of each Township and the initials of the Churchwardens at the time the Pew was made. The date is given as 1690. the Staves of Office are still attached. The eight names inscribed on the seats are:- Whalley, Read, Wiswell, Pendelton, Coldcotes, Simonstone, Padiham and Hapton. Only Wiswell remains in the Parish of Whalley.


It is against the most westerly pillar of the north aisle and is a relic of bygone customs. Its date is 1714. it stood formerly west of the south door.


Situated at the west end of the aisle is a window by Hardman (1865), and is in memory of Anna, wife of Thomas Hall. It is a companion to the window in the south aisle.


These are in a glazed oak case at the west end of the north aisle. The case was made in 1904 from an oak seat more than 500 years old, and the fretwork at the side formerly belonged to St. Nicholas' Chantry, dated 1443.

The books are :-
(1) 'Jewell's Apology', (1611 edition). The original book was in Latin and Queen Elizabeth I was so pleased with it that she ordered a copy be placed in every Parish Church in England. She requested that the book be translated into English and that it be chained.

(2) 'Foxe's Book of Martyrs', Vol. III, (1684 edition). This is an account of the sufferings of the Martyrs in the reign of Queen Mary, and is illustrated by wood engravings.

(3) 'Book of Homilies', (1623 edition). This book contained certain sermons appointed by the King to be read by all Parsons, Vicars and Curates every Sunday. This was ordered in the hope of securing uniformity of religious teaching. This book has no chain, as it would be needed in the Pulpit.

In the case there is a Collecting Box, which was used in the 18th century. There are also four long handled Alms Basins of the 19th century. These where used to collect money until 1909.


This is in the south aisle. When it ceased to be a Chantry this Chapel was given to the Nowell family, of Read Hall, as a Family Pew, and was used by them until the Asshetons claimed it. The windows still contain figures of Nowell ancestory and many of them were buried in the Chantry. The Assheton family had rights to all the seating in the Chancel, as lay Rectors.

The cross and candlesticks are of oak inlaid with pewter (1917), in the Lady Chapel, are by James Langshaw, a local craftsman.


This is a fine example of 14th century workmanship.


It is situated in the south wall of the south aisle and dates back to the 13th century. The Aumbry (a cupboard) is concealed by 17th century panelling.


The first grave slab is to Alice Kenyon, 1675. The second is to R.W. Addington, 1671 and one from the 15th century with the Arms of Nowell and Towneley. Beneath the Altar is a 13th century tombstone.


This is in the south aisle and is by Hardman. He designed it from drawings by A.W. Pugin. The window depicts the Blessed Virgin, St. Anne and St. John.


Again in the south aisle is by Burne Jones and William Morris. It shows The Good Shepherd with an Angel on either side.

Outside the Lady Chapel is a Window in memory of Harriette Worsley Taylor. It was made to the designs of Christopher Whall.


It is situated on the south wall near the door and dates from the year 1653.

Near the south door are two Tables of the Commandments painted on old pine boards by F. Etchells, and put up in 1911.


The Pew is at the extreme west end of the south aisle, and here the Vicar was accustomed to sit to receive his Easter money. Its date is 1700.


This stone was removed from where it had been lain exposed in the Churchyard for many centuries when it was removed and placed in its present position beside the font in 1950.

Peter de Cestria was the last Rector of Whalley (1135-1195). The Monks from Stanislaw had to wait for his death before they could take possession of the Rectory.


The Parish Registers are complete from the reign of Henry VIII and are now in the custody of the archivist of the Lancashire County Council, based at County Hall, Preston.


This was originally built in the 13th century and later rebuilt three times. Once again in the 13th and twice enlarged in the 19th centuries. The door into the Chancel is original.


Various gifts of Altar-plate have been made to the Church. Records of some pieces remain, whilst some are forgotten. Many have been stolen, sold or otherwise alienated. The present plate is described below :-

1787 - Two silver chalices, each inscribed 'The gift of James Whalley, Esq., to the Parish Church of Whalley, 1787'.

A large silver server of the year 1801. (These were taken for use at Barrow Mission Church.)

A large flagon, 12" high, inscribed 'The gift of Adam Cottam, 1829'.

1883 - a complete service consisting of flagon (inscribed 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo. Alleluia'. Two chalices, two patens (flat dishes) with the emblems of the Passion and a large server inscribed 'This Communion Service was presented to the Parish Church of Whalley, by Richard Thompson, Esq., of Bramley Mead, Whit-Sunday, 1883'.

A chalice and paten for use at Wiswell were acquired in 1921.

A pair of alms dishes in the Chapels has the inscription 'Give alms', and the arms of Parker of Browsholme, Whitaker of Holme, Whalley of Whalley and Taylor of Moreton. (These are 19th century.)


This Hiberno-Norse Cross (so named after the second and third generation Irish Norwegians who settled in Lancashire in the 10th Century) is much worn, having once done service as a farm gate-post during the Commonwealth, there is now only one face visible. The central panel depicts a haloed saint with hands upraised in the ancient attitude of prayer between two serpents, possibly St. Michael.

The panel immediately above shows the Pelican in her piety and the one below contains the Dog of Berser (the Scandinavian emblem of eternity representing the Creator. The other three panels are filled with beautiful interlacing geometrical patterns. Given a certain light, a figure can also be made out on the side of the cross shaft. The mutilated cross-head belongs not to this shaft but to the eastern most cross, the original is now in Blackburn Museum.

This is in a fair state of preservation, although a portion of the upper shaft is missing. Originally it would have stood at around 10ft high.

All four sides are decorated with s-shaped scroll and zigzag pattern, the central theme being a figurative vinescroll. The arms of the cross are missing, the decorated central part remains with the lower moulded arm.

The cross base can be no later than the early 11th Century.

The cross-head is not original but carved in a late 14th Century Gothic style. The shaft is Hiberno-Norse of the early 11th century and is much worn, yet in evening light scrollwork and two haloed figures side by side can be made out.

The panels are edged with a pelleted border.

A fragment of this cross is built into the fabric of the chancel wall opposite, below the second window from the East. Pelleting and traces of interlace can be clearly seen.