5 a Whalley
From Read Hall follow road round, Whalley is a couple of miles away, and easy to find the Church (behind 'Dog Inn')..
This church has a direct connection with the key character. For he, 'Judge Nowell', sat and prayed in this pew. (5 points).
The Nowell family left its mark on Whalley Church. It is not a just pew with their arms on it. It is much more grand than that. Their family – three generations of Rogers, had this marvellous pew carving called ‘St Anton’s Cage’ It is one of these Rogers who was behind the execution of the so-called ‘witches’ of Pendle.
And then there is this from Victorian History of Whalley
This Cage seems to have been the object of many troubles.
“it appears that the pew belonging to the Towneley family in right of their manor of Hapton was anciently called St Anton's Cage and that a dispute having arisen on account of sittings in the church. Sir John Towneley as the principal man of the parish was sent for to decide it when it was remembered that he had made use of the following remarkable words: “My man Shuttleworth of Hacking made this form and here will I sit when
I come and my cousin Nowell may make one behind me if he please”. This is the exact relative situation of the two pews at present and my sonne Sherburne shall make one on the other side and Mr Catteral another behind him and for the residue the use shall be first come first speed and that will make the proud wives of Whalley rise betimes to come to church These words were remembered by the old clerk and were reported by another witness on the information of Mr John Crombock of Clerk Hill who had been the last agent to the abbey. The words were indeed not likely to be forgotten as they would probably occasion some mirth in the husbands and some spleen in the proud wives of Whalley” From ‘An history of the of the Parish of Whalley’
That goes on to say
Evidence of this 1830 dispute can be seen as the Cage is divided into two – each with the date on it, yet neither party ever came afterwards.
And this sort of contention goes on to this day. The Cage is clearly blocking the view of many sitting in the pews to the West; they cannot see the alter. The first question I asked was ‘Why don’t they move the Cage to the back?’ The Warden looked exasperated. .’We tried to do that, but people in Whalley were all up in arms. Despite the fact that many of these people never come to church, the Cage has stayed there.’