Tuesday, 26 October 2010

St Margaret's collection of stone carvings, Hornby

St Margaret's collection of stone carvings

Just inside the door of St Margaret's, the church's collection of stone carvings is laid out on display. Here you will find an array of grave slabs and some intriguing pre-Norman cross fragments. Just outside the church, on the South side, a huge 'lump' of faintly carved stone can be found. This looks like it is probably all that remains of a huge stone cross bas. It stands about four feet tall, is slightly tapers towards the top, and has a rectangular opening in the top, possibly once used for housing the shaft of a cross.

Above. The top of the cross base.

I was told by an attendant at the church, that one of the cross fragments just inside the door of the church , is thought to have been mounted in this huge carved base. I'm not sure how this suggestion was arrived at, as there really doesn't seem to be any connection between the two items.

Above. The four foot cross base.

This stone artifact has obviously suffered from the weather. The patterns carved on its surfaces are very faint. Each of the four faces looks as though it has a pillar carved into its surface at each corner, with an arch at the top. You can just about make this pattern out on the photo shown above.

Above. The angel now 'living' in the chancel.

It is thought that the angel shown above, dates from the 16th century. It is carved from grit stone, and does not seem to match any other part of the church. This perhaps suggests that it was brought here from somewhere else, possibly Hornby Priory, which lies about a mile and a half to the North West of the village.

Above. One of the grave slabs.

This is a simple grave slab, probably broken in half at the bottom. It bears a simple cross on its surface.

Above. Another grave slab.

This grave slab is more intricately carved than the first. It has interlocking circular patterns carved on its surface, with two fainter wheel designs at the bottom. Again, this slab looks as if it's been broken in half, this time at the top.

Above. One of the two Anglican (9th century?) cross fragments.

This fragment of stone most likely represents the top arm of an Anglican cross.

Above. The second, more decorated cross fragment.

This fragment of stone is most likely linked with the cross base outside the church. It is thought to date from sometime around the 9th century, and has the story of the loaves and fishes carved on its front face. You can clearly see two fish at the bottom, with five round features, probably representing loaves of bread above them.

Above. Another of the church's medieval grave slabs.

This grave slab has had its top few inches broken off. It would most likely have had a cross carved on its face. There is a seven stepped base carved at the bottom, with the shaft also clearly visible, but the two arms worn away or missing.

Above. A roughly carved grave slab.

Of the five carved grave slabs, this is probably the most rudimentary of them all. The designs are still visible, but are very roughly carved. There is a small cross at the bottom of the slab, with a long handled sword to the right, and a shorter bladed knife or dagger to the left.

Above. A very carefully carved grave slab.

Judging by the quality of this slab, I would say that it has been in side the church for some time. The design carved on its face is still very clear and does not seem to bear any weather wear at all. A the top and to the left of this slab, a chalice can still be seen. It looks as if this stone is actually presented up side down....not that I'm being picky or anything!

St Margaret, Hornby, Interior photos

Interior photos of St Margaret's Church

Above. A panoramic view into the chancel.

Above. A close up of the decorative reredo above the altar.

Above. Looking from the tower, down the nave towards the chancel.

Above. Looking towards the tower with the lines of the lower and older nave still visible.

Above. Three funeral hatchments remain at the church.

The three excellently rendered funerary hatchments represent the arms of John Marsden(died 1826), Admiral Tatham(died 1840) and Anne Tatham(died 1842) As soon as I find out which is which, I'll label them appropriately.

St Margaret, Hornby

St Margaret

Friday, 22 October 2010

St Chad, Claughton

St Chad

St Paul, Caton

St Paul

Caton is quite a large village situated on the A683 between Lancaster a few miles to the West and Hornby to the North East. There is documentary evidence of a church on or near to this site from as early as 1230. An intriguing architectural fragment of this original building still exists today, built into the West wall, just to the left of the tower as you enter the church yard through the iron gates from Brookhouse Road. It is a 12th century doorway, three and a half feet wide and around six feet tall and very richly carved.

Above. The church from the South.

The doorway photos have been included in a separate post along with the windows and other items of interest from the church.

There may have been a number of periods of repair and rebuilding here at St Pauls after the church's foundation, but we know that the church was rebuilt either at the end of the 15th century or the beginning of the 16th century. The tower dates from this period of rebuilding.

Above. The West tower from Brookhouse Road.

It stands to an impressive fifty five feet high and is twelve feet square. The nave at this time was a much lower building. The marks of eves can still be seen on the East wall of the interior wall of the tower, probably around eight feet lower than the current ceiling height.

Above. The church from the North, Caton Green Road.

The 1865 to 1867 Paley (of Paley and Austin of Lancaster) rebuild, created a higher and more spacious building, but unfortunately did away with much of the original medieval church. There are a couple of interesting sketches and paintings in the church that serve to give a good indication of how this pre-19th century church would have looked.

Above. Looking along the South of the church towards the porch.

The church possesses a peel of five bells. The original peel of three bells were stamped with the dates of 1605, 1617 and 1724. When these bells became unusable, they were replaced, in 1953, with two ships bells...one for chiming the hour, and the other for tolling.

Above. Looking down the nave into the chancel.

This arrangement was in place until 1964, when the three original bells were re-cast into a peel of five bells. The badges from the original three bells were retained, and were added to the new bells.

Above. Looking down the North aisle.

Above. Looking down the South aisle.

Above. Looking West towards the tower.

Above. Looking into the richly decorated chancel.

The above photo shows the chancel with the richly painted version of the Annunciation by Miss M.Gregg of Escowbeck House in Caton. The original painting, was painted by Filippo Lippi between 1455 and 1450, and shows the Virgin Mary receiving a divine message from god, delivered by an angel.

Above. A close up of the version of The Annunciation by Miss M.Gregg of Caton.

Photos of the many windows and the doorway will appear in following posts. The church is part of the Open Churches group in Lancashire, and is open most week days between 9am and 4pm.

My thanks to the Rev Graham Pollitt for showing me around this beautiful church!

Caton Methodist church, Caton

Methodist church

The handsome Methodist Chapel in Caton, can be found just off the A683 on Brookhouse Road.

The date stone on the gable end wall states that it was erected in 1836.

Evangelical church, Capernwray

Evangelical church

This is a handsome building.....ruined by the stupid big red sign that adorns the West facing tower. How anyone could think that this is in some way a good look baffles me!! The evangelical nature of the sign, screaming out to anyone who happens to chance upon this church, spoils the looks of this late 19th century church.

Above. Ruined by the sign...the West facing tower.

The church, originally built as a private chapel for nearby Capernwray Old Hall in the late 19th century, sits at the junction of Borwick Road and Borron Lane, about a mile and a half South East of the village of Borwick.

Above. Another view of the West facing tower.

The size of the church from the outside, belies the fact that it has a four bay Nave and a two bay chancel, but I was unfortunately not able to gain access to take any photos. The chapel was built between 1835 and 1840 to designs by Edmund Sharpe from Lancaster (who I'm sure would be horrified by the sign on the tower!!!) E.G.Paley added the beautiful tower, the chancel and a West window. The building work was funded entirely by George Henry Powys Marton, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire who owned nearby Borwick Hall as well as Capernwray Hall.

Above. The North wall, with its subtle single light windows.

By the early 1960's, the congregation had outgrown the chapel and it was turned into accommodation. It was later abandoned for some time, until the Evangelical Fellowship were granted permission to use it as a chapel.

Below. Some of the church's inhabitants....proper gargoyles with a nice pair of Green Men thrown in for good luck!

The church was unfortunately locked, so I was unable to gain access.