15th Century

The Chancel Screen is late 15th 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. Nicholas’s 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.

The Choir Stalls are the Church’s most beautiful possession. They were carved for the Abbey about AD1430 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 tower 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.

The East Window 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 roof of the Nave is of Oak. There are roses at the intersections and are beautifully carved. They are from the 15th century.

The Font 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. 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.

The North Aisle Screen 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.

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