Norman Times through to the 13th Century

In AD1080 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 Chancel was built between AD1200-1220 and there has been no structural alteration since, except to the East Window.

The Chancel Arch is late Norman in style, supported on cylindrical pillars with rounded capitals on top.

The pillars 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 Priest's Door (or Chancel Door) 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.

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

The vestry 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.

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Norman - Chancel Door.jpg