ST MARY THE VIRGIN GISBURN
The Church has been restored on more than one occasion. It is thought that one was carried out in the late 16th century. A restoration did take place in 1872 costing £3,000. At that time, the Church was re-roofed, new pews and pulpit installed. Other modifications were carried out and the work was paid for by a grant from Queen Annes Bounty, the repayment of which took till until 1925 to pay off.
It is reputed that John Wesley preached at Gisburne On his way from Colne to Settle at a Wesleyan Chapel that was opposite the White Bull Hotel which is now no longer in existence. Owing to persistent thefts, the brass ornaments are only visible during Service time.
The upper part of the tower is 14th century, and has windows, battlements and pinnacles. Housed within the tower are six inscribed bells. See Bell Ringers Page for inscription details.
The porch is 15th century and leads to the south doorway which is 13th century.
NAVE AND CHANCEL
The visitor will be impressed by the large cylindrical pillars at the front of the church. These are of 12th century origin, but may have been brought from Sawley Abbey. The date of the other pillars is later and could be as late as 16th century. Part of the archways originated from the Sawley Abbey after the Abbey's dissolution in 1545. Note also the key stones in the northern arch. The reasons for the Mullions set in the north and south walls of the Sanctuary are uncertain, but it is thought that the east wall went further out and was semicircular, creating a sort of Apse. In the south wall of the Ribblesdale Chapel, there is a PISCINA which would have been used for washing Communion vessels. Between the door, near the screen as you enter the Chapel is a Holy Water Stoup; this would have been used by the congregation before the Reformation.
THE RIBBLESDALE CHAPEL
The Ribblesdale Chapel, which is at the end of the south aisle, has recently been refurnished by members of the Mothers' Union. Together with others, they have provided the velvet curtains, kneelers and runners, all worked by various members.
The Font is modern l875, with octagonal bowl, stem, base, and plinth. No trace of the original has been found.
Situated in the Tower was made in 1852 by Thomas Whipp of Rochdale. It was repaired and overhauled in 1964. Reinstated 1.6.64. The clock strikes the hour only and has one face on the south side.
This has received over the years many removals and has been subject to restoration; parts of it date to 1500. (Screen carving detail)
The present pews date from 1872 except for two 17th century pews at the west end by the tower arch which are pre 1872. Prior to 1872 the church contained box pews as the Church once had a Three Decker Pulpit.
A most beautiful and interesting instrument placed in the Church in 1862. It was built by T.C Lewis, a well known English organ builder of the last century. He was one who formed a particular tonal school basing their designs on the famous European artist Edmund Schulze. Full details of the organ can be read from the account hanging near to the organ. There is an interesting story that the Lord Ribblesdale at this time owned a horse called 'Flambeau' which he used for racing in France; this horse he raffled at a bazaar in aid of the organ. In 1979, this organ was completely renovated at the cost of £3,000 and a new balanced swell pedal added by the Pendlebury Organ Company.
THE FOUR HATCHMENTS
Two above the Choir Stalls and two on the walls of the Nave are the originals of the four Lord Ribblesdales.[Windows, Memorials and Inscriptions]
This was presented to the Church in 1975 by the Church people of Rimington.
THE HOLY BIBLE
Which is in place on the lectern was given by the Young Wives Group and dedicated at the Easter Day Morning Service 1971.
The Church silver is dated: CHALICE 1698, PATEN 1703. Other silver has been added to this by various gifts over the years.
These are in very good condition but they are not in their original bindings. They date back to 1560 in the reign of Elizabeth I. For information on registers and other genealogy resources see the Genealogy page.
THE RIBBLESDALE VAULT
This vault has its own entrance on the north side of the Church.
"A History of The Village and Church of Gisburn"
4th Edition 1978