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History Pages


ST MARY THE VIRGIN GISBURN

CHURCH GUIDE

PorchThe 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 Anne’s 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 TOWER

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.

PORCH

The porch is 15th century and leads to the south doorway which is 13th century.

NAVE AND CHANCEL

Arch detailThe 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 Holy Water Stoupthe 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 CHAPELRibblesdale 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 gold coloured cloth on the Altar for Festivals is a piece of embroidery worked by a former Lady Charlotte Ribblesdale and given to late Mrs Slater who was at one time in their employment.

THE FONT

The Font is modern l875, with octagonal bowl, stem, base, and plinth. No trace of the original has been found.

THE CLOCK

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.

THE SCREEN

This has received over the years many removals and has been subject to restoration; parts of it date to 1500. (Screen carving detail)

PEWS

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.

Floor Tiles

THE ORGAN

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]

THE PROCESSIONAL CROSS

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 has a Family Bible of the Ribblesdales dated 1613. It has large wooden covers roughly bound with leather. The Church also possesses some ancient prayer books.


THE SILVER

The Church silver is dated: CHALICE 1698, PATEN 1703. Other silver has been added to this by various gifts over the years.

[LIST OF FORMER RECTORS AND VICARS]Piscina


THE REGISTERS

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.

The following are buried in the vault:

R.R. Hon. Lady Rebecca Ribblesdale Obitt 2 st Maii.A.C. 1816. Et Aetatis Anno 44
Thomas Lister. Baron Ribblesdale Died Sept. 22nd 1826 in the 75th year of his age.
Charlotte Esther, 2nd daughter of Thomas Lister, Esq. of Armitage Park, Staffs. Died 6th June 1827. Age 19.
Thomas Lister. Baron Ribblesdale. Died 10th Dec. 1832 in the 43rd year of his age.
R.A. Lister. Died 5th Dec. 1867 in the 68th year of her age.
The Hon. Catherine Rooke, Died 10th October 1873 in the 80th year of her age.
In memory of Charlotte, wife of Thomas Fourth Lord Ribblesdale. Born 15th Feb. 1858. Died Mar. 2nd 1911.
In memory of Captain The Hon. Thomas Lister D.S.C. Born May 2nd 1878 . Died Jan. 1904.Thomas Lister , Fourth Baron Ribblesdale Born 29th October 1854. Died 21st October 1925.
There are 18 vacant spaces in this vault.

Inside the Church there are other vaults of which no details are known.

 In 1860, a report came out in the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal which is obviously before the restoration, because it quotes, 'a clumsy ill-proportioned Church and in a very un-improved state. The roofs are ribbed. The interior is encumbered with ugly limbering pews. ( Some of these can be seen at the back of the Church.)

THE FONT is poor and small. The Tower Arch is concealed by the gallery (now pulled down). The aisles are covered with stone tiles, as is the porch. There is a step into the Chancel and the Altar is raised high on steps.' From this it appears that the whole of the east end of the Church has been raised considerably.

Text From

"A History of The Village and Church of Gisburn"

4th Edition 1978