"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Yorkshire Holiday - Thursday, 16th September - Part 2 The Parish Church of the Holy Trinity, Skipton and Pendle Heritage Centre

After visiting the castle the rest of the family headed off in search of food which gave me half an hour to have a brief look round the church.

The first church on the site was built around the start of the 12th century and was dedicated to the Holy Trinity. No traces remain of this earlier church but around 1300 construction of the present church began and the church was extended in the 15th century. During the siege of Skipton Castle canon shot damaged the church tower in 1645 and Lady Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, paid for repairs to the tower and Clifford Tombs in 1655. Alterations to the church occurred in the 19th century and there was a major restoration in 1909.

The stone font probably dates back to 1300 and Lady Anne was baptised here at the age of 3 weeks. The intricately carved, 3-tiered, oak font cover is Jacobean.

During the Middle Ages an Anchorite was a man or woman who lived in a cell attached to the church where they had decided to spend their life away from the world spending the time praying and meditating. The cell entrance would be bricked up after the person had entered the cell and a small window was left to allow light, a view of the altar and food. It is possible that what can be seen in the photo below was used as an anchorite cell - it was discovered in 1909 during restoration and rebuilding work.

Skipton Parish Church became the main burial place of the Clifford family following the dissolution of Bolton Priory in 1539.

This is the tomb of the 1st Earl of Cumberland, Lady Anne Clifford's great grandfather.

The tomb of Francis, Lord Clifford who was Lady Anne's younger brother who died at the age of five.

The tomb of Lady Anne's father George, 3rd Earl of Cumberland. He was born in Brougham Castle, 1558 and died in 1605. He was a friend of Queen Elizabeth I, the Queen's Champion and a renowned navigator. He fought the Spaniards in the west Indies and again during the Armada in 1588. Decorating the sides of the tomb are 17 coloured armorial shields showing his ancestry in heraldic terms. It was erected by Lady Anne in 1654 in memory of her father.

This memorial was placed on the north wall in 1631 by Henry, the 5th and last Earl of Cumberland in memory of 3 sons who all died in childhood.

Lady Anne is buried next to her mother at Appleby church.

This organ replaced an earlier one which had been destroyed by fire during a lightning strike. The new organ was made by Rushworth and Draper of Liverpool in 1925.

The stained glass is beautiful - some is very old while other windows are 19th/20th century.

As usual with very little time available I managed to miss some important features e.g. a Kempe Window, a church mouse carving by furniture maker Robert Thompson, a medieval wall painting showing the Hand of Death and I was particularly annoyed to have missed a Green Man Roof Boss :(

We set off home around mid-afternoon. We had travelled up via the M1 but B decided to set the satellite navigation to plan the journey home (which ended up being via M65 and M6 :( ). While I was studying the map trying to work out which way we were going I noticed that we were very close to Pendle. D has been pestering me for ages to go for a day out in this area as he is fascinated by the story of the Pendle Witches. We managed to persuade B to make a mile detour so we could have a look round the Pendle Heritage Centre - it seemed silly to miss out when we were so close especially as it is such a long way for one day out.

The museum in the Heritage Centre was very interesting telling the story of a Lancashire farmhouse, dating back to the 15th century, in which the museum is located. The building has been meticulously restored to show how the house developed over the centuries. The history of two families that lived there, the Bannister and Swinglehursts, is also told. There is a very good exhibition (and video) on the Pendle Witches and their famous trial in 1612.

18th century walled garden.

Sadly, we weren't able to spend as long there as we would have liked but we did buy a booklet on the Pendle Witch trail so I do hope we can return one day.

(the Pendle photos were taken by D - I'd left my camera in the car).

Reference: A History and Guide to the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity, Skipton


CherryPie said...

You have captured some nice pictures of the interior of the church.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thanks so much - it was a very interesting church.

Wendy said...

The church has so much interesting history, although I always feel claustrophobic at the thought of how Anchorites lived. I don't know how they did it - they must have had so much faith. The windows there are beautiful.
The Pendle museum looks fascinating. We have our own stories of 'witches' locally with the Matthew Hopkins witch hunt and it is sad to think of the hysteria at that time and the damage it did.

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - thanks so much Wendy - the church was very interesting- it even had a shop and I finally got round to treating myself to a wooden carved church mouse which I'd talked myself out of at Tewkesbury and another church whose name escapes me! I totally agree about the Anchorites - living in such an enclosed space :(

Do hope we can go back to Pendle - I will google the Matthew Hopkins witch hunt and read up on it. So sad as you say to think of what used to go on and how many innocent women may have died.

Grosmontine said...

Hi Caroline and good to finally catch up with you again. The church looks lovely and though I used to visit Skipton quite often when I was child I have never been to the church. Unfortunately I rarely get across to the western side of Yorkshire these days but hopefully next time I do I will have time to explore this interesting looking church :-)

I don't know much about the whole Pendle witches but I do know that Pendle Hill used to be one of the best places to see Dotterels in spring!

Hope you are well and my kindest regards to all :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Hi David - Thanks so much - it really is lovely to hear from you - you have been missed but I do hope you have enjoyed your blogging break and had a good summer.

The church is well worth a visit if you do ever get chance and hope you see the items I managed to miss!

Very interesting re: the Dotterels and Pendle Hill - will remember that if we do return and it is spring time!!
Thanks for the good wishes - bit of a chest infection :( half way through medication so hopefully it will improve soon!

Hope you are all well and kindest regards to you all too :)

Bovey Belle said...

Finally getting time to return to blogland and "go around the optics" so to speak. What a lovely church - I have seen one of those amazing font "lids" somewhere else but can't remember for the life of me where. Anchorites must have been really whiffy, with nowhere to wash or . . . "go"! I expect they had Vitamin D deficiency too . . .

It's a loooong time since we were last in Pendle.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much for the comment - lovely to hear from you. I had exactly the same thought re: Anchorites (I always tend to think of practicalities!!!) I've seen a similar font lid somewhere else as well but I can't remember either - suspect it was a cathedral? Will check it out later as I won't rest now until I remember!

Amanda Peters said...

Having been round the Castle and done the walk that takes you round the back of the grounds on a lovely wood walk, I have never stepped inside the church !
We were there a week last Thursday, and we always sit in front of the church on the seats looking down the high street for a coffee.
So it was nice to see what's inside.
Been to Pendel a few times in the past. I follow this lady who lives over in Lancashire in this area, she is worth a look.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda - we were keen on doing that walk through the grounds but couldn't find it and when we asked they just seemed to suggest the canal walk that we had already done. If we go again will ask you directions!! :)
Church well worth a look round (the windows are superb).
thanks so much for the link to the Lancashire lady - I will certainly check out her blog!