St Margaret’s Church, Hornby

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: St Margaret’s Church, Hornby
    A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8 (1914)

    The church of ST. MARGARET, which stands in the middle of the village close to the road, is built throughout of wrought stone, and consists of a chancel with short north and south aisles and northeast vestry, clearstoried nave with north and south aisles and octagonal west tower. No part is older than the 16th century, the tower having been built in 1514. by Sir Edward Stanley Lord Mounteagle, and the chancel being also his work, but uncompleted at the time of his death in 1524. The rest of the building is modern. The older nave, to which Lord Mounteagle built his tower and chancel, was pulled down and a new nave without aisles erected in 1817 under one wide spanned roof. This was again reconstructed in 1889, when the ceiling and a west gallery were removed, north and south arcades erected, a clearstory added ranging with that of Lord Mounteagle’s chancel, and the old square pews which filled the church replaced by modern seating.

    The chancel is 36 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft. 3 in., and terminates eastward in a three-sided apse. The east window is of three lights with segmental head and embattled transom, the upper lights cinquefoiled and the lower with plain four-centred heads. The jambs and head are moulded both inside and out, and there are internal and external hood moulds, the external one finishing with shield terminations carved with the eagle’s claw and Legs of Man. The external detail of the chancel is rather elaborate, with moulded plinth, embattled parapet, and angle buttresses of four stages, the two upper stages set diagonally and panelled. The detail of the two northernmost buttresses differs from that of the others at the top, and there are angle pinnacles and gargoyles. The other four windows of the chancel, which are of two lights with transoms and squat four-centred arches, are plainer in detail and less in height, with their sills 15 in. below that of the east window, which is 4 ft. 9 in. above the floor inside. To the west of the windows above the aisle arches, which are of 1889 date, are two original clearstory windows of two lights, with four-centred heads and external hood moulds with carved terminations. Externally there is a slight break at the junction of the old chancel with the new nave clearstory, the line of the embattled parapet, however, being carried through westward. Internally the old stonework extends 18 ft. from the east end in the lower portion of the walls, but it remains in the upper part the full extent of the original work, above the modern arches. The north aisle is occupied by the organ. There is no chancel arch, but a small stone shaft is introduced into the angle where the slightly wider nave joins the chancel walls, and the roof is a continuation of that of the nave. All the fittings of the chancel are modern.

    The nave is 56 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft. 6 in. with aisles 9 ft. wide, and consists of five bays with pointed arches springing from piers without capitals. There are five clearstory windows on each side of three lights each, with pointed heads, plain tracery, and external hood moulds, and the windows of the aisles are similar in character but of two lights. The roof is a modern oak one of very flat pitch covered externally with lead. The fittings, including the font and pulpit, are all modern. In the vestry is an 18th-century communion table with carved legs.

    The tower is of three stages and 66 ft. in height to the top of the embattled parapet. It is of rather unusual design, being octagonal on plan, the two upper stories set diagonally to the base. It measures 25 ft. in diameter externally in the lower story, the walls of which are 5 ft. 6 in. thick, thinning to 3 ft. at the belfry stage, which measures 16 ft. 6 in. in diameter internally. There is a vice in the thickness of the wall on the north-east side, and the tower is open to the church by a plain four-centred arch chamfered on the east side only, opened out in 1889. The west door is pointed, with double hollowchamfered jambs and head and external hood mould, and the west window is a pointed one of three lights with hollow-chamfered jambs and plain tracery. Above the window in the middle stage facing west is a niche. The belfry windows are of two lights with transoms and four-centred labelled heads, and occupy the whole of the upper stage on each face. The stages are marked externally by moulded string courses, the upper one carved at the angles, and the embattled parapet has pinnacles and gargoyles at the angles. Over the west window is a panel inscribed in Gothic characters, ‘E. Stanley: miles: d[omin]u: Montegle . me fieri fecit,’ and in the middle stage facing south-west is another panel with the Mounteagle arms inclosed in a square moulded frame. There is a clock dial on the north-west and south-west sides facing the road. Over the tower arch, towards the nave, the line of the old steep-pitched roof is still visible, the ridge of which was the same height as that of the present roof.

    Under the tower are preserved two fragments of pre-Norman crosses, one, from the decoration upon it, commonly known as ‘the loaves and fishes.’ It was formerly at the Priory Farm and afterwards at Hornby Castle, being placed in the church in 1903. There are also six sepulchral slabs of different sizes, five incised and one with a raised cross within a circle.

    There is a ring of six bells by Rudhall of Gloucester, 1761.

    The plate consists of two silver-gilt cups and patens of 1741–2 inscribed ‘The gift of William Edmundson of Outhwaite,’ with the maker’s mark G. S.; a chalice of 1850 inscribed ‘The gift of Pudsey Dawson Esqre. to the Chapel of Hornby a.d. mdcccl,’ and with the arms of the donor; and a flagon of Belfast make given ‘In Memoriam W. H. Foster, March 27, 1908.’

    The register of baptisms begins in 1742 and that of burials in 1763.

    On the south side of the churchyard is the pyramidal base of a pre-Conquest cross, 6 ft. 2 in. high and 2 ft. 10 in. by 2 ft. 6 in. on plan at the bottom, tapering upwards to 1 ft. 9 in. by 1 ft. 3 in. at the top, in which is a socket hole 11 in. by 8 in. Each of the four sides is ornamented with a rude semicircular arch resting on narrow pilasters, and the stone is sunk in the ground about 12 in.

    The church of St. Margaret, as already stated, was greatly enlarged by the first Lord Mounteagle, the work being unfinished at his death. He designed also a hospital foundation there, with two priests, a clerk, five bedesmen and a schoolmaster, for the maintenance of divine service and a free grammar school. In this matter his will was not fulfilled by his executors; consequently there was nothing to be confiscated in 1547, though Lord Mounteagle was then of his good will paying a schoolmaster, who ranked as one of his household servants.

    What provision was made in 1547 or later for the service of the chapel is unknown. The curates were formerly appointed by the vicars of Melling, but from about 1750 the advowson has descended with Hornby, and is now held by the representatives of the late W. H. Foster. At out 1610 the chapel was served by the curate of Arkholme, Mr. Mann. In 1650 it was recorded that the stipend was £6 a year, ‘yet and anciently paid by the inhabitants of the chapelry,’ to which £40 had been added out of Lord Morley’s sequestrated estate. Henry Kidson, ‘an honest godly man,’ was minister. In 1717 the certified income was £6 13s. 4d. ‘arising from several small sums called "priest’s wages" paid out of the estates of the inhabitants at Easter.’ The curate of Melling at that time preached every third Sunday at Hornby; there were two chapelwardens. More recently further endowments have been procured, and the income is now recorded as £166 a year. A district chapelry was formed in 1859.

  2. Ian Topham says:

    Re: St Margaret’s Church, Hornby
    Lancashire Legends (1873) by John Harland & T T Wilkinson


    Sir Edward Stanley, fifth son of Thomas, first Earl of Derby, early received the notice and favour of Henry Vin. It is said of him that ” the camp was his school, and his learning the pike and sword.” The King’s greeting when they met was, “Ho! my soldier.” Honour floated in his veins, and valour danced in his spirit. At the battle of Flodden he commanded the rear of the English army, and through his great bravery and skill, he mainly contributed to that memorable victory. A sudden feint inducing the Scots to descend a hill, their stronghold, an opening was caused in their ranks, which Sir Edward Stanley espying, he attacked them on a sudden with his Lancashire bowmen. So unexpected an assault put them into great disorder, which gave the first hopes of success, and kindled fresh courage through the English ranks, ending in the complete overthrow and discomfiture of their enemies. Upon this signal achievement, Sir Edward received from the hand of his royal master a letter of thanks, with an assurance of some future reward. Accordingly, the following year, the King keeping Whitsuntide at Eltham, in Kent, and Sir Edward being in his train, his majesty commanded that, for his valiant acts against the Scots at Flodden — an achievement worthy of his ancestors, who bore an eagle on their crest — he should be created Lord Monteagle ; and he had a special summons to Parliament in the same year by the title of Baron Stanley, Lord Monteagle. On various occasions in France, and also in the northern rebellions headed by Aske and Captain Cobbler, he rendered great service both by his bravery and his craft. Marrying into the family of the Harringtons, he resided the latter part of his life at Hornby Castle, engaged in schemes for the most part tending to his own wealth and aggrandisement. Foul surmises prevailed, especially during his later years, as to the means by which he possessed himself of the estates which he then held in right of his lady, and those, too, that he enjoyed through the attainder of her uncle. Sir James Harrington. Stanley acknowledged himself a free-thinker and a materialist — a character of rare occurrence in that age, showing him to be ” as daring in his opinions as in his pursuits. Amongst his recorded expressions are — “That the soul of man was like the winding-up of a watch; and that when the spring was run down, the man died, and the soul was extinct.” He displayed a thorough contempt for the maxims and opinions of the world, and an utter recklessness of its censure or esteem. Dr Whitaker says of him, ” From several hints obUquely thrown out by friends as well as enemies, this man appears to have been a very-wicked person, of a cast and character very uncommon in those unreflecting times . . . There certainly was something very extraordinary about the man, which, amidst the feudal and knightly habits in which young persons of his high rank were then bred, prompted him to speculate, however unhappily, on any metaphysical, subject. Now whether this abominable persuasion [of atheism] were the cause or effect of his actual guilt — whether he had reasoned himself into materialism in order to drown the voice of conscience, or fell into the sin of murder because he had previously reasoned himself out of all ideas of responsibiUty, does not appear ; but his practice, as might have been expected, was suited to his principles, and Hornby was too rich a bait to a man who hoped for no enjoyment but in the present life, and feared no retribution in another. Accordingly we find him loudly accused of having poisoned his brother-in-law, John Harrington, by the agency of a servant ; and he is suspected also of having, through subornation of perjury, proved, or attempted to prove, himself tenant of the Honour of Hornby.” Mr Roby has written a pleasant fiction, based on the character and imputed crimes of Lord Monteagle, in which he represents him as occupying midnight vigils in the castle- turret, in ” wizard spells and rites unholy.” He sends for the parson of Slaidburn, that he may put him to shame in an argument on the authenticity of the Christian religion ; but the parson has the better of the argument, and does not fear to taunt the ruthless baron with the murder of John Harrington, whom he styles ” my lady’s cousin.” The dispute with the pkrson ends with an apparition of the murdered man, in the form of a thick white cloud, and the unbelieving baron becomes an altered man. Under the ministrations of the worthy parson, he became gradually more enlightened; his terrors were calmed, and he at length accepted Christianity as truth. Soon afterwards arose that noble structure the chapel of Hornby, bearing on its front the following legend : — “Edwardus Stanley, Miles, Diis Monteagle, me fieri fecit” — (Edward Stanley, Knight, Lord Monteagle, caused me to be erected). Its foundation was generally ascribed to some vow made at Flodden ; but at that time the bold soldier was not a vower of vows ; and Mr Roby thinks that his conversion from infidelity is the more probable cause of his chapel-building. It is recorded that Edward Stanley, Baron Monteagle, died in the faith he had once despised.