|Name of walk||Dalton, St. Mary's Tower Outing 2016|
|Date of walk||2016-10-30|
On Saturday the Dalton, St. Mary’s ringers held their annual ringing tour. This year we were visiting bell towers in and around Clitheroe, Lancashire. Calling at Samlesbury, Ribchester, Clitheroe and Waddington. I left home at 7.40am to pick up the other Barrow, St. James’ ringers.
Our first tower was St. Leonard The Less at Samlesbury. It dates from 1558, but the tower was only added in 1899 and has eight bells. Wonderful autumn colours at the entrance to the church.
The tower entrance was round the back, unfortunately we had no access to the church itself.
A small ringing room.
Next up was St. Wilfred's in Ribchester. I was looking forward to this visit as the university students I had carried out the geophysics survey of Gleaston Castle with, had raved about its significance. The village of Ribchester was built on top of an important Roman Fort, Bremetennacum. The ruins of parts of it are still visible today.
St. Wilfred's Church dates from the 13th century. The small ringing room is hidden behind the organ. The opening is tiny, only slim ringers need apply! The tower has six bells. Jacqueline and Ken up in the gallery. Ringers can spill out to the seating here, as there is room for virtually no seating inside.
View down the nave from the gallery.
A very rare sight, blink and you'd miss it! Me actually ringing a bell on a ringing tour. In small ringing rooms I usually manage to sneak in at the start, take a few photos and sneak out again before anyone notices, but alas, this time I wasn't quite quick enough. I decided that I would be able to extricate myself quicker if I acquiesced, than if I argued. This proved to be the case, as after a disastrous attempt at Grandsire on the 4th, where both my brain and body failed to engage with any degree of competence or skill, I was soon out in the fresh air exploring the delights of Ribchester. (AP)
The River Ribble.
On my right, opposite the White Bull pub are a row of weaver's cottages noteworthy for their unusual configuration of windows. Built for the hand loom weavers they have three levels with a single window at the top.
I had parked my car on Church Street, just next to the Millennium Sculpture Garden, the result of a community project to create public art to commemorate the Millennium. Four sculptures, created by sculptor Fiona Bowley, are set in a garden leading from Church Street into the village's playing field. The sculptures all reflect aspects of Ribchester life and history; they include a sun dial and a column (modelled on Trajan's column in Rome) showing aspects of Ribchester's history.
A track alongside the River Ribble leads to the Roman Baths.
An overgrown section of a stream.
Back beside the river. The museum is now open, but I don't have time to visit it today. I walk back to the church and visit The Granaries.
Adjoining the churchyard of St. Wilfrid's Church, and out of sight, are the excavated remains of the granaries which belonged to the Roman fort.
I was successful in persuading both Rob's wife and Andy and the boys to have a look at the ruins.
We have lunch at the Black Horse in Pimlico Village, near Clitheroe. Unfortunately only the far end of the table had lighting! Not to worry, it was certainly atmospheric! Early on we discussed lighting the candles on the table with a match, but none of us were smokers......then the waitress clicked a button on the bottom of each candle and they lit up! Oopps! Now that could have been embarrassing! Thanks to Carl for organising the lunch!
Keith, who was responsible for running the ringing in each tower, read out part of a letter from Dalton, St. Mary's Tower Captain, Stan, who for the first time in 50 years was unfortunately unable to make the outing, due to illness. He was still wanting to make sure that the ringing was the best quality possible, and that he would know if it wasn't!!
Freddy Krueger! For St. Mary's Church in Clitheroe town center, I parked at Tescos. We went in and bought something so we had a valid receipt. Freddie was offering Ginger Bread Cake for a donation to Diabetes Research. Neither Andy or I could resist!
St. Mary Magdalene Church, Clitheroe. The earliest record of a church on the site is in 1122. The tower and east window of the present church date from the 15th century. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1828–29. The tower is separate from the church, which was shut. It has eight bells.
You could see into the church through the window of the small ringing room.
Clitheroe has a Norman, 12th century castle at the top of the hill. The keep is the second smallest surviving stone-built keep in England. The keep is on the summit of a large carboniferous rock, which is the highest and most prominent point for miles around.
The war memorial with Pendle Hill on the horizon.....in the cloud today!
Inside the keep.
I head on to the viewing area around the keep. On a good day the views would be superb. Today was just low cloud everywhere.
I could hear the bells the whole time I was out. They still sounded good from the top of the castle.
View down Clitheroe's main street.
Looking down on the castle's curtain wall, stables and courthouse and out to the hills, which today are barely visible. I would like to come back to Clitheroe again and explore the castle in more detail. I need to make my way back to the church.
Iwan has learned a very important lesson today....don't keep a Cadbury's Wispa Bar in your pocket.....it melts!
Last up is St. Helen's Church in Waddington. The church dates from about 1500, but only the tower remains from that time. The nave and chancel were rebuilt in 1898–1901.
It is a ground floor ring, so the bell ropes have guides to stop them from coming down out of reach. Above the inner arch of the west door are nine carved heads.
Some very ornate carving behind the altar.
The first opportunity for ringers to sit, spread out and relax and not have to play sardines in a small ringing room
An ornate rood screen too.
On our drive into Waddington I had noticed the gardened river walk, so I went off to explore before the light went.
Andy's photo got the church in too.
I walk right the way down beside the river to the village outskirts and back again.
A very quiet village. By the time I return it is time to set off home.
A long day! I got home just before 7.30pm. Thanks to Andy (AP) for the use of a few of his photos.