History of Preston Patrick contů.
THE WEST WINDOW
The west window was given in memory of Alexander Vyvyan Johnston of Endmoor who was killed in the Ist world war. .The window is the work of the Whitefriars Glass Window Studios. The lower figures represent the Patron Saints of the four nations of the British Isles. In order from left to right they are St. Patrick, who banished snakes from Ireland, (he has one under his foot}, St. George, St. Andrew with the St. Andrew cross; & St. David. The upper figures are from left to right represent an angel with chalice, Christ crucified, Christ the King and a soldier receiving the crown. There are also the crests of Lt. Johnston's regiment, The Kings. The uppermost light shows a pelican feeding it's young with it's own blood an ancient belief and symbolic of Christ's blood saving mankind.
The war memorial cross under the west window stood outside for a few years until the stone memorial in the churchyard was built in 1921. The cross was then mounted on the present stepped base and placed against the tower arch where the font is now placed. Brass plates record the names of those killed in two world wars.
The tower is a relatively massive structure and a notable local landmark. Its height, excluding the wooden cross is 18.9m(62ft). Access to the bell chamber and roof is via a narrow spiral staircase. The bell chamber contains one bell. Until 1989 there was no upper floor in the tower but there was provision for one in the 1853 building since a door was provided from the spiral staircase some 2.5m. above the lower floor level.
This could have been for a ringing chamber, although there is no evidence that one was ever provided. More likely, perhaps, is that this door gave access to an elevated organ loft, since the faculty for the I892 alterations states that "the organ to be moved from its present position under the tower to the new organ loft". It is not clear whether the organ was at ground level or elevated when it was under the tower, the I852 plans make no reference to either organ or organ loft. Traces of structural beams at a height of 2.5m were, however, found when the stonework of the tower was exposed during the 1982 restorations. The bell has now been restored to its former glory (1998).
The new rooms under the tower were built in I989 with funds provided by bequest of Mrs Elizabeth Dawson of Endmoor. Until these were but there were no toilet facilities in the church. The cladding of the staircase, the folding doors and the frames in the tower arches are of pirana pine. The windows in both the upper and lower room are of interest.
The stained glass window in the lower room was provided by subscription of the mothers of the parish in 1926 in what then served as a children's comer. The stone work of the plain glass window in the
west wall of the upper room is medieval, probably from the earlier chapel.
THE NORTH AISLE ALTAR
The altar in the north aisle was formerly the main altar and was moved to its present position in 1948. It has a carved inscription "Presented to this Church by Edmond Harrison Esq. Old Hall 1852". The inscription is presently hidden by the frontal. It is presumed that this was given as part of the furnishing of the new church then being built. The screen behind the altar dates from 1901, some 10 years after the organ was installed in its present position. The oak Litany desk was purchased in memory of Sir John & Lady Weston by their friends in the parish.
The fne oak pulpit was given in memory of William Henry Wakefield, by his tenants and bears the date October 1889. The organ is a two manual instrument and is by Messrs Wilkinson of Kendal. The organ was placed in this position when the chancel was built in 1892. The oak choir stalls also date from 1892. A brass plaque on the south wall of the chancel is in memory of Mary Keightley under whose will the present chancel was built.
The east window was made by Messrs Shrigley & Hunt of Lancaster and illustrates the "Te Deum" showing that the Church in heaven joins in worship with the church on earth. The top two lights show angels with ancient musical instruments., the right one a harp the left one a psaltary, but the strings on the psaltary are running the wrong way!
The canopied niches either side of the east window are stonework from an earlier church. The grotesque figures sculpted at the base of these niches are common in l6th c. church achitecture and represent the"Green Mari'. He is clearly seen in the left hand sculpture to have branches coming from his mouth symbolising him as a tree or nature spirit. In celtic mythology he was a pagan God of fertility and his illusion in early church architecture is an example of the church taking over some of the symbolism of pagan religions. One of the other figures in the sculpture has wings and another is obviously an animal but they have grotesque faces with human qualities. 'These are thought to be images of evil and the protruding tongues to represent backbiting, mockery or the pains of the damned.
The Piscina (the smaller of the recesses in this wall) is 15c. stonework, presumably from the earlier chapel. This was a place for the communion vessel and would originally have had a drain into consecrated ground. The larger recess is a sedila (a seat for a clergyman)
The altar is modern f 1948) and was donated in memory of Lt. James Atkinson of the Royal Artillery. The altar rails were the work of the village blacksmith, Mr T Wright of Endmoor, and gained a prize at a Kendal Arts & Craft exhibition.
THE BARKER WINDOW
The most easterly of the windows in the south wall of the nave was donated in 1961 in memory of Sir Herbert Barker. It was made at the Whitefriars Stained Glass Studios and the artist was Alfred Fisher. Sir Herbert was a foot specialist who specialised in "bloodless surgery ", that is manipulation under anesthetic. His home was Lupton Tower and he attended Queen Elizabeth School , Kirkby Lonsdale. Later in life he
lived in the Isle of Man and in Jersey and died in 1950.
The remaining windows in the church are self explanatory as are three of the four memorials high up on the walls of the nave. The fourth of these is in latin and in memory of one Rev. John Wright headmaster of Barnstaple school in Devon for 30 years. Wright appears to have hailed from these parts although precisely where is not known. (A family of this name lived in Lane House in 1641~. He married twice into well known families in Devon and was twice widowed. It seems likely that the Samual Musgrave referred to on the memorial was a pupil of Wright's at Barnstaple.
THE HEATING SYSTEM
In the 1892 extensions, a hot water heating system was installed, initially solid fuel fired and later by electricity then by oil. This system broke down catastrophically in 1982 when the oil fired boiler failed & the pipe system was losing 20 gallons of water each week. Following this the present quartz-ray electrical heating system was installed. The installation was one of the first of its kind and was widely used in promotional literature for the system. As many as 40,000 leaflets showing the church and the system were distributed The system has proved satisfactory and economical.
Originally lit by oil lamps. One or two of which are still present, electric lighting was installed in 1916 by G. Wright of Endmoor. The current was then supplied by a generator but was connected to the mains supply at a later date. The lighting and power installation was renewed in 1983.