Gary Liggett

Gary Liggett

Posted on 08/19/2013

Photo taken on August 18, 2013

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Church of St Martin, Martindale, Cumbria, England.

Church of St Martin, Martindale, Cumbria, England.
I have been trying to find time to photograph this ancient church of ages! It is situated on a very remote and almost inaccessible valley.

The date of the establishment of a place of worship on the site of St Martin’s is unknown but it is mentioned in a de Lancaster Charter of 1220 and other references state that a chapel was already in existence at that date. In its early days and up until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 St Martin’s was served by the monks of the parish of Barton. On Christopher Saxton’s map of 1576 the church is shown as "Markendale Chap". In 1633 the parish of Martindale was founded and Richard Birkett became the church’s first resident priest, he served until his death on Christmas Day 1699, after a ministry of almost 67 years.

The present building was probably erected at the end of the 16th century, replacing the chapel, the last reference to which occurs in a document of 13 April 1541. In 1714 the church floor was flagged as the congregation were no longer prepared to endure the damp earth floor. In 1839, William Ford, in his book “Description of Scenery in the Lake District” described the building as "a chapel with low roof and simple bell-gable, and a picturesque yew-tree". The church underwent a series of restorations, the last of which was in 1882 when the roof was replaced, the old box pews were removed and the same wood was used to construct the side benches. The singers and musicians gallery was taken down and new window frames installed.

The late Reverend George Woodley, who is buried under an ancient Yew tree behind the church, was a notable writer.

This is an obituary in Gentleman's Magazine NS 27 (April 1847) 444.

"Dec. 24. At Martindale, Westomoreland, aged 60, the Rev. George Woodley, Perpetual Curate of that place. In early life Mr. Woodley distinguished himself as a poet by several publications, amongst which were "Redemption," "The Churchyard," and "Portugal Delivered," and he also successfully competed for several theological prize essays. He was for twenty-three years a missionary employed by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, which on his retirement presented him with a considerable donation and a pension for life."

Publications included:

Mount Edgcumbe. 1804.
The churchyard and other poems. 1808.
Britain's bulwarks, or the British seaman. 1811.
Portugal delivered: a poem in five books. 1812.
Redemption: a poem in twenty books. 1816.
Cornubia: a poem in five cantos. 1819.
Devonia: a poem. 1820.
View of the present state of the Scilly Isles. 1822.
Narrative of the loss of the steamer Thames on the Scilly rocks. 1841.

It is interesting that, according to the inscription on his gravestone, George Woodley died on 25th December 1845, Christmas Day, which is the same day the first priest, Richard Birkett, died in 1699.

Camera: Leica IIIa
Lens: 28mm Voigtländer Color-Skopar.
Film: Ilford HP5+ rated box at speed.
Developed in X-Tol 1:1 14 mins
Monochrome print.

© Copyright 2013 Gary Liggett. All Rights Reserved.

Lili mei, E.James Photog., Holden Richards and 2 other people have particularly liked this photo

7 comments - The latest ones
Falling Thru The Lens ... Goodbye...
Falling Thru The Len…
Wow, 16th century! I have a similar experience to Joey's ...

The light is perfect, and the detail and tones are gorgeous! You must be pleased to have made this.
4 years ago.
Gary Liggett has replied to Falling Thru The Len…
I am! Thank you so much, Jacki.
4 years ago.
The Plastic Botanist
The Plastic Botanist
What a fantastic place to be able to photograph, lucky you !
4 years ago.
Gary Liggett has replied to The Plastic Botanist
Thank you! It's quite beautiful inside, too.
4 years ago.
Ishi M
Ishi M
Impressive! Thanks very much for sharing this piece of history.
4 years ago.
Gary Liggett has replied to Ishi M
Thank you very much, Ishi. :-(
4 years ago.