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statue

Before entering the church, the visitor may take time to  view the fine carving on the south side of the tower. This is an effigy of St. OSWALD the patron saint of fishermen and of the church

Strickland

Once inside the church the first object of interest is the replica of an original royal pardon situated on the west wall. This is known as the STRICKLAND PARDON, being granted in 1660 by Charles II to Walter Strickland, absolving him from the charge of high treason even though Strickland had been associated for eleven years with the party keeping Charles from his kingdom. Notice the portrait of Charles with the Fleur de Lys and the Royal Arms on the reproduction. The translation below was made by Mr. Stanewell of the East .Riding Antiquarian Society in 1934.

Font

Nearby is the FONT, undoubtedly of a very early date and bearing an incised double-lined diamond pattern over its surface. It is probable that it dates from the same period as the early Norman Chancel Arch

Book of service

Completing the historical inventory of this section of the church is the FLAMBOROUGH BOOK OF SERVICE . On the illustrated panels of this most unusual work are the names of every person who was engaged in service of any kind during the World War 1939-45. It is the painstaking tribute of Mr. A. Cracroft.

North Chapel

The visitor now moves down the north aisle to the St. NICHOLAS CHAPEL. The altar bears a cross and candlesticks designed to echo the church's architecture. During restoration work carried out in the 1860's, part of what is thought to have been a SQUINT was unearthed by the right hand pier behind the altar. The exact purpose of the Squint in church life is a matter of conjecture but one opinion is that it allowed persons, such as the Lord of the Manor, who occupied the side aisles to see the celebrant of the mass. A carving of St. Nicholas now sits in the opening.

Rood Loft

 Spanning the nave and by its sheer size covering most of the chancel arch is the combined barrier of the ROOD LOFT and SCREEN. In mediaeval times the Rood Loft provided a gallery above the Rood Screen for a very practical purpose; with the development of simple part singing it had become necessary to find accommodation for the increased number of singers required and to make room for any accompanying instruments. From this vantage point, well above the proceedings, the singers could both see and hear the priest at the altar or in his stall and were therefore better sited to take up the tune and lead the responses of the congregation.

Rood Loft Detail

Traces of the rich colouring originally adorning the Loft can still be found, though the small statuettes from the niches separating the panels and the figure work from the panels themselves have long disappeared. The exquisite details, vine and rose trails and the complex canopies, still  remain however for the visitor's appreciation.

Rood Screen

The ROOD SCREEN below the Loft served two functions: it defined the boundary between the Chancel, for which the vicar was responsible, and the Nave which was chargeable to the parishioners, and it also provided a physical guard for the altar. A glance at the central arch of the Screen will show that it was originally fitted with folding doors. The fine fenestration tracery of the arches and the winged angel just above the centre arch bear witness to the skill of the mediaeval carvers.


      

  Opinion differs as to whether the Loft and Screen were made for Flamborough Church. It is certainly possible that, as Canon Purvis' research seem to show, they resided at Bridlington  Priory up until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the sixteenth century. What he has revealed by comparison with other examples in existence in the north, is that the Ripon family of Carver-Bromflets were responsible for the execution of the woodworking of the Loft and Screen, and, very likely, that of the Parclose Screen in the Lady Chapel.

Constable Tomb

Moving on into the Chancel, we pass the new oak-panelled organ on the left, unusual for its reversal of black and white keys, and come to the main altar. Here at the focus of devotional worship we find legend and mortality captured in stone. To the left of the altar is the CONSTABLE TOMB , the final resting place of Sir Marmaduke Constable, known as 'the little'. He died in 1530 after being the trusted servant of several kings from Henry VI to Henry III. A soldier since his youth. Sir Marmaduke had seen service in France and in Scotland, his last battle being at Flodden Field for which he received overwhelming praise from the king.

Constable Tomb Ribs

The Tomb is surmounted by the upper part of a skeleton, the rib-cage being still visible, revealing a bulbous heart and a curious lump of stone said to be the representation of a toad. Legend has it that Sir Marmaduke while drinking some water swallowed a toad. This creature ate his heart away until  he eventually died

Constable Plaque

A detailed account of his active career is given on the brass plaque above the Tomb.


      

Paper Gloves

The VESTRY also has a local curiosity, a pair of white paper gloves framed and now hung on the wall. They were last used in an old custom at the funeral of a Miss Major in 1761, though a more graphic illustration of their purpose, to local minds, is served by an incident that happened a century ago. Then, a young girl and her betrothed went in  search of the 'White Lady', a ghost supposed to inhabit Danes Dyke. The outcome is not recorded but within a month the girl died. Her coffin was carried by women and, as was the custom at the burial of a maiden, the procession was lead by a girl carrying a pair of white paper gloves.

Lady Chapel

On the south side of the Chancel is the LADY CHAPEL, containing several monuments and tombstones of the Ogle and Strickland families. The PARCLOSE SCREEN has many details which are also present in the other late mediaeval woodwork in the church. The memorial plaque attached to this screen bears the names of Flamborough men who fell in the war of 1914-18. The large stalls nearby bear the arms of the Boulton family, a member of whom was Lord of the Manor in the early years of this century.


      

St Oswald's has some fine stained glass windows, to take a tour click on the window.


        


History
St. Oswald's

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