St Wilfridís Church is on the site of a Roman fort, Bremetenacum Veteranorum. The first church known to be located here was in 1193, but there was probably an earlier wooden one. The church in the early English style, was mostly built by the 13th century, and is named after the Bishop of Ripon and Archbishop of York in the 7th century. Further building took place in the 14th century to produce the church of today. The roof of the chancel and nave dates from 1527.
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The church chancel is on a lower level than the rest of the church. Three lancet windows are located here. On the floor are Victorian encaustic tiles. There is a triple seated sedilia to the right of the high altar. Next to it is a double bowled piscina.
On the north wall is a small and low window thought to be a leperís squint. On the north side of the church is a chapel for private prayer. The carved pulpit dates from 1636. The church lectern is of oak and etched glass.
The north side stained glass lancet window dates from 1996. The dormer windows above the south aisle were a 1712 addition. There is a 14th century wall cupboard (aumbry). Pillars separate the chapel from the nave and are carved with faces. The nave has oak beams and carved bosses where the beams meet.
The box pews are carved with dates and initials of former worshippers. A 14th century screen separates the Hoghton pew from the aisle. The stained glass windows are Victorian. The gallery is oak fronted and was constructed in 1736 for the choir. Below the gallery is an old font.
The church tower, built in the 15th and 16th centuries, has a peal of six bells. The church porch was at one time two storeys high and incorporated a library on the upper floor.
The church is an active one serving the community in many ways. There is a bell ringer group as well as a singing group, both open to all. There is an age appropriate junior church held during church service time. For time of services and other details visit the website.
Ribchester is located on the B6245 north of the A59 and Blackburn, Lancashire.
The church has Sunday services and weekday morning prayers.
Tel. 0 1254 878 352; email on their website
Web: St Wilfridís Church
Photos © by Barbara Ballard except church font by Alexander Knapp courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland