John Ogle

Walk towards the high altar, and on your left is an effigy of John Ogle (1555-1612).

The plaster figure in early 17th-century dress is believed to have been recumbent in earlier years and is now in an upright position. John was a refuser of the new Church of England initially, but by 1610 he must have felt obliged to conform to the Anglican church, as he was the main contributor to the 1610 build. Above his head is carved the Ogle family motto, which translates as “Truth Conquers.” He also gave the sanctuary chair to the church in 1610 to mark the rebuilding and also to mark the marriage of his son Henry to Elizbeth Whitby. Next to the effigy is the alms or poor box, which is also of black oak and made in 1636.

In the sanctuary is the John Ogle chair, dated 1610, which bears his name on the front and the vicar’s name, Thomas Meade, on the reverse. This chair was lost to the church for many years until it was discovered in an auction house at Manchester in 1920 by Mr George Hemingway, who recognised it and on purchasing it, returned it to the church.

Four steps up from the chancel floor gives access to the north vestry, the oldest part of the church, dated 1410. The original stone floor is approximately four foot below the present wooden one. Legend has it that there were secret tunnels from the church leading to Whiston Hall, where a bricked-up, ancient doorway was discovered when it was demolished in 1936. The hall was once occupied by the Ogle family, so escape tunnels running between the two buildings could have been a possibility, although up till now, no solid evidence has emerged of this.