St Andrews Church (Dent)

(See also Dent)

Dent St Andrew,s church by Graeme DougalThe church of St Andrew in Dent sits in an elevated position making it a local landmark. It was first constructed in the 12th century, then rebuilt in 1417. It was again restored in 1590, 1787, and 1889. The church is aisled with six bay arcades and a five light east window. The east window depicts a song of praise to God, the Te’ Deum’.

The three western bays date from the 13th century. The nave and the tower, mostly dating from 1785, retain Norman features. The blocked doorway in the north wall is also from Norman times. The Jacobean pulpit dates from 1614 and was part of a three decker one. It was formerly on the north side of the church. The date of the octagonal font, made of Barrow limestone, is not known.

The box pews in the side aisles date from the 17th century. Those in the south aisle are the family pews of the ‘24 Sidesmen’, a body of local landowners dating from 1429. They still exist today and meet yearly to distribute ancient charities.

Dent St Andrew's church interior by Graeme DougalThe floor of the chancel is paved with Dent marble and has a border of Barrow limestone. The piscina is on the site of the old Lady chapel. The organ was installed some time between 1891-1910.

There are brass memorials in the church to the Sedgwick family, and a Sedgwick memorial fountain made of Shap granite sitting near the church is in memory of Adam Sedgwick, born in the village in 1785. He became a well known Victorian geologist and was professor of geology at Cambridge. Three windows in the south aisle commemorate the Sedgwicks. One is a memorial to Rev. John Sedgwick, vicar from 1822 to 1859.

A memorial of the Sill brothers is in the church. They made a fortune in west Indian sugar and built Whernside manor. They brought their slaves to the village causing sermons to be preached in the Dales against them.

Over the entrance porch is a 1792 coat of arms of George III. An old grammar school was built in the churchyard (now flats) and a desk and chair from it are in the church.

St Andrew’s Church Dent is on a minor road four miles south-east of Sedbergh, off the A684.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal

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