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Ormskirk Parish Church - Question 1

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Introduction

Is The Two Sisters Story True? Ormskirk dates back to over a millennium ago to when Viking settlers were settling in Britain and Ormskirk was one of the many settlements founded by Vikings. The Two Sisters Story is a legend of how Ormskirk Parish Church ended up having both a tower and a spire. According to the legend, Orme, one of the Viking settlers sailed down the North West Coast found the hill Ormskirk is built upon and founded the settlement and the church. Building the church was no problem but his two sisters each wanted the church to be different. One sister wanted the church to have a tower which was sturdy and strong and the other sister wanted the church to have a spire, tall and elegant. ...read more.

Middle

So not only were they built over 500 years after Orme settled in Britain but they weren't even built at the same time and must have been built by different people all together. The second reason is that both the tower and the steeple are made out of stone (the spire you see that's on the church now is a Victorian remake after the original fell down in 1731, it was rebuilt in 1790 and repaired in 1826 after being struck by lightning. The original, however, was also made out of stone). The fact that they were built with stone disproves the legend by itself because Viking buildings were predominantly wooden, if Orme did build a church in Britain it would have been certainly made out of wood. ...read more.

Conclusion

The spire was built before the tower in 1430 (originally), it was blown down in 1731, rebuilt in 1790 and repaired in 1826 after suffering damage from a lightning strike. The arch piercing the north wall of the base of the spine was rebuilt in 1886. The spire houses one bell, given by the 2nd Earl of Derby in 1521 (before the tower was built), but the bell bears the date it was recast in 1716. The tower was built around 120 after the original spire was built some time between 1540 and 1570. Sources The Ormskirk Parish Church guide book. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/Ormskirk) Mr Traynor and Mr Lyon. Robert Bootle History Coursework Ormskirk School ...read more.

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