The Cover and The Hammertons

Maureen Ellis

The memorial stone shown on the cover is to be found in Long Preston Church at the right hand side of the high altar. It is horizontal and raised on sandstone. The spelling of the name Hammerton can be with or without the double m. Diana Kaneps, the artist explained that it shows five coats of arms and an encircling inscription which translates as 'Pray for the soul of Lawrence Hammerton Esquire and Isabella his wife, of Richard his son Knight, of Elizabeth his wife as of all benefactors of this chapel or chantry which was founded in perpetuity of the said obligation in the year of our Lord 1445.' Between the shields are the words Credo (I believe). The arches on the central shield denote Osbern de Arches, and the diagonal lines Elias de Knoll whose families joined in marriage, their descendants marrying into the Hammerton family. The hammers on this shield denote the latter. The Arches family were related to William the Conqueror by a common grandfather. Diana has superimposed her design on a background of sandstone. The Hammertons were a well-known family who were huge landowners, first they built Hammerton Hall in Slaidburn and later Hellifield Peel. Wigglesworth Hall was their country house and park in which to entertain. Stephen Park in the Forest of Bowland was originally a hunting lodge.

The Hammerton's story is shown as a series of strips at the foot of most pages and are thanks to Diana Kaneps.