A tour inside St. Mark's Church
As you enter the church, take a look around you. This online tour will guide you in a clockwise tour of the principal points of interest.
The window is set high on the west wall (to your left). The roundels are of very high quality medieval style glass and form a fascinating kaleidoscope of brilliantly coloured floral designs and abstract geometric patterns.
It was given by parishioners and other friends in loving memory of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Zetland who was born 5th February 1785, died 6th May 1873 and of his brother-in-law Henry Walker Yeoman of Marske Hall Born 13th July 1789, died 14th September 1875.
A funerary hatchment is a depiction within a black lozenge (diamond) shaped frame, of a deceased's heraldic arms. If the dexter (left) is black then the deceased was male and a black sinister (right) field indicates a female - useful clues when the heraldic arms of a husband and wife may have been almost identical.
The Marske hatchments originally hung in St. Germain's church. When moved to St. Marks church, they were first hung on the north wall between the windows.
Most were in good state of preservation but one, which had been repainted very badly, was unsuitable for rehanging. It was later copied in the style of the period to which to belongs.
Four more dated from 1692 to 1873 were rescued from the old Church at Upleatham and moved to Kirkleatham Museum. They are displayed in old All Saints' Church at Skelton each summer.
Working from left to right:
1. The first in the series is a memorial to Harriet, Lady Dundas (neé Hale) who died 18 April 1834.
2. Lawrence, 1st Earl of Zetland obit 10 February 1839. The dexter (left) half originally had a black background, signifying the death of a male, but the paint has faded and flaked off over time.
3. Thomas, 2nd Earl of Zetland who died, without an heir on 6th May, 1873.
4. Sophia Jane (neé Williamson), Countess of Zetland, wife of Thomas the 2nd Earl. Obit 21 May 1865.
The ancient cross stands in front of the former west door, beneath the rose window and hatchments.
The stone cross was re-discovered in January 1901, buried in sand opposite Cliff House. Further researches in the 20th century have dated the cross at about 1230 AD and have concluded that it was a wayside cross to mark the point at which funeral processions along the beach from Redcar turned inland to reach St. Germain’s Church.
John Walker Ord in his 1846 History and Antiquities of Cleveland makes reference to ‘Marske Cross’ being made from stone salvaged from the original Saxon church that pre-dated St. Germain’s. That would explain the suggested date of 1230AD but, since it was clearly visible to all and sundry in 1846 and was an established landmark when he published his book, he fails to record where it stood at that time!
It is of course possible that it may have stood at the village centre as a market cross, as some historical sources suggest, and then been moved to the cliff top location early in the mid-19th century to serve as a waymarker.
It has been displayed in St. Mark’s Church since September 1904. Missing sections of the main column have been replaced and a new plinth provided.
The Aviators' Window
Opposite, as you enter the church is the Aviators' Window. It marks the importance of Marske-by-the-Sea in the early days of aviation and commemorates the life of Edward Petre* who was killed in an accident at Marske whilst attempting to fly non-stop from Brooklands aerodrome near London to Edinburgh on Christmas Eve in 1912.
The left hand light shows Petre's flight path as a red line close to the east coast; Beside Petre’s Martin Handasyde monoplane a small text panel gives his name and dates. The text They shall mount up on wings as eagles (Isaiah 40:30) refers to Petre’s strong Christian faith as well as the fact that the Royal Air Force uses eagle wings as part of its official badge.
The right hand light commemorates the young men who learned to fly at Marske's Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force fighter schools during the First World War. Aircraft soar upwards from Marske airfield at the base of the design, past Marske Hall, the old church of St. Germain and Huntcliff at Saltburn.
The window was designed and created by Ann Sotheran FMGP of York. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Whitby on Sunday 1st November 2015 in the presence of members of Edward Petre's family and many donors.
*The name is pronounced 'Peter', the same as the conventional spelling.
The Memorial Chapel
As you move along the North aisle, towards the front of the church you come to the Memorial Chapel, a place for private prayer and quiet thoughts.
The elegant wrought iron work originally formed a rood-screen, mounted on the low walls at the top of the sanctuary steps. The screen was erected to the memory of Revd. Francis Grant James, Vicar of Marske from 1894 - 1907.
The screen was dismantled and rebuilt in the mid-1970s to form the chapel, as part of a scheme to re-order the interior of the church.
Votive candles are available in the chapel a memorial book containing the names of the departed is on display. A series of memorial books contains brief biographies of all those who gave their lives for their country in the two World Wars, 1914-18 and 1939-45.
The church originally had a three-manual organ by Harrison & Harrison, installed in 1899. By the 1970s, age had taken its toll and the instrument had become increasingly unreliable and difficult to play.
Rather than face a huge repair bill, the church opted to replace the organ with a modern instrument to a simpler specification.
The present organ by Church & Co., was installed in 1975.
Pedal 1 Subbass 16
2 Octav 8 From Subbass
Great 3 Rohr Flote 8
4 Prinzipal 4
5 Mixtur III
Swell 6 Gedackt 8
7 Koppel Flote 4
8 Prinzipal 2
9 Nasat 1 1/3 From Tc
Couplers Swell to Pedal, Swell to Great, Great to Pedal
The East Window (above the altar)
The window was designed and installed by Heaton, Butler and Bayne, who were based in the Covent Garden area of London 1852 - 1953. The four lights depict Christ welcoming the little children (Mathew 19:14), the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, with well-drawn figures. The window is a memorial to Sophia Countess of Zetland who died in 1865. Photos: Peter Downham
'Suffer the little children to come unto me for such is the Kingdom of Heaven'
Centre window- lower:
Centre window - upper:
The Last Supper
The Norman font first stood in the early Church of St. Germain which was demolished and rebuilt in the 1820s. The later Church of St. Germain fell into a ruinous condition after worship moved to St. Mark's in 1867 and it was demolished in the 1950s.
The font was cast aside following the 1820 rebuildng and was used as a water trough on a nearby farm. It was restored and rededicated in 1901 and placed in the Baptistry, then in the south-west corner of St. Mark's (where the toilets are now located).
In order to give greater prominence to the act of welcoming new members into the Church, it was moved to its present location as part of the scheme to re-order the interior of the church in 1975.