The Lake District Travel Guide - Historic Churches
A profile of the Lake District, England, highlighting attractions, history, and visitor information.
Lake District Travel Guide - Historic Churches
This page Ireby Old Church - Wreay, St Mary's Church
The Old Church at Ireby stands alone in a farm field well outside the village. This ancient structure is an antiquarian's delight. It was built in the 12th century, but when the new church dedicated to St James was built in 1847 the nave, porch, and north aisle of the old church were pulled down and the two-bay chancel was left to moulder away on its own. The medieval font, piscina, and a few carvings were transfered to the new church, and stones from the nave were used to build the new church.
This attractive church of red sandstone is the second largest in Cumbria (after Kendal) and is referred to locally as the Cathedral of the Dales. The first church on this spot was built during the late Saxon period. This was replaced by a Norman church in 1170, and by the current building around 1220.
The parish church of St Andrews in Penrith is an intriguing mix of old and new. There was a church on this site as early as the 12th century, but that Norman building was largely rebuilt in 1720 by architect Nicholas Hawksmoor, who modelled his new creation on St Andrew's church in Holborn, London.
An intriguing chapel built in 1850 to cater to navvies building the London and North Western Railway company branch line to Ingleton. The chapel was built within Ingmire Hall Estate, a mile or so west of Sedbergh. Records suggest that the railway company sent a scripture reader for the workmen, and the chapel was built to provide a place of worship.
There is so much history and legend surrounding the priory church of St Mary and St Bega in the Cumbrian coastal village of St Bees that it is hard to know where to begin. The church is partly dedicated to Bega, an Irish princess who landed on the Cumbrian coast after feeling an unwelcome marriage.
A lovely historic church on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake. The church is dedicated to the Irish St Bega, who, legend tells us, had a cell here, and was perhaps buried here. The church lies just beside Mirehouse historic house and garden, under the lee of Skiddaw.
A fascinating 12th century church built on the site of older churches dating to the 6th century. Later additions date from the 16th and 19th centuries. The church is dedicated to St Kentigern, who came to this area in the mid 6th century. Poet Robert Southey is buried in the churchyard, and a memorial stands in the church. Also in the churchyard is the grave of Canon Rawnsley, co-founder of the National Trust. The pride of St Kentigern's is a complete set of Tudor consecration crosses. There are examples of stained glass dating back to the 12th century.
Warwick on Eden
Architecture maven Nickolaus Pevsner described St Leonard's church in the hamlet of Warwick on Eden as 'the most memorable Norman Church in Cumberland'. Though the county of Cumberland is long gone, St Leonard's remains, as it has done since at least the 12th century.
There was a church at Wetheral in the 11th century, associated with nearby Wetheral Priory. Nothing now remains of that early church, and the current building of red sandstone dates to the 13th century, though much was rebuilt in the early 16th century.
The M6 thunders through the rural parish of Wreay, just south of Carlisle, but most of the many motorists never realize they are passing close by one of the most astonishing little churches in England, and certainly one of the most idiosyncratic.
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