Sunday, 30 November 2008

Great Ormside, St James

St James
Great Ormside

Great Ormside is about 4 miles South of Appleby. The small church in this tiny village sits on a very early medieval fortified ringwork that looks out over a bend in the River Eden. This ringwork, that now provides the base upon which the church is built, sits about six metres above the surrounding fields.

The church consists of a 12th century tower (probably built sometime in the 1190's) abutting the nave of the church on 11th century walls. The tower is thought to have been built to offer a degree of defence....the lack of an external door and no windows at ground level possibly adding some strength to this suggestion. The doorway to the tower is at the west end of the nave, and stands to around 8 feet.

The North walls of the nave, and the central pillar supporting the arch into the North chapel, date from the 12th century, with 12th century windows surviving in the 16th century South wall. There is a small amount of decoration on the pillar supports in this wall.

The north chapel was built in the 18th century, and juts out of the back of the church. The chancel, which of course, lies to the East of the church, dates mostly from the 16th century, with small pieces of 12th century masonry in the north walls.

A 14th century hagioscope (leper's squint) remains in the north wall of the chancel, but this now looks into the modern vestry, and is now blocked with a tiny stained glass window.

There are a number of small niches in the chancel walls, that may have been moved from earlier walls. Two of these are pictured here. The top photo shows the piscina, in which the holy vessels would have been washed after mass. These niches all date from the 16th century.

There are a number of grave slabs dotted around the church yard. None of these have any indication of to whom they are dedicated, however, the right hand cover in the photo below, now mounted in the rear wall of the vestry, has a feint floral design still visible on it.

There is also the shaft of what is probably a medieval cross, standing by the Victorian porch.

The font (pictured below) probably dates from the 12th century.

The roof timbers in the nave and the chancel are quite spectacular, and probably date from the early 16th century.

There is undoubtedly more that can be written about this church, and as further information is researched, I will update this entry.

St Mary the Virgin, Gisburn

St Mary
North Yorkshire

St Mary’s sits at the junction of the A59 and the A682, a low slung church of great age and character.

The foundations of the present church have been dated to around 1135, documents certainly exist in York, stating that the Priest of Gisburn was Renulf between 1140 and 1146. The church seems to have shared patronage between the Archbishopric of York, and the Prioress of Stainfield Nunnery in Lincolnshire.

At this time, the church may have had a dual dedication….to St Mary the Virgin, and St Andrew. The dual dedication may have been an attempt at dissuading marauding Scottish armies from desecrating the church and its grounds. Whether this worked or not is not obvious.

It’s possible, as with so many other Norman churches, that there was an earlier Saxon church on the site, but earlier buildings seem to have been constructed of wood, and therefore no remains can be found.

Restoration and consolidation has been undertaken on a few occasions. Documents show that the church was restored in the late 16th century and also in 1872. during the latter restoration, the church was re-roofed and new pews and a pulpit were installed.

One of the most interesting features of the interior of the church, are the large round pillars at the front of the building.

These most certainly date from the 12th century, and possibly, along with part of the massive archway, came from Sawley Abbey after the dissolution instigated by Henry VIII.

There are four beautiful Royal coats of arms mounted high in the clerestory portion of the church.

There are 7 stained glass windows in the church in total, none of which look older than the 1600’s, with most of the windows being from around the 1800’s. Two windows do contain some medieval glass however.

The church appears to be left open for inspection.

A usefull website for the village of Gisburn.

Dunnerdale, Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents

This tiny church can be found about two and a half miles North of Broughton in Furness, on the B road leading to the A593.

The church is hidden behind a screen of trees as you approach from the North.

Instead of a clock on a steeple or tower, the church's clock is mounted on the West facing porch.

An apse can be found at the East end of the church, light and airy with four narrow windows.

There is a single stained glass window in the church. It is dedicated to Amadeus Malleson, vicar of the parish from 1870 to 1897.

The window was designed by Charles Kemp, a painter of church ceilings, walls and woodwork throughout the 1860's. He was responsible for work in a number of churches throughout Cumbria. Click on the image for a full size version. Another version of this photo, without the security wiring, can be found here!

A view towards the apse and the altar, and the Charles Kemp window. The church has been in existence from at least 1887, as there is a foundation stone with the following inscription on it "This stone was laid by the Viscountess Cross, Sept 19th 1887"

Crook, St Catherine

St Catherine

This late 19th century church can be found about three four miles West of Kendal, on the B5284.

Above. View of the church from high up on the hill to the South.

Built in 1882 to designs by Stephen Shaw, it is a grey, industrial looking church, very square and with a squat, squared, three storey tower.

Above. View of the South side of the church.

About half a mile directly to the South, the remains of the old church tower can be seen in the fields, left standing as a monument.

Above. The West tower.

The church retains a 14th century bell, probably from the original church.

Above. Looking into the chancel.

Above. Closer view of the chancel.

Above. Looking through the chancel arch to the nave and tower beyond.

It possesses only two tiny stained glass windows, shown below.

Above. Tiny window showing Christ, housed in the South wall of the ground floor of the tower.

Above. Tiny window dedicated to the Gilpin family, in the South wall of the nave.

There is just enough room to safely park your car on the roadside here, and, if the gates to the church yard are open, enough room for about two cars in the tarmacked area of the church yard. On both occasions I've visited this church, it has been unlocked.

Clapham, St James

St James
North Yorkshire

The beautiful North Yorkshire village of Clapham (Cum Newby) can be found 4 miles East of Ingleton, just off the A65. The grade II listed church of St James, originally dedicated to St Michael, has an out of proportion tower and main body, making the tower look squat and slightly out of sorts!

The tower probably dates from the 15th century, and out dates the rest of the church, which was built in 1814, replacing the earlier building. The size of the congregation in the area was such that a larger building was required to house the numbers attending services. Local tradition has it that Clapham village and church were raided by the Scottish army in 1314, with much of the buildings, including the church being razed to the ground.

The South and the North walls of the nave probably date from the original (15th century) church, although some (local) sources date the tower from the 12th century!

There are several interesting and beautiful stained glass windows throughout the building.

The building we see today was largely rebuilt by the Farrar family of Ingleborough Hall, and there are several monuments to the family around the church.

It would appear that there has been a church on this site since at least the mid 13th century. The list of vicars mounted on the wall dates back to 1259, stating that Amfridus and William de Walton both occupied this position during this single year....however, older records exist, telling us that Adam was vicar of the parish from 1160 to 1165, followed by Alexander in 1188. The records then become fragmentary until around 1364.