Friday, 14 November 2008

Kendal, St George

St George

Immediately at the end of Stramongate bridge, Castle Street turns towards Goose Holme. Sat in the crook of the river sits the church of St George.

Above. View of the church looking across the Kent.

St George’s is another Webster company creation, being built in 1841 to designs by George Webster. It replaced an earlier chapel at the head of the market square that burned down in 1838. The church was built to seat around 1060 worshipers and was funded with £4500 of subscriptions and grants from the Church Building Fund.

The church was fitted with galleries on three sides, although only the rear gallery now survives. Externally, and especially at the North West end of the church, great changes have been made. Originally, the Websters erected two 100 foot towers topped with spires, giving the church an elegant gothic look.

Above. View of the church as it would have looked with its twin spires (from personal collection)

However, due to problems with the foundations, perhaps in connection with the close proximity of the river, these have since been removed, and the lower towers are what we see today. I have to admit, that from a personal point of view, this building is perhaps the most uninspiring church externally.

Above. View of the church from Castle Hill.

It’s not until you enter that you see some decoration of any note. Of note, is the ceiling to the North West of the altar, a beautiful turquoise colour, interspersed with a rose design at the head of lattices of cream coloured plaster.

The bosses look almost like coats of arms. The high arch over the altar is jaw droppingly tall, framing the altar and the tall windows that light it. There are no stained glass windows in this church, giving it an almost industrial look.

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