Friday, 24 July 2009

Methodist chapel, Levens

Methodist chapel

The Methodist chapel in Levens can be found at the junction of Lowgate and Levens Lane (I think!)

Possibly built some time in the late 1800's, it appears to be still in use.

Methodist chapel, Newbiggin-on-Lune

Methodist chapel

The Methodist chapel can be found on Main Street in Newbiggin-on-Lune, about a hundred yards to the North of St Aidens.

The chapel was probably built sometime in the early 1800's. I'm not sure if this building is used as a chapel any more.

St Aidens, Newbiggin-on-Lune

St Aiden

This beautiful building is an has been converted into a small cottage. Newbiggin-on-Lune lays about eight miles to the South West of Kirkby Stephen, just off the A685.

The church was built in 1892 as a chapel of ease, probably to nearby Ravenstonedale.

St Luke, Soulby

St Luke
Nr Kirkby Stephen

Soulby, a pretty little village about five miles to the North West of Kirkby Stephen, houses this tiny single chambered church. Built between 1662 and 1663, it is now destined for new pastures, being earmarked for development into a house. It seems that the congregation has long since deserted this church. There were compulsory purchase notices posted on the gate when I visited.

The moulding above the Southern porch, tells us that Philip Musgrave built the church, with its completion dated 1663. Sir Philip Musgrave was a Royalist army officer and prominent local politician. He is credited with taking Carlisle from Parliamentary troops in 1648, becoming the city's Governor.

It looks as if the grave yard has had a visit from the health and safety executive....all the grave stones have been removed from the church yard, and now lean forlornly against he rear wall of the church.

It's a shame that I couldn't get a look inside the church...there are a number of stained glass windows that I would love to have photographed. Two of these windows, Christ the light of the world, and Jesus and Mary Magdalene, were by the prominent 19th\20th century artist Henry Holiday, check the link. It's now unlikely that I'll get to see these windows, if the building is converted into a house. Someone is going to be very lucky!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Kirkby Stephen, St Stephen

St Stephen
Kirkby Stephen

The best distant view of this fairly well hidden church, can be had as you travel into Kirkby Stephen on the B road from Soulby, entering the town from the West. Here, the church tower can be seen peering over the houses and shops. What we can see today, is mostly the rebuilt church of 1847...a building mostly attributed to Robert Carpenter who was responsible for rebuilding the chancel and the North and South chapels, the clerestory and the external wall of the very long and narrow North aisle.

The oldest surviving stone work in the church, is a small portion of the West aisle, which now incorporates a piece of thick 12th century wall with a 14th century window inserted into it.

The photo above shows a view towards the tower at the West of the church. The pillars each side of the nave probably date from the 13th century.

The photo above, shows the East end of the church, with the fine 3 light window above the altar. To the left and right (out of sight here) are the North and South chapels. The wall to the right of the photo, the wide South aisle, dates from 15th century, whilst the wall to the left of the photo, the narrower North aisle, dates from the 1847 rebuild.

The tower, seen over the roofs of nearby houses and shops, dates from the 16th century. Unfortunately it appears to be kept locked, so it wasn't possible to inspect the interior.

The photo above shows the huge tomb chest in the North chapel. It shows effigies of Thomas, 1st Lord Wharton and two of his wives.

The photo above shows a tomb chest of one of a member of the Musgrave from the 15th century. This tomb chest can be found in the South chapel at the East end of the church.

This view shows the East end of the church, with the 16th and 17th century carved screen between the nave and the chancel. The church appears to be kept unlocked, so inspection of the interior is possible.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Brough, St Michael

St Michael

The church of St Michael can be found about a quarter of a mile to the South East of Brough Castle. Hidden away at the bottom of a hill, and surrounded by trees this is a very tranquil and sublime church. The back of the church is the most well kept part of this building, with the grave yard here mowed and tidy....whilst the front is overgrown...this is obviously where the older graves can be found and so is little visited. However...the 16th century porch (at the rear) should not be ignored, as it hides a beautiful 12th century arched doorway (see the photos later on in this post)

The above photo shows the North face of the church, made of predominately 16th century stone work. The photo below, shows the South face of the church, made predominately of 12th century stone work (including the decorated doorway) There appears to be only one original window in the South wall, with a few pieces of 14th century stone work incorporated around the windows.

The tower dates from 1513, and incorporates a spiral stair case hidden in the North West corner. Looking at the photo above, the tiny single light window to the left of the porch, probably dates from the 12th century (although not the glass)

The photo above shows the lozenge decoration on the 12th century supports on the Norman arch in the Southern wall. The one of the left is uncovered (bare stone) whilst the one on the right looks as if it has suffered under a cover of white plaster. This has been removed in a few spots, damaging the stone beneath.

The porch contains a small treasure trove of graveslabs and other antiquities found in the church or the yard. The above photos shows what is thought to be a Roman grave stone, discovered in the church yard. The photo below shows some early medieval grave slabs, some discovered beneath the floor of the Church, and others outside in the grave yard.

The photo below shows another medieval grave slab, with its familiar floral engraving. This one has been mounted above the window in the porch.

The South aisle, shown below, is very wide and separated from the North aisle by six 14th century pillars. The wall to the right of the photo is the thick, mostly 12th century wall with odd bits of 14th and 16th century stone work.

The photo below shows the beautiful Nave ceiling, probably dating from the 15th century. Local tradition has it that the original was burned by the Scots sometime before the 1500's....although these local legends often attribute unfortunate accidents to Scottish invasions and attacks!!

Another view of the 15th century ceilings, looking towards the West end of the church.

This photo shows the beautiful Norman doorway. If you click on the photo to get a full screen view, the faces and patterns carved into the stone are easy to make out. I would imagine that the white plaster\paint needs to be seems to mask the carvings a little.

This is the Brough stone (a copy)....a Roman memorial stone with an inscription written in Greek, dedicating it to a Syrian called Hermes. It supposedly says that Hermes was 16 years old, and was a conscripted soldier, possibly based at the Roman fort at Brough. It was found in the church yard, with the original now being housed in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge. This copy can be found hanging on the wall inside the tower...which my not always be unlocked and accessible.

This is a beautiful church and seems to be open most days. Make sure that you walk right around the church yard to the back of the church where the porch is, as the Norman doorway is well worth inspection.