Monday, 28 September 2009

Park Side Road cemetery South Chapel, Kendal

Park Side Road cemetery South Chapel
Park Side Road

Park Side Road cemetery North Chapel, Kendal

Park Side Road cemetery North Chapel
Park Side Road

Unitarian Chapel, Kendal

Unitarian Chapel
Kendal Market Place\Branthwaite Brow

Kendal has no shortage of churches and chapels...many of which are still in use as places of worship, others have been converted to accommodation. One of the oldest places of worship still surviving, and still in use today, is the Unitarian Chapel, set back off Branthwaite Brow, behind the George and Dragon inn.

Grade II listed, along with the school room attached to the rear of the chapel, the building was erected in 1720....the building date can be seen on the cast iron rainwater heads above the porch. Caleb Rotheram, the first minister of the chapel, broke away from the Presbyterian congregation of Fellside in Kendal, and moved his followers into the newly built chapel at the top of Branthwaite Brow. As the Presbyterian congregation here slowly moved away from ideas of the holy trinity and the divinity of jesus their ideas slowly aligned themselves with the Unitarian movement. The chapel became openly Unitarian in the early 1820's. Caleb's gravestone can still be seen in the yard at the rear of the chapel, along with dozens of others. Caleb Rotherham raised the money to build the chapel privately...a grand total of £166. Another £94 was raised from the sale of seats...and once these were in place in the chapel, they remained the property of the purchasers.

The above photo shows the rear of the clothing shop on Branthwaite Brow, Edwards's.....which was built in 1781, and was home to the minister of the chapel.

This is the school room at the rear of the chapel....built by Caleb Rotherham to provide training "for the ministry at eight guineas a year".

View of the rear of the chapel showing the many head removed from their original laying places and presented against the wall of the chapel.

Interior of the chapel showing the organ and the decorative pews.

View of the altar with the tiny stained glass windows behind it.

This stained glass window can be found in the South East wall, spread across two tiny windows. The chapel is not normally open...except for services. If you visit on a Saturday, there is a free tea\coffee morning, and the inside of the school can be seen.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Sleddall Alms Houses and chapel, Kendal

Sleddall Alms Houses and chapel Aynam Road Kendal Cumbria

The Victorian alms houses can be found on the East banks of the River Kent next to Aynam Road. They were built in 1887, with the impressive name of " The Selddall Victoria Jubilee Alms Houses" under the auspices of a celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.

View of the chapel's doorway, with 'gargoyles' representing Queen Victoria and Albert.

Local tradition has us believe, that John Sleddall originally intended to build his alms houses in New Hutton, but when he paid a visit to the vicar to discuss how best to go about his intended bequest, he was kept waiting for so long that he eventually decided to endow his charity upon Kendal. Johns' choice of Kendal was quite fitting really....his ancestor, Thomas Sleddall has been Kendal's first mayor in 1636.

The building cost a grand total of £4250....all of which was paid for by Thomas Sleddall. He also granted an endowment of £17500 which it was hoped would provide an income of around 12 shillings a week for each of the alms houses' residents.
  The chapel, seen in the photo above on the right hand side of the alms houses....was used for a Men's bible class as well as regular services and addresses. Together with All Hallows church on Fellside, all the seats were a time when many seats in the Parish church in Kirkland were still being rented out. It is reported that the chapel here on Aynam Road, and the church on Fellside were very well attended for this reason. Services were held at the chapel on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays with addresses at 6.30pm.
In 1986, the chapel was converted into two dwellings and opened by Lady Graham of Netherby, Wife of the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria. The chapel can be seen from the footpath on Aynam Road, and also from the canal path that runs behind it. Please don't trespass on the driveway.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

All Saints, Orton

All Saints

Orton lays about four miles North of Tebay, along the B6260. These days the church is visible from a considerable distance, thanks to its white lime wash. It can be seen clearly above the roof line of the village. compare how the church looked before it had its traditional lime wash applied, check link out.

For more information on the village of Orton, check the Visit Cumbria link out. The church is set off the North of the village, with large church yards to the front and to the rear. There is ample parking nearby, and also a small car park within the church yard. The church was open the day I visited as there were some repairs taking place. Local tradition says that there was a church here prior to the 13th century...probably built of wood...but it wasn't until the 1200's that a stone building was erected. This 13th century structure would have consisted of a chancel, nave and South and North transepts...and there's even supposition that there may have been a central tower. Two intriguing clues allude to this original tower, and they are an overly large pier between the North boundary of the South aisle and the nave, and a corresponding but smaller pier in the South wall of the chancel. These two pieces of masonry may have been built to support the weight of any tower here. As it is, the West tower seen today, dates from the about 1504. At the same time the tower was built, the North aisle was probably added.

The internal photo below, shows a view looking from the East end of the church towards the tower at the West end. The late 15th\early 16th century roof timbers can just be seen in this photo. The piers\arches to the right of this photo, represent the North aisle, and all date from the 15th century. The piers\arches to the left of this photo, represent the South aisle. The pier furthest away probably dates from the 16th century, whilst the large foreground pier is the one mentioned from the 13th century, and probably large enough to support the weight of one side of the central tower. If you look closely at the photo when it's full screened (click on it to see it full screen) you will see the what looks like a piece of unfinished masonry about half way up the pier. This would suggest that there was an arch here at some point in the past. The corresponding pier on the North aisle has long since been demolished.

The bells, as seen in the photo below, are all of particular interest. The largest bell, in the centre, is inscribed SOLI DEI GLORIA and is dated 1637. It also had the initials IC and CP inscribed upon it. The second largest of the bells, on the right hand side, is inscribed OMNIU SANCTORU and has a shield inscribed upon it with the initials LB. This bell was cast in 1530 by John Wooley and was part of the original peel of four bells. The smallest of the three, on the left of the photo, is inscribed IESVS BE OVR SPEED, and is dated 1637. The church has a peel of eight bells, housed in the tower.

The photo below shows the beautiful lime washed tower with its 15th century diagonal buttresses, and the 15th century North aisle.

Looking from the West of the church, towards the East, and the chancel can be seen, beautifully lit. The chancel dates from an 1878 restoration, undertaken by Paley and Austin of Lancaster. The stained glass window above the altar, is the Ascension by Clayton and Bell, probably inserted in the 1880's.

The photo below shows the East end of the church, with the Paley and Austin chancel on the right of the photo, the 16th century South aisle to the left and the lime washed tower above.

The church also contains a fine organ made by Wilkinson's of Kendal, a pulpit dating from 1742, an eagle lectern donated to the church by the Holme family of Orton Hall in the late 1880's, a font from 1622 and a finely painted hatchment with the Royal Coats of Arms of William III from 1695.

The Sepulchre, Kendal

The Sepulchre

The Sepulchre can be found on the West side of Kendal...just off All Hallows Lane and Beast Banks. A Sepulchre is defined as a type of tomb or sometimes, a burial place, and in this instance, the site is a burial place dating from the mid 17th century. Sepulchre Lane, which runs along side this small enclosed area, runs along a medieval chapel close boundary, and would most likely have once served the chapel that stood simply represented by Chapel Close a few yards to the West.

This area was bought by the Kendal Quakers in 1656, for the sum of £9 and 3p. A local story tells us that it was extended at some point, to accommodate Underbarrow's Quakers after their own burial site was apparently ploughed up by a disgruntled member of their congregation. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Quakers of Kendal were not allowed to bury their dead in church yards or cemeteries, and were obliged to therefore find alternative 'out of town' burial sites. A 1662 act called the 'Five Mile Act' forbade Quakers and other non-conformists, from entering towns such as Kendal, and especially from burying their dead within the town boundaries.

It's a surprise then that the Kendal Quakers were able to buy this small area of land on Fellside, well within the five mile exclusion zone, and dedicate it as a burial site.

In 1855 the Sepulchre was closed to further burials. Existing graves were levelled, and head stones removed, and the area was turned into a garden. I'm not sure if the burials were removed, or simply grassed over....but the only real clue to this once being a burial ground, are the three head stones now built into the retaining wall at the bottom of the hill in the garden. You'll notice from the photo of the headstones, that only the number of the month in which they died is mentioned....this was due to the fact that the Quakers would not make reference to any pagan gods....the names of the twelve months being derived from the Roman pantheon of gods.

In 1989, local building company Russell Armer Ltd bought the land when the neighbouring school was converted to housing. The garden was tidied up and presented more or less as it is seen today.

Monday, 21 September 2009

St John, Newton Reigny

St John
Newton Reigny
Near Penrith

Situated about two and a half miles North West of Penrith, the village of Newton Reigny home to the Grade II* listed church of St John. The church sits less than fifty yards to the West of a large rectangular earthwork. If the church and the earthworks are of the same period, which they most likely are, this could indicate that the original 12th century building, of which some portions still survive, was the manorial chapel. The earthworks are thought to represent the remains of Newton Reigny manor, held by the de Reigny family.

The above view shows the South face of the church, with the 1876 chancel to the right of the photo. This odd addition was designed by Ewan Christian, and seems strangely out of sorts with the rest of the church. The porch is relatively modern.

The photo above, shows the West end of the nave with the 12th century font below the window. The round pillar on the left of the photo probably dates from the 12th century, whilst the octagonal pillar on the right of the photo, probably dates from the 13th century. The walls either side of the window are also from the 12th century.

The corbel and the piscina shown above, can both be found in the East end of the nave, where the old church meets the 19th century addition. Both of these items date from the 12th century.

A view of the church from the West, showing the 16th century buttresses on the exterior of the mostly 12th century wall.

The church is freely accessible and there is a limited amount of parking nearby. The manorial earthworks are a short walk behind the church, and can be seen from the road side.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Holy Trinity, Millom

Holy Trinity

This small church is truly one of Cumbria's church gems. Small but perfectly formed it sits in beautiful surroundings and backs onto one of the regions most intriguing castles. The church of Holy Trinity lays about a mile and a half North of the town of Millom, just off the A5093. The photo below, shows the church from the South. The large darker building to the rear with the double roof is the pele tower, built in the centre of the ruins of the castle. This view shows the 14th century South aisle, with the 13th century chancel to the right. The church appears to be built on the summit of a low hill...possibly the motte mentioned in some sources as the site of the original castle here. There's every possibility that the original church, built by the de Boyville family of Millom Castle, was built as a manorial chapel in the bailey of the original fortification. The earliest parts of the church are the nave, at the North of the building, and dating from the 12th century. These remains consist of the North wall, a small portion of the West wall and a window, re-inserted into the North wall of the chancel. There is also a 12th century doorway, now blocked up, mounted in the South wall of the South aisle. There is a low blocked archway in the nave's West wall, which, some historians suggest, points to the suggestion that the church had a tower at some point in the past. No trace of this structure remains.

Another view of the church from the South, showing the massive windows in the South aisle's South wall, and the bricked up 12th century doorway. The blocked window to the right of the photo, was probably blocked by the Huddlestone family when they took possession of the castle in the 1240's. The blocked window was used as a backdrop for some family monuments.

Outside in the churchyard, a medieval sundial can be found. The top has four faces, each with family shields carved on them. There are two shields of the Huddleston family, one of the Chaucer family, and one of the Broughton family. The top of the sun dial has a morticed top, probably for a metal sundial to be mounted there. The sandstone base is probably a later addition.

A cross base can also be found in the church yard...again, probably medieval. The stone has some damaged carvings on its sides, and a square socket in its top in which the cross itself would have sat. Both the sundial and the cross base are Grade II listed.

The church, internally, is a 'must see' with many items of interest. Unfortunately, Holy Trinity is locked, and only open for services. I will return at some point to photograph the interior, and these photos will take the form of 'part II' of this post. There is ample parking next to the farm, which entails a short walk to the church.

Holy Ghost, Middleton

Holy Ghost

Middleton's beautiful but simple church can be found on the A683 about eight miles South of Sedbergh, and about five miles North of Barbon. The A683 roughly follows the old Roman Road, with sections of the modern road laying over the older route. Some sections of the Roman Road however, lay alongside its modern counterpart, and can be traced in the fields. This area is littered with Roman and Medieval remains. To the North of the church lays Middleton Hall, a beautiful example of a Medieval fortified manor house. A Roman milestone, found some years back, has been erected on the portion of the Roman Road running parallel with the church yard. Middleton Hall is surrounded by earthworks representing Medieval fish ponds, as well as the earthwork remains of prehistoric homesteads.

The church, Grade II listed, was built in 1878/79 to designs by C.J. Ferguson. The church has a single, very simple centrally placed bell cote with buttresses either side. There are a number of stained glass windows here at Middleton.

Check this link out. One of which is very peculiar. It shows Jesus blessing a kneeling man. If you look closely however, the kneeling man appears to have two left feet!

The church is built on the site of an earlier church, probably erected around 1634. The only sign of this earlier building, is a sandstone date stone mounted in one of the church yard walls (see below)

The highly decorated pulpit and its attached lectern probably date from the 16th century. The pulpit looks as if it isn't perhaps belonged to the original church here, and has been altered to fit its new home.

As seen in the photo below, the church is a simple single chambered building....the high arch in the foreground, is all that separates the chancel from the nave.

Luckily for me, the church appears to be left unlocked. There is also ample parking next door.

St Peter, Mansergh

St Peter

The sparsely populated area of Mansergh sits nearly seven miles North of Kirkby Lonsdale, on the B6254. The church sits off the road down a narrow lane, shrouded in trees. The church was built in 1880 to designs by Paley and Austin of Lancaster.

The tower is the dominant feature of this church.....standing with its huge diagonal buttresses, saddle back roof and stair turret. It is this feature that is first seen when approaching the church from the West. A stone plaque above the porch tells the visitor that this church replaced an earlier one, built in 1726. Nothing appears to remain of the original church.

The photo below shows a view looking from the nave into the chancel.

The photo below shows the huge arch leading from the nave into the tower, where the font is placed.

The photo below shows another view from the nave looking into the chancel. You can just make out the beautiful barrel vaulted ceiling.

There is a small amount of parking near the church, and it appears to be left open. (apologies for the poor internal photos. I'll replace them when I've visited again!)

All Saints, Lupton

All Saints
Nr Kirkby Lonsdale

This is another tiny little church that seems to be doing its best to hide. Lupton lays on the A65, some two and a half miles to the West of Kirkby Lonsdale. The church however, lays at the junction of two minor roads to the North of the A65. The lane here is narrow, so park with caution.

This tiny church has a spacious feeling once inside. My favourite feature had to be the apse at the East end of the church...beautifully painted and perfectly lit. The Images of England web site has the church named as St Bartholomew....I'm not sure where this comes from as all other sources name it as All Saints. It was originally built as a chapel of ease...probably to St Mary's of Kirkby Lonsdale.

This Grade II church was built in 1867, and consists of a nave and a chancel housed in the apse.

The painted panels in the apse are said to be faithful reproductions of the original panels once painted on the stone. This church appears to be left open.

St Luke, Lowick

St Luke

St Lukes is hidden away, about five miles North West of Penny Bridge, off the A5092. To find the church, you must turn onto the A5084, and then take a left out of the village of Lowick. The church is on your right....with Lowick Hall some two hundred yards to the West, visible through the trees.

This church, a Grade II listed building, is resplendent in its red and grey stone facing. Built in 1865 (according to Images of England) or 1818 (according to GENUKI) the church no doubt replaced a chapel mentioned in documents dated 1577. Unfortunately this was another church kept locked, so I haven't managed to gain entry yet.

There is ample parking just across the road.