Saturday, 12 December 2009

St Oswald, Thornton in Lonsdale

St Oswald
Thornton in Lonsdale
Nr Ingleton
North Yorkshire

The church where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was married, St Oswald's can be found in Thornton in Lonsdale, about a mile to the West of Ingleton. This tiny collection of houses, a pub and the church, lay at the head of the valley through which the River Doe runs, eventually merging with the River Twiss in the middle of Ingleton.

The church was largely rebuilt between 1933 and 1935 after it was gutted by fire, but the fabric is basically original. The West tower dates from the 15th century, and does not seem to have been damaged by the 1933 fire. It has a spiral staircase in the North West wall, as evidenced by the tiny windows up the right hand wall of the tower, seen in the photo below.

The original rebuilt church, dating from about 1870, was built to designs by Austin and Paley of Lancaster. This firm of architects operated from Lancaster between 1836 and 1942. A good list of their Cumbrian works can be found at Visit Cumbria. Details of other incarnations of the company can also be found here, at Wikipedia.

What remains of the village stocks are to be found against the wall of the church.

The church is not open daily. There is plenty of parking nearby to investigate the church yard and the village of Thornton-in-Lonsdale.

St Anne, Thwaites

St Anne
Nr Millom

This rather modern looking church lays at the junction of the A595 and the A5093, about six miles North of Millom. Built in 1807, it replaced an earlier chapel built in 1721 which was becoming too dangerous for the local congregation to use. A collection of £200 was raised from the local population to pay for the replacement church, along with a grant of £800 from Queen Annes bounty and a private donation of £100. In 1825, a government grant of £1000 was given, which enabled the local parishioners to finish the building.

In 1757, in the original chapel, a library was founded....containing 48 books and pamphlets. This gift to the local parish, was provided by Dr Bray. The church is unfortunately screened by a few it's very difficult to get a clean shot of the building.

There is no parking here, and the church is kept locked except at services.Check the following link for some information on Queen Anne and Queen Anne's Bounty.

St Gregory, Vale of Lune Nr Sedbergh

St Gregory
Vale of Lune
Nr Sedbergh

This small church lays at the side of the A684, some two and half miles West of Sedbergh. Built in 1850 as a mission chapel to nearby Ingmire Hall (for the navvies engaged in building the nearby Ingleton branch railway) the church is now Grade II listed.

It was paid for by the Upton family of nearby Ingmire Hall, who also provided a scripture reader to ensure that the navvies, being so far from home, did not miss out on their spiritual well being! The church contains amongst others, three beautiful William Morris designed stained glass windows, beautifully placed to make full use of the light airy interior of the church.




This window is perhaps the best placed of the three, sitting as it does in the north wall of the church. It is plainly visible from the far South end of the church, and if the light hits it just right, it lights the porch up.

There are a number of other stained glass windows in the church (not shown here) by Frederick George Simon, installed in 1900, and showing rivers, animals and fell scenes. The woodwork (pews and wall panels) were all by Waring and Gillow of Lancaster.

View of the interior of the church, looking South towards the chancel.

The photo above shows the lantern built into the ceiling, with six windows in each side. This feature allows loads of light into the church, making it a bright and airy building to be in.

A view of the interior of the church looking North towards the porch. The window Peace, can just be seen in the porch wall.

View of the North end of the church. It's exterior simplicity hides the treasure trove of windows and woodwork to be found inside. There is little available parking nearby, and due to the narrow busy main road nearby, care must be taken when parking. The church is open daily, and is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

St Mary, Walney Island

St Mary
Walney Island
Barrow in Furness

St Mary's church lays directly opposite the West end of Jubilee Bridge on Walney Island. It is a huge grey building with a red roof, visible from across Walney Channel. The original church of St Mary was founded on Walney in 1568, though this original building no longer survives. The church we see today was started in 1907, with the foundation stone laid by Archbishop Maclagan. The church was dedicated in 1908, but not completed until around 1930. This newer building was built next to its predecessor, which was erected between 1852\1853. The size of the congregation on Walney forced the local population to seek a bigger building. For a while, both old and new churches existed side by side, with the older church eventually being dismantled. The corner stones of this mid 19th century building can still be seen in the church yard today, marking the spot where it once stood.

View of the rear of the church, looking South.

View of the church looking from the East.

The church is kept locked at all times, though the church yard is open to wander around.

Friday, 11 December 2009

St John, Ulpha

St John

This beautiful white washed church can be found about six miles North of Broughton in Furness, on Bobbin Mill Lane next to the River Duddon. The church lays in a kink in the road, and has had its yard cut in half by the lane. This is a grade II listed building, probably built in the later part of the 16th century. There doesn't appear to be an exact date for its erection or consecration, but there is mention of a church on or near this site as far back as the 13th century.

The church seen today is a simple, single celled building, with the nave and chancel open to each other. The tiny bell cote contains two shown below.

Probably the most interesting feature to be found inside church, are the wall paintings, re-discovered in 1934 when the white wash was removed.

The photos above, show a small fleur-de-lys at the top, a floral pattern again with a fleur-de-lys and some writing, and lastly, some lettering topped with another fleur-de-lys.

The photo above, shows more of the wall paintings uncovered in 1934. The top two are self explanatory, and are probably memorials to parishioners buried here. The third one down may well be another memorial, though so little of this one has survived its impossible to say. The last one is reputedly the remains of Queen Anne's Royal Coat of Arms....a golden lion can just been seen at the top of the painting. Why the wall paintings were white washed will probably never be known....but at least some of them have been found and preserved.

The above photo shows a view towards the East end of the church and the small three light window, probably dating from the 17th century.

The photo above shows the beautiful trussed ceiling, which consists of many original 17th century timbers.

Another view of the bell cote at the West end of the church.

Check this link for some great photos of the church. There is a small area for parking nearby, and the church is kept unlocked for inspection.

St Columba, Warcop

St Columba

Holy Trinity, Winster

Holy Trinity
Nr Kendal

A poor set of photos spoiled this visit I'm afraid....partially rescued by turning them to black and white images. I'll replace these as soon as possible.

Holy Trinity lays just to the South of the small hamlet of Winster, a sparse collection of houses and farms, a few hundred yards off the A5074 and about seven miles South of Bowness on Windermere. This is a lovely wooded area and the church is in a beautiful secluded yard. This is the second church to be built in the general area surrounding Winster. There is mention of a church here, more probably an oratory (not licenced for full services) in documents dating to 1583, when the parish is part of the larger parish of Kendal, and associated with St Mary's at York. The original chapel was mentioned in 1692, and was described as being "fifteen yards long and eight broad’ and as having ‘one bell in a large square steeple’; which steeple ‘fell upon a Sunday morning in time of Service’, . . . ‘and some of the stones fell upon Ann Comston (Compston) but she was not harmed" (with thanks to the Crosthwaite and Lyth web site)

The present church was built on a different site, and dates from 1875. It cost a grand total of £1200, which was raised by appeal to the local parish. The single bell contained in the church is a relic of the original chapel here, and dates from the 17th century. It is inscribed with the initials R.B.W. The church also contains a font of medieval origin, again, probably from the original Winster chapel.

The church contains two stained glass of which is by Henry Holiday, a renowned artist who worked for Morris and Company in the 1860's and 1870's. He designed windows for a number of churches in the region. Check the link for a list and further links.

The church was open the day I visited. There is ample parking outside the church yard.

St Andrew, Sedburgh

St Andrew

The above photo shows the round columns probably dating from the 1200's.

The above photo shows the peculiar rectangular column, probably dating from the 1200's.

Although most of this wall dates from the building of the tower, some time in the 15th century, there are a few remains of 12th century masonry still visible to the upper left and upper right of the huge arch.

The above photo shows the 12th century door hidden in the North doorway.

The above photo shows a view of the church from the South.

St Andrew in a niche above the South porch. Note the cross at his back....shaped like a saltair....hence the dedication.

Holy Trinity, Seathwaite

Holy Trinity

About seven miles to the West of Coniston, and some ten miles North of Broughton in Furness, the tiny hamlet of Seathwaite is virtually hidden in the shadows of Coniston Old Man. The road leading North out of Broughton winds through valleys with towering Lake district fells each side, and tree lined hill sides. It's a beautiful drive with the opportunity to stop for many photographs.

The church we see today replaces a chapel that stood on the site from around 1684. Money was provided for the building of this small traditional lakeland chapel, by H.W.Schneider, with the designs provided by Paley and Austin of Lancaster. It was consecrated in 1874. It is a single celled building with an undivided nave and chancel. The chancel is lit by three tall single light windows, beautifully decorated.

The most famous curate of Holy Trinity, was Robert Walker, the subject of a sonnet called The Excursion, by Wordsworth, in which he is referred to as "wonderful Walker". Robert Walker preached here for nearly 62 years, dying at the grand old age of 92 in 1802.

The church appears to be open for visitors to have a look around, and small as this church is, it is well worth a visit. There is very little parking nearby, and as the roads are narrow here, care should be taken.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

St Paul, Witherslack

St Paul

The scattered village of Witherslack lays just off the A590, some twelve miles South West of Kendal. The aptly named Church Road runs past the church, which sits in a very spacious church yard. Built around 1669, the church's footprint remains pretty much as it was originally, except for the addition of a chamber off the chancel, probably built as a vestry in the 18th century.

The church was built according the terms of John Barwick's will, a local boy, born in Witherslack in 1612. John was the third of five sons, who went on to find fame as the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London. He was also a staunch Royalist, finding himself on the wrong side of Cromwell's Commonwealth Government on several occasions. Such was his reputation amongst Cromwell's government, that he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for nearly twelve months after working as a spy for the Royalist factions. He died in 1664, and was subsequently buried in St Paul's Cathedral. His will stated that the church be built in Witherslack, and be dedicated to St Paul, just as his beloved Deanery in London was. It was originally suggested that the church be built on top of Yewbarrow, a hill some quarter of a mile to the North East that overlooks the current site. This was vetoed by one vote, and the current site was eventually agreed upon.

A view of the chancel with the ten light window above the altar. The window contains small portions of stained glass dating from the original building of the church.

The church consists of a single wide chamber with no aisles, open from the nave to the chancel. The West tower, shown in the last photo in this post, has crenellations at its summit, and sits on a stepped plinth. In 1768, the church was heightened. The windows were increased in height to fill the wall space....hence the smaller lights above each one. During this period of repair, the ceiling and coving were added, as were the two columns (shown above) effectively dividing the chancel from the nave. The church saw further renovation and repair in 1861 and again in 1880, but it wasn't until the 20th century that it was electrified.

A view of the church looking back through the nave, towards the tower at the West end of the church. The Royal Arms of Queen Anne are on the wall on the left hand side, whilst the arms of the Barwick family (I think) can be seen on the left hand side. The arms show a muzzled bear, and although both plaques are slightly different, I think they show the arms of different branches of the family.

A view looking towards the East end of the church, with the chancel and altar. Note the two columns added in the 1768 renovation.

The photo above, shows the Royal Arms of Queen Anne, dated 1710.

These two plaques bear the coats of arms of different branches of the Barwick family.

The church tower.

The church was open on my visit, hence the photos of the interior, but I'm not sure if this is the case all the time. There is a limited amount of parking outside.

Check out this great community web site for all things related to Witherslack and the surrounding areas.

Friday, 4 December 2009

St Mary on the Hill, Chester

St Mary on the Hill
St Mary's Hill

The church of St Mary on the Hill, lays a few yards North of the castle in Chester, at the junction of St Mary's Hill and Castle Street. It can be found by walking North towards the city centre, cutting across the car park at the front of the castle.

This secluded church is a Grade I listed building, built during the latter part of the 14th and the early part of the 15th century, and is now home to the St Mary's Centre. It is no longer used for services. St Marys was one of nine original Medieval churches in Chester, and was one of the city's richest managing to maintain a certain independence from St Werbergh (today's cathedral)

The above photo shows the porch on the North side of the church.

The church was restored between 1861 and 1862 by James Harrison, and again, between 1890 and 1892 by J.P.Seddon. In the 1970's, it was converted into an educational centre, retaining its consecrated status. The link at the end of this post shows how richly decorated the interior is.

The photo above shows the West tower standing above the remnants of the castle's Eastern most ditch.

The church's graveyard was used to bury executed prisoners from the castle. However, none of the grave stones now mark the deceased's last resting place. All the stones have been taken down, broken up and used to make a wall round the path surrounding the church yard. Check the link for some great photos and additional information about this church.

3 churches of York

3 churches of York.

York Minster.

The Minster in York dominates the Northern section of what was once the Roman city of Eburacum. The cruciform building (in the shape of a cross) has foundations that date back to the Roman occupation of Britain....indeed the under croft demonstrates these remains in displays of Roman foundations and wall paintings open to visitors. Otherwise, the church has Christian foundations from the 300's, although the first building was erected on this site in 627 for the baptism of the King of Northumbria at the time, Edwin. In 637, the largely wooden structure was replaced with a stone building by Oswald, with a dedication to St Peter. By 670, Oswald's church was in serious disrepair, until St Wilfrid obtained control over the see of York. St Wilfrid put into place a project of building and repair, that soon saw the church and the attached school as one of the largest and most important in Europe.

In 741 the church was totally destroyed by fire, but the rebuilt structure was all the more impressive, boasting a massive 30 altars. The church and the surrounding area were then subjected to invading Viking armies and Saxon kings and the chaotic political scene that manifested itself in the North of England as a result of the disunity engulfing the country at the time. It isn't until the 10th century that the history of the building emerges from the dust of this war-filled time, with a number of Benedictine Archbishops leading the church and its city onto bigger and better things.

In 1069, after the Norman invasion (1066) the church was again badly damaged, but a year later, the first Norman bishop arrived, and made the required repairs. In 1075, the Danes destroyed the church, and again it was rebuilt, with the building work commencing in 1080. This time, the church was built with Norman architectural influences, measuring 365 feet in length, and, so historical documents tell us, rendered in red and white. A fire seriously damaged this new building in 1137, the damage done was soon put to rights. The cathedral was eventually declared complete in 1472, and consecrated the same year.

Statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine outside the Minster.

Then, through the 1200's, and right into the 1550's, the church, or cathedral as it had become, was added to, redesigned and improved. The huge central tower was built with a wooden spire (I feel a fire coming on!!)

During the English Reformation, the crown sought to remove any signs of Roman Catholicism from church, with the removal and destruction of many tombs, the destruction of many of the original windows and some of the altars. During the Civil war, York was besieged by the Parliamentarian troops of Oliver Cromwell, eventually falling to his forces in 1644. Thomas Fairfax prevented the cathedral from being looted and indeed damaged. An interesting note here, is that Thomas Fairfax was the Parliamentarian that took Beetham Hall from the Cliffords in the same year as the siege of York, 1644.

From the early 1700's, right through to the 20th century, the cathedral has undergone several phases of restoration and consolidation, with recent work concentrating on the strengthening of the central tower and the foundations.

Holy Trinity, Goodramgate.

Situated a few yards off Goodramgate, the medieval church of Holy Trinity is all but hidden from the many shopping streets that surround it. First mentioned in 1082, the church is reported to have belonged to Durham Cathedral Priory. Soon after this time, the church, in whatever form it took at this early time, was passed to the control of the Archbishop of York, Walter de Gray. In 1236, the rector of the church was Gilbert Capel. He would most likely have taken charge of a small one room\single celled building. It wasn't until the 13th century, that building commenced on a 'proper' church. Portions of the earlier 12th century and the main 13th century buildings still remain buried deep in the fabric of the present church. Of the 12th century building, the window over the altar in the East of the church survives. Of the 13th century building, perhaps only a single pillar on the outer wall of the South of the church survives. The tower is from various stages of the 15th century, and the rest of the building dates from repairs carried out in 1823, and further repairs and restoration during the 19th century.

The interior of the church is furnished with 17th and 18th century box pews...much to my wife's delight...she was put in the 'naughty girl's pew' by our guide, and ridiculed by us all!!

Today the church is redundant, with only one or two services a year. It's well worth a visit, with the grave yard surrounding the church quiet and far-removed from the busy shopping streets a few feet away. The interior is cool and quiet again, and well worth visiting. We visited this church as one of the York history tours, which gives a good insight into the history of the building and its surroundings.

Check the link out! The web site hosts a great history tour of the church, as well as news and events taking place at Holy Trinity.

St Michael le Belfry.

The church of St Michael le Belfry is sandwiched between Petergate and Minster Yard, and probably named for the belfry of York Minster only a few hundred yards away. Built between 1525 and 1537, the church was probably built on the site of an earlier church, possibly dating from the Norman invasion of 1066.

The church's main claim to fame, is that it holds the baptismal records of one Guido Fawkes....Guy Fawkes of the Gun Powder Plot fame....christened here in 1570.