Saturday, 14 December 2013

Long Marton, St Margaret and St James

St Margaret and St James
Long Marton

This is a beautiful squat, solid looking church, with some very interesting and intriguing items. The West tower is mostly 12th century, with draw bar slots and huge leaded holes where hinges for a heavy door would have hung. The West wall of the Nave, the North wall and most of the South wall are all 12th century. The North and South walls of the Chancel also date from this period, whilst the vestry and the far East of the Chancel were added in the 14th century.

Above. Tympanum above the door in the tower, and Saxon carved tiles (light altered to show carvings)

It's likely that the beautifully carved typmanum over the tower door is of Norman origin (possibly late 12th century) whilst the rectangular tiles below could be of Saxon origin (pre-1066)

Above. Tympanum above the South door.

Above. Ink drawings of the two tympana at Long Marton's church.

The print (above) shows the carvings in better detail, as they're quite well worn now.

Above. Three bells stored on the ground floor of the tower.

Above. The surviving strong box.

Above. Possible altar table.

Above. Grave slab reused as a window lintel in the Chancel.

The sedilia and piscina in the Chancel all date from the 14th century (shown below)

Above. 14th century sedilia in the Chancel. 

Above. 14th century piscina in the Chancel.

Above. Aumbrey set in the Chancel wall.

Above. Aumbrey set in the Chancel wall.

Above. Looking from the Nave into the Chancel.

Above. Looking from the Chancel down the Nave towards the gallery.

The Nave still retains its gallery, a rare survivor in an area where many churches have had them removed.

Above. The East window in the Chancel.

The Rood screen looks to have been incorporated into the altar in the East of the Chancel.

Above. The South chapel.

The South chapel was added in the 14th century.

Above. Looking into the Chancel.

Above. Close up of the plinth upon which the tower has been built.

Above. Blocked priest's doorway in the North wall of the Nave.

Above. Possible Saxon window, now blocked.

There's some further information on the doorway between the Nave and the tower here.

Kirkby Thore, the stained glass of St Michael

Stained glass of St Michael
Kirkby Thore

Above. Very simple two light stained glass window with a tiny rose window above.

Above. Two light window portraying St Cuthbert and St Paul.

The dedication states that the window was placed by friends and parishioners of the Rev. John Reeks(?), Recotor of the parish, who died on the 16th of March, 1893.

Above. Another simple two light stained glass window. The rose window above, seems to contain some pieces of much older glass.

Above. Close up of the rose window and its older stained glass fragments.

Above. Three light window portraying St Michael (left), Jesus and Saint Gabriel (right)

This is the first time I've ever seen the angel Gabriel as a Saint, and he\she is portrayed here with one of the other Archangels, Michael. The window is in memory of James Nicholson who died on the 9th of May, 1827. Also, Margaret, his wife, who died on the 16th September, 1868, and their four sones, John, Thomas, Richard and James who are also buried at the church. The window was gifted to the church by their daughter, Mary Nicholson in 1891.

Above. Close up of the tiny fragments of old glass.

Kirkby Thore, St Michael

St Michael
Kirkby Thore

This is another church in the area that can boast a Norman tower and walls. The tower, and the South walls of the Nave all date from teh 12th century. This wall contains windows inserted in a 14th century rebuild. Local legend has it, that stone from a Roman fort on the road to Carlisle was used in the building of the church.

Above. South view of the church.

Above. The East window.

Above. Bricked up priest's door in the North wall.

Above. Fragment of Roman tomb stone preserved in the Nave.

Above. The pulpit dates to 1631.

Above. The octagonal font, dating from 1688.

Above. View down the very narrow Nave into the Chancel.

Above. Looking back into the Nave from the Chancel.

Above. 13th century pier against 12th century walls.

Above. 13th century quatrefoil pier separating the Nave and the North Aisle.

Above. Squint for looking from the chapel to the Chancel.

Above. The interior of the Norman tower, one floor below the bell.

Above. A sneaky peak into the bell tower.

It's thought that the bell, quite possibly one of the largest in Cumbria, came from Shap Abbey, dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540, and was cast in York in 1450.

Above. Panoramic shot of carvings on the altar rail.

The communion rail\altar rail, dates from the early 1600s, and reads "A.R.Caroli II 35" meaning the 35th year of Charles II's reign (beginning in 1649)

St Michael's now finds itself on the English Heritage At Risk Register, needing to raise around £70,000 to complete an urgent programme of repairs. Check this link for more information.