Cumbria & NorthumberlandHome / Church Life / Big Ted / St Mary's Churches / Cumbria & Northumberland
I've visited all these lovely St Mary's Churches in Cumbria & Northumberland. Click on a picture to read a bit more about the church (and maybe see more pictures of me!).
Abbeytown, Cumbria (27)
Blanchland, Northumberland (28)
Cumwhitton, Cumbria (24)
High Hesket, Cumbria (23)
Maryport, Cumbria (26)
Walton, Cumbria (21)
Wigton, Cumbria (25)
Wreay, Cumbria (22)
Go back to my St Mary's Churches page
27. Abbeytown, Cumbria
Abbeytown is also called Holme Abbey (this confusing name thing strikes again) and was built around the Cistercian monastery called Holmcultram Abbey. Just to make it worse, the parish is called "Holme Cultram" (well, really!).
The nave of the abbey is the only bit of the original building left and is now the parish church, and called St Mary's. It has a font with a very nice lid, just right for bears to sit on.
The building was nearly burned down in 2006 but it's been restored with new roof timbers.
28. Blanchland, Northumberland
This church was another abbey that had become the parish church.
Blanchland Abbey, was founded as a "premonstratensian" priory. That long word means that the people who started the abbey were a Roman Catholic religious order of canons regular founded in Prémontré near Laon. That doesn't help much either does it? I thought canons were something to do with guns. Anyway, the abbey was founded in 1165 and is in a very pretty village.
The abbey was dissolved in 1539 (by that naughty King Henry VIII). The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin was built in the 19th century using the bits of the abbey that were still standing.
24. Cumwhitton, Cumbria
I was getting a bit tired by now but I made sure that I had my picture taken by the church sign.
This is another church that has steps and railings outside (I only got a little stuck this time). See High Hesket.
23. High Hesket, Cumbria
I got a bit confused here 'cos I thought this village was called High Hesket, but the sign says it's "Hesket-in-the-Forest". I really think they should sort that out.
I went inside this church and said "Hello" to some nice men who were putting in a new heating system.
There were some steps outside the church which had some railings - of course I got stuck in them. The funny mark in the wall behind me is 148.87 metres above sea level (I bet you're impressed with that!). To find out more go to this website.
26. Maryport, Cumbria
Obviously, the church in Maryport is dedicated to St Derek [snigger]! No it isn't, it's another St Mary's.
The church is really big, it's the biggest building in the town, and so they use it for concerts and all sorts of other stuff. A very nice man showed me around.
It has something called a rood beam. This is a big wooden beam near the ceiling at the entrance to the chancel and has a big cross on top. At Plumtree we have a rood screen at the entrance to the chancel.
This church also has a really nice window at the east end as you can see in this photo.
21. Walton, Cumbria
St Mary's church in Walton has a really comfy wall for bears to sit on, unlike some churches I could mention.
25. Wigton, Cumbria
This is a really bright church. It has lots of box pews all painted white. It also has a gallery for people to sit upstairs. I wasn't allowed upstairs 'cos I might have fallen over the edge. As a veteran bungee jumper I'm quite used to heights now.
The church has four new windows that were put in by the broadcaster Mr Melvyn Bragg who was brought up in Wigton and went to school here. They are in memory of his family and are very pretty. You can see two of them in this photo of me.
You can also see I'm holding another "churchwarden's staff" in this photo and Uncle Les has managed to get the top bit of it in (I think he's been practising).
22. Wreay, Cumbria (you say it so it rhymes with "rear")
A holly hedge! Well that's not fair on a bear with a very tender bottom (or "Wreay" [snigger]). But despite the holly hedge by the sign, this is a really lovely church.
I went inside it and found that it has an apse (this means the building has a round bit at the altar end) with little niches in it. The church was designed by a lady called Sarah Losh between 1840 and 1842.
Look! Here's me inside the church sitting on the carved font and also sitting on a large stone pine cone! You can see the apse behind me in both photos.