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The Churches of Cumbria

Church buildings are a constant feature of Cumbria's landscape. Typically they are the oldest building within a parish, contributing a key part of the traditional iconography of our towns, villages and rural landscapes. They are some of the most architecturally, culturally and historically significant buildings in an area. These 'living' buildings, functioning as places of worship, are a repository of heritage, often displaying inside and out, an array of local and national craftsmanship, as well as telling the 'story' of Cumbria's communities.

Cumbria has a history of invasion and settlement; the Romans, Celts, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Normans and Border Rievers, all have lived and worshipped here and have each left their story in our church buildings; a fusion reflected in stone. Characteristically small and simple, yet not without beauty and grace, they reflect the religious, social and economics of a rural landscape formed of lakes, mountains, coastline and border frontiers..

The Anglo-Scottish war (c1296 - c1513) curtailed the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, yet retained Norman influences as well as creating Cumbria's distinctive fortified churches. 18th century prosperity produced classical formality, Victorian growth and romanticism, contributed to the county known as the land of lakes and fells, Wordsworth, and Beatrix Potter. The history of Cumbria and its people can be read in the stone of our churches, revealing the reveal the diversity of the county and the landscape in which they belong.

The Churches Trust for Cumbria exists to provide support to church buildings across Cumbria. We aim to encourage the sustainable use of these unique heritage buildings and their communities alive.

Churches Trust for CumbriaYou can view further details below on the churches around the county.
To help, we have put them into different sections, based on location around the county.


Cartmel Priory Tour

Historic Tour at Cartmel Priory

Monday to Saturday, any time of year.

With a history and heritage dating back centuries,  Cartmel Priory has many a story to tell. Its a place of legends, myths and stories. Steeped in history and rich with culture, the church has undergone bouts of expansion, ruin and transformation to get to where it is today. With over 800 years of history, Cartmel Priory has a story that visitors will find fascinating.

Find out more


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