Greystoke Church of St Andrew

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameGreystoke Church of St Andrew
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishGreystoke

Parish church, at one time a college for priests. C13 with extensive C15 alterations and additions, with restorations of 1645, 1848 and 1878-99. Dressed mixed red, pink and cream sandstone, with string courses, parapet and angle buttresses with finials, all on chamfered plinth. Graduated greenslate roofs with coped gables and cross finials. Square west tower; aisled nave with south porch and priest's chamber, now vestry; chancel. Rebuilt 1848 3-stage tower has pointed doorway and small trefoil-headed windows under hoodmoulds. Battlemented parapet with angle water spouts. North aisle has pointed -arched doorway but wall above has been rebuilt in C19 with 3 of the 4 Perpendicular windows replaced. 5-light east window. South aisle is completely C15: round-arched doorway under hoodmould within C15 gabled stone porch. Further blocked round-arched central doorway (probably to chantry chapel, of which there were 6). Large 3-light windows and small Tudor window over porch, all under continuous hoodmould. Priest's chamber above has 2-light Tudor windows on 2 levels, under battlemented parapet; projecting round angle turret. Large 5-light east window. Chancel has inscription in north wall THIS CHANCEL WAS REPAIRED 1645 BY THOS HOWARD OF GREYSTOKE EARL OF ARUNDEL AND SURREY AND W. MORLAND RECTOR: WAS RESTORED 1848 BY HENRY HOWARD OF GREYSTOKE & HENRY ASKEW RECTOR. Perpendicular windows and south priest's door. 5-light east window. Interior: C19 open timber roof. 6-bay arcades of pointed arches, the eastern arches larger and intended for transepts, the remainder on round piers replaced in 1817-18. Wall plaque to William Williams, 1679. North aisle has hatchment of Howard arms. Stained glass window by Kempe, 1901. Remains of rood stair. South aisle has various C17, C18 and C19 wall plaques, piscina and alabaster effigies of William Lord Greystoke 1359 and John Lord Greystoke, 1436; also 4 C16 brasses originally in the chancel

2 4-light flat-headed windows look into aisle from upper floor of priest's chamber. Interior of priest's chamber has piscina and C15 fireplace. Newel with squint. Hatchments of arias and C19 stained glass. 3-bay chancel has C14 stained glass reset in east window. Panelled oak chair stalls with misericords. Rood screen has some C15 woodwork. North tomb recess, south piscina and sedilia are 1848 restorations. Various inscribed shields set in north wall relate to the College of Greystoke; other C19 stained glass. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Although heavily restored with little medieval fabric remaining Brooke writes this church may have been a defensive refuge for villagers. Gatehouse is quite sure that in times of trouble parishioners would seek refuge in their local church, wherever this was. This is far from the same as suggesting a parish church was 'fortified' or 'defensive'. Brooke does not cite any actual evidence that this church had any unusual features.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY443307
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reservedView full Sized Image
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reservedView full Sized Image

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  • Brooke, C.J., 2000, Safe Sanctuaries (Edinburgh; John Donald) p. 309-11
  • Knowles, David and Hadcock, R. Neville, 1971, Medieval religious houses in England and Wales (Longman)┬áp. 426
  • Wilson, James (ed), 1905, VCH Cumberland Vol. 2 p. 204-8 online copy