Penrith Church of St Andrew

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are major building remains

NamePenrith Church of St Andrew
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishPenrith

Medieval parish church with fortified west tower. Built in the 12th and 13th centuries and altered in the 15th century. The church was rebuilt and the west doorway inserted in 1720-22. Restoration work was carried out at various times between 1863 and 1922. Apart from the stones of the Giant's Grave in the churchyard, there are two Anglian cross-shafts of 10th century date built into the fabric of the church. (PastScape)

The church tower is considerably thicker than the walling of the rest of the church, and clearly reveals that it was fortified to resist the Scots. (PastScape–ref. Perriam and Robinson)

Gatehouse Comments

With respect to Perriam and Robinson this conclusion is not clear. Bell towers are often more thickly walled as they need to be stronger because of the greater weight of masonry from a taller tower, the weight of the bells and the problems from the vibration of the bells. The many reports of collapsed medieval bell towers show this was a distinct difficulty. Gatehouse suspects defences was a part of the reason for the design of this church tower but that, as a town with more wealth than most village churches, a collection of larger bells also played a part.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceNY516301
Latitude54.6641006469727
Longitude-2.75146007537842
Eastings351650
Northings530160
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Brooke, C.J., 2000, Safe Sanctuaries (Edinburgh; John Donald) p. 311-313
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 214
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth) p. 173-4
  • Whellan, W., 1860, The History and Topography of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmorland (Pontefract: W.Whellan and Co.) p. 603 online copy

Journals

  • Collingwood, W.G., 1923, 'An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Cumberland' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 23 p. 225 online copy

Other

  • English Heritage, 2006, Extensive Urban Survey - Cumbria (Cumbria County Council) Download copy