Barton Church of St Michael

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are major building remains

NameBarton Church of St Michael
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWestmorland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishBarton

Nave and central tower, C12; south aisle and arcade, mid C13; north aisle, arcade and south chapel, c1300; chancel, tower arches and chapel arch, early C14. Brooke writes "the buiders of this church undoubtedly had security in mind."

Parish Church of St. Michael (Plate 75) stands in the N. part of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings and ashlar of the same material; the roofs are slate-covered. The Central Tower and Nave were built in the 12th century. The Chancel was re-built in the 13th century, and rather after the middle of the same century the S. arcade was built and the South Aisle added; c. 1280–1300 the N. arcade was built and the North Aisle added. About 1300 the South Chapel was added, overlapping the tower, and early in the 14th century the chancel was largely re-built and extended to the E.; probably at the same period the tower-arches were re-built and widened and the tower probably reduced in height. In the 17th century the South Porch and Stabling, N. of the tower, were added and the chancel heightened. The church was restored in 1904 and the S. wall of the chancel has been largely re-built, probably in the 17th century. (RCHME 1936)

Nave and central tower, C12; south aisle and arcade, mid C13; north aisle, arcade and south chapel, c1300; chancel, tower arches and chapel arch, early C14. West and north windows, and south-east chapel window, early C16; south porch, stabling to north of tower, part of chancel south wall and roof, C17; vestry and some restored tracery to south windows, c1904. Dressed stone with ashlar dressings and slate roof. Coped gables and catslide roofs to aisles and chapel. Most windows of paired round-headed lights, 3-light window to south aisle, and 3-light east and west windows. Squat tower has paired bell openings and plain parapet

South porch has elliptical arch with key and panel bearing Lowther arms to gable; inner entrance is round-headed, of 3 orders. The church occupies a site on a mound with a circular churchyard which suggests earlier origins. (Lake District HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The central tower is certainly strongly built but it dates from the C12, a time of relative peace in this area. The surrounding aisles and large windowed chancel, which can not be described as defensive, were built in the time when there were periods of cross border warfare and it is also at this time the possible defensive elements of the central tower are much reduced.

- 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
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY485264
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved

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  • Brooke, C.J., 2000, Safe Sanctuaries (Edinburgh; John Donald) p. 303-4
  • RCHME, 1936, An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland (HMSO) p. 35- no. 1 plan [online transcription >]