Melmerby Church of St John the Baptist

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameMelmerby Church of St John the Baptist
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishOusby

Church, founded C13 but extensively restored in C19. Medieval stonework survives in north and end walls; coursed, squared rubble. C19 work of sandstone blocks. Plinth, string, and moulded eaves; stepped buttressing. Graduated slate roof with stone copings, gabled kneelers, and C19 apex crosses. Single cell plan with 3-stage tower added to north-west corner in 1848. Gabled porch moved from west end and rebuilt on south side in 1895; blocked medieval door on north side. Some medieval windows, others C19. Internally, nave originally divided by 2 rows of piers, now open with offset chancel arch. Piscina in south wall of chancel has damaged octofoil drain; tomb-slab in chancel is carved with crocketed cross, sword, and coat of arms.(Listed Building Report)

CJ Brooke suggests that the thickness of the walls here, and the position of the original tower, may suggest that this was a tower built for defensive purposes, as well as the normal ecclesiastical purposes of a church tower. (Matthew Emmott)

Gatehouse Comments

The evidence for Brooke's suggestion is weak.

- 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
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY610374
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
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. 319-320
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Old Parish Churches of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications)