Church of St Mary, Abbeytown


St Mary's Church is the Parish Church in Abbeytown, Cumbria. The present church was formed from part of Holm Cultram Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that had been founded in 1150. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, parishioners were allowed to continue worshipping in the nave of the old abbey. The tower of the church collapsed in 1600 .The church is a Grade I listed building.
Extract from: Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland, by Daniel Scott, 1899. p.30. in the section: "Fighting Bishops and Fortified Churches."
That the abbey of Holme Cultram was once both a fortress and a church is shown to this day by the remains of earthworks which once served for its defence. Curious entries in the parish books also indicate the bitter hatred of the Cumbrians for those from over the Border. The value of the abbey is shown by a petition of the inhabitants of the lordship to Cromwell in 1538, when they asked “for the preservation and standynge of the Church of Holme Cultrane before saide; whiche is not onlye unto us our parish Churche, and little ynoughe to receyve all us, your poore Orators, but also a great ayde, socor, and defence for us agenst our neghbours the Scots, witheaut the whiche, few or none of your Lordshipp’s supplyants are able to pay the King his saide Highness our bounden dutye and service, ande wee shall not onelye praye for his graciouse noble estate, but also your Lordshipp’s prosperitie with increase of honour long to endure.”

St Mary's Church is in the village of Abbeytown, Cumbria, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Solway, the archdeaconry of West Cumberland, and the diocese of Carlisle. Its benefice is united with those of six local churches to form the Solway Plain Team Ministry. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.

History

The present church has been formed from part of the church of Holmcultram Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that had been founded in 1150 by King David of Scotland and his son Henry. In 1507 the Abbot, Robert Chambers, added a west porch. At the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, the local parishioners were worshipping in the nave of the church, and they were allowed to continue to use it. The tower fell on New Year's Day 1600, destroying the choir and the north transept. By this time the endowment was owned by the University of Oxford, who carried out repairs, hampered in 1604 by a fire. During the 18th century, more repairs and alterations were carried out. Between 1727 and 1739, the nave was shortened from nine to six bays, the aisle arcades were filled in, the clerestory was removed, and galleries and a flat ceiling were added. The galleries were removed in 1883. In 1884–85 a vestry was added. In 1913 the church was restored; this included removal of the flat ceiling. An ambulatory was added to the south side of the church in 1973. On 9 June 2006 a fire was started in the church by a thief. This destroyed the wooden roof, and damaged the stonework and the stained glass. A new oak roof was installed in 2008.

Architecture

Exterior

St Mary's is constructed in large blocks of red sandstone from Scotland. The roof is mainly of green slate, with some Welsh grey slate. Its plan consists of a continuous six-bay nave and chancel, a west porch, an ambulatory, and a north vestry and organ chamber. On the west gable is a double bellcote. The west porch is in two storeys with a round-arched doorway, inscribed with the name of Robert Chambers, his coat of arms, and the date 1507. The upper floor has been converted into a vestry, and contains two two-light lancet windows. The side walls of the nave contain round-headed casement windows. The east window, which was relocated in 1730, is Perpendicular in style, dating from about 1630. Inside the porch and ambulatory are graveslabs to members of the Chambers family. The inner doorway of the porch is Norman, with four orders of columns. Another Norman doorway leads from the church into the ambulatory (it originally entered the south aisle).

Interior

Inside the church the blocked arcades have pointed arches carried on clustered piers. Above the west door is a singers' gallery. In the church are two ancient chests, and fragments of carved stones. The stained glass in the east window is by William Wailes. There is more glass by Wailes elsewhere, and windows by Powells, and by E. and C. O'Neill. Parts of the tomb of Richard Chambers, who died in 1518, are in the ambulatory. The two-manual pipe organ, made by Nicholson and Lord, was destroyed in the 2006 fire.

External features

The churchyard wall to the south of the church has been listed at Grade II. It consists of sandstone blocks on a medieval plinth. This is the site of the south aisle wall of the former abbey church, and the plinth incorporates the excavated foundations of the entrance to the abbey's cloister. The abbey site is a scheduled monument.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 19/09/2018).
Visit the page: St Mary's Church, Abbeytown for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.

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St Mary's Church, Abbeytown

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (1)

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (4)

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from https://historicengland.org...
CHURCH OF ST MARY - Abbeytown - List Entry
- "Cistercian Abbey now Parish Church. Founded 1150 with early C16 addition and alterations dated 1730; 1884-5 vestry and 1913 restoration; 1973 ambulatory. Large blocks of red sandstone (brought across the ...

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Simon Cotterill
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St Mary's Church, Abbeytown

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (13)

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (9)

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (7)

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (3)

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Monastic carved head in Holme Cultram Abbey

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (2)

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The east window at St. Mary's, Abbey Town

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (6)

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (10)

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Abbey Church of St. Mary, Holme Cultram Abbey

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Interior of Abbeytown Parish Church

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Holm Cultram Abbey

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Former Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin

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Abbeytown Churchyard

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (8)

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Holme Cultram Abbey/Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin-March 2016 (5)

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Church of St John the Baptist, Newton Arlosh
  Co-Curate Page
Church of St John the Baptist, Newton Arlosh
- Overview About St John the Evangelist's Church Map Street View St John's Church in Newton Arlosh was built in 1303 by the Monks of nearby Holm Cultram Abbey; the font ...

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