Built on a man made mound, dating back to pre Christian times, St James defensive position overlooks the river Eden and the cluster of buildings that make up Ormside Hall.
St Lawrence’s church stands proudly at the other end of Boroughgate from Appleby Castle.
The church is light and spacious and contains many interesting windows and monuments.
The oldest part of our church is the lower parts of the tower, which date back to the 12th century. The pillars in the nave are from about 1300. The porch is from a similar age, but the dog tooth moulding around the main door is about 100 years older. The carved wooden screens behind the choir stalls date from about 1500.
Our church is the burial place of Lady Anne Clifford and her mother (Lady Margaret), both of whom have large monuments. Lady Anne’s black marble monument in the North Chapel is covered in heraldry showing her lineage, which she successfully fought for and of which she was proud. There are two carvings in the rafters connected with the time she restored the building. Lady Margaret’s monument is a beautiful alabaster reclining figure on a raised plinth.
There is also a connection to George Washington, as his father and half brothers attended Appleby Grammar School and the church has a monument to a teacher at the school at that time.
Above the chancel arch, we have an interesting and unusual royal coat of arms with an inscription.
We have the housing for a small chained library.
The Corporation Pew under the pulpit dates from about 1720 and is still used by the Mayor and Councillors on civic occasions. Note also the late Stewart Sword Rest on the pillar over the Corporation Pew.
The organ at the back of the church with its richly ornamented case was a gift to the town of Appleby from Carlisle Cathedral in about 1683.