Cartmel has been described as the medieval jewel among churches, making a lasting impression on the visitor, overshadowing the village as it does and giving an idea of the way early priories must have dominated their surroundings.
The striking pink sandstone is expressed internally and adds another dimension to this peaceful space. The beautiful architecture creates a fantastic space for worship.
Immediately recognisable as a design by Austin & Paley and definitely one of their finest commissions in the area. Architectural themes are picked up throughout the building and continue to also include the design of the lychgate.
The spirit of the Arts & Crafts movement is reflected here with the architect being involved in every element of the design, the carvings on the pew ends and fronts and the pulpit are each unique, and quite beautiful. Unlike some earlier churches, which are a mixture of styles and periods, St Peter’s has a holistic approach to design and retains many of the original features, including the font of Dent fossil marble with an acorn decorating the timber cover. St Peter’s is unusual in having three fonts, one of which came from the earlier chapel. The organ by Foster and Andrews of Hull is considered to be remarkably fine.
Please have a look at the very fine stained glass windows. The beautiful muted colours of the east window by CE Kempe depicts Our Lord’s Passion. A William Morris window shows Faith Hope and Charity, and there are several windows by Abbott and Co.
The ladies of the village created the very beautiful altar frontals many years ago, which remain in use today.
A trip up to the spire provides a wonderful view of the entire valley and on the way up the tower you can see the one large and one small bell installed in the loft. In fact, on our annual parish walk, a 14 mile circuit of the parish boundary, the spire is in view almost all the way.
The present church was completed in 1894, replacing an older chapel of ease which was consecrated in 1745. The site of the chapel lies on the east of the church pathway just inside the lych gate. The position of its altar is marked by the red sandstone cross and grave of the first incumbent of the present church, the Reverend Henry Ransome, who was vicar here until his death in 1917.