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Discover the wonder of Cumbria's sacred heritage.

Cumbria has a history of invasion and settlement; the Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Normans and Border Rievers have each left their story in it's church buildings.

Characteristically small and simple, yet not without beauty and grace, they reflect a rural landscape formed of lakes, mountains, coastline and border frontiers. Georgian century prosperity, Victorian engineering and romanticism contributed to the county known as the land of lakes and fells, Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.

Explore the best of Cumbria's church heritage. 

Here are a just few to whet your appetite, visit our map to find many more.


Cumbria churches on our map

St Cuthbert, Bewcastle

Early Celtic Christians believed there were physical locations where the natural world and the spiritual world touch, Bewcastle has a wild and untamed feel and an enigmatic history of faith.


All Saints, Boltongate

On the edge of the Lake District with views across to Skiddaw, the outwardly perpendicular All Saints belies what Pevsner describes as ‘one of the architectural sensations of Cumbria’.


St Michael, Burgh by Sands

In an area of outstanding natural beauty, this impressive fortified church is one of three Solway churches built from the stones of Hadrian's Wall and where Edward I laid in state.


Cartmel Priory

Cartmel has been described as a medieval jewel, making a lasting impression overshadowing the village and giving an idea of the way early priories must have dominated their surroundings.


St Anthony, Cartmel Fell

Perhaps protected from Cromwell by its remoteness and from the Victorians by lack of funds for improvements, St Anthony's, hidden in the fell side, remains much the same as when it was built in 1504.


St Oswald, Grasmere

Well known because of its associations with the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth, who lived in nearby Dove Cottage and is buried in the churchyard, every year Grasmere celebrates the ancient custom of rushbearing.


St Cuthbert, Great Salkeld

Norman beasts and human faces greet you as you enter one of Cumbria's three churches with a fortified pele tower, once a place of refuge from marauding border raiders.


St Michael & All Angels, Hawkshead

Built by eye rather than from a plan, standing long and low, Wordsworth's once 'snow white church upon a hill', this is one of the best Lake District churches.


Cautley Chapel, Sedbergh

Located in the western dales, the now tranquil area once echoed with the noise of the 19th century growth of the railways it is one of many Methodist chapels that provided welfare and spiritual help to the rail workers.


Discover more from us

Hadrian’s wall

The Tyne Valley is known for its fine concentration of early churches, many built with stones recycled from the wall, arguably the best surviving concentration north of the Alps!

Mountain churches

Ten of our favourite mountain churches. Sheltered in hidden valleys underneath our highest mountains, offering places of comfort after a day exploring the surrounding fells.

National Parks

From the rugged wilds of the Cairngorms in Scotland and the ancient woodlands of the New Forest in southern England to the golden shores of the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales, all of our National Parks are truly special places.

The trust aims to support and encourage sustainable use of churches to help keep these unique buildings and communities alive.

Visit the Lake District, the place to be for stunning landscapes with lakes, mountains, coastline, historic places to visit and attractions.

Getting here

Cumbria is easy to get to by car, most visitors will travel along the M6 motorway which runs to the east of the Lake District National Park. 

The West Coast mainline runs to the east of the Lake District, connecting Oxenholme, Penrith and Carlisle with London and Glasgow. A direct train runs from Manchester to Windermere. There are local routes and the Cumbrian coastline.

The nearest airports are Manchester to the south and Glasgow to the north.