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Ormside Church of St James

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Ormside.
In the historic county of Westmorland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Westmorland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY70151764
Latitude 54.55314° Longitude -2.46314°

Ormside Church of St James has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Parish church, dating from the late C11 with later alterations and additions. Coursed, squared rubble has been used in earlier parts and snecked rubble for later work. The nave and lower chancel roofs are graduated slate on the south side and stone flagged on the north, with stone copings and C19 apex crosses. The tower roof is gabled and the vestry outshut is of graduated slate. The tower is clearly defensible, and was built in C13. (PastScape)

Parish Church of St. James (Plate 146) stands on a knoll or mound at the N. end of the parish. The walls are of sandstone rubble and of water-worn stones in the oldest part of the building; the dressings are also of sandstone and the roofs are slate-covered. The Nave with a small square Chancel was built probably late in the 11th century and to this a N. aisle was added about the middle of the 12th century; soon after the W. wall was taken down and a new W. front built to carry a bell-cote, immediately to the W. of it. The West Tower was added c. 1200 and about the same time the chancel was lengthened about 8 or 9 ft. to the E. The chancel was largely re-built, lengthened and widened towards the S. late in the 15th or early in the 16th century. A S. porch was added in the 16th or 17th century. The Hilton Chapel was built in 1723 partly on the site of the former aisle. The church was restored in the 19th century when the South Porch was taken down and reconstructed farther W., the chapel-arch re-built and the North Vestry added on the site of an earlier building.
The church has interesting early features and the mediæval bells are noteworthy. In the churchyard was found the late 7th-century Ormside bowl now in the Yorks. Phil. Soc.'s Museum. More recently, Viking remains have also been found in the churchyard. (RCHME 1936)

See also Ormside Ringwork.
Did the church tower start out as a 'lordship tower' for a manorial centre?
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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