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Brampton Church of St Martin

In the civil parish of Brampton.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY51016155
Latitude 54.94624° Longitude -2.76638°

Brampton Church of St Martin has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


The remains of a disused church, C12 with later alterations and additions. Built on the site of a Roman fort with stone from Hadrian's Wall. The church formerly consisted of a tower, nave and chancel; only the chancel and a porch of 1861, with a sexton's lean-to on the north side now survive. The rest was demolished between 1787 and 1789, the stone was used to improve the chapel in Brampton. It was restored in 1891 and used as a cemetery chapel. The church was declared redundant in 1978. (PastScape)

Local tradition states that a church dedicated to St Martin, teacher of the late fourth century/early fifth century AD Scottish saint, Ninian, used the abandoned Roman fort as a shelter. The earliest documentary evidence for the church dates to 1169 when it is mentioned as a gift at the dedication of Lanercost Priory. It was partly constructed of reused stone from Hadrian's Wall. A fortified tower was added to the west end of the church during the 14th century as defence during the Border Wars and this tower is depicted in a sketch made during a survey of Hawkhirst in 1753. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the church was granted initially to the Dacre family in 1536 and then the Howard family after 1569. The construction of a new chapel in Brampton town centre led to the closure and part demolition of St Martin's old church in 1789. The tower and nave were demolished leaving only the chancel which was modified and continued in use as the church. The old oval churchyard, whose eastern boundary still remains as the present churchyard boundary, also continued in use and this was extended in 1861 and 1889. (Scheduling Report)

The C14 church tower was demolished at the end of C18 and was sketched in the mid C18. Quite what the evidence is that this was a 'fortified' tower, rather than the usual crenellated belfry, is unclear. The surviving chancel is solid with small windows but hardly fortified.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

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