Newton Arlosh – St John’s Church
Newton Arlosh, New Town on the Marsh, came into being when the nearby village of Skinburness was destroyed by the sea. A Church was built in 1303 by the Monks of Holm Cultram Abbey, nearby. After the dissolution, the church fell into a state of ruin, and stayed thus for some 250 years.
In 1843, thanks to the generosity of Miss Sarah Losh (1785-1853) who designed and built St Mary’s Church in Wreay, the Church was restored and extended. She is credited with the stone ram’s head flanking the altar, and with the eagle on the eastern ridge of the roof. The lecturn with its base of bog oak, is another of her works, together with a palm tree base intended as part of the pulpit. The oldest item in the Church, is the Font, which was brought from Holm Cultram Abbey.
The original building is regarded, along with Burgh-by-Sands and Great Salkeld, as a fine example of the fortified churches erected in the border area during the 14th Century. The walls are very thick, and the entrance door is only 31 inches wide, with access to the pele tower through a narrow doorway in the massive wall. In times of attack by the Scots, the villagers would round up their animals, and take refuge.
Aerial photo by Simon Ledingham.
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