Kirkby Thore – St Michael’s Church
Location : Kirkby Thore
Grid Ref NY 638260
St Michael’s, a red sandstone church, dates back to the 12th century, notably the base of the tower. Stone from the Roman Fort, on the route from Carlisle to York, was used in the building of the church. The chancel was enlarged in the 13th century. The nave, chancel (except for one window) and the rectangular west tower survive from these Norman times. From the 14th century are windows, the porch and north aisle. The octagonal font dates from 1688 while the pulpit is dated 1631.
The bellcote, with a single bell, which is believed to have came from Shap Abbey when the abbey was dissolved, is unusual. The bell, the largest in Cumbria, was cast in York in 1450. The outer walls and gravestones are well worth study.
The East window, Christ, St Michael and St Gabriel, and the Nave window of St Cuthbert and St Paulinus, are by Powell of Whitefriars. The south window and North aisle contains brightly coloured 15th century glass.
The oak pulpit dates from 1651, and is carved with flowers, foliage and figures.
Photos by Simon Ledingham.
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