Burgh by Sands

Burgh by Sands

Grid Ref NY 328591


Burgh by Sands lies within the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, west of the City of Carlisle.


Hadrian’s Wall is the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. It stretches seventy-three miles from Wallsend near Newcastle, across the neck of England to Bowness-on-Solway, in North West Cumbria, and stands today as a reminder of the past glories of one of the world’s greatest empires. It passes through the village of Burgh-by-Sands.


St Michael’s Church was built within the Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall late in the 12th Century. It occupies the probable site of one of the central buildings in the fort – perhaps the grannary. Much of the stone used to build the Church came from the fort, or from the wall.



The West tower is probably the earliest of three surviving examples of fortified churches in the 14th Century. The other two are Newton Arlosh and Great Salkeld. The tower was intended to serve as a fortress and a place of refuge.


Access to the pele tower is through a narrow doorway in the massive wall, guarded by a massive iron gate with two bolts. The iron skeleton was probably boarded over with oak planks like the door at Great Salkeld.


The building of the aisle and lengthening of the chancel are monuments to more peaceful times, before the war between England and Scotland started after the death of Edward I at Burgh-by-Sands on 7th July 1307.



At the end of the River Eden, at the Solway Firth, is the Edward the First Monument, surrounded by a spiked iron fence, which marks the death-site of Edward I, the ‘Hammer of the Scots’. Edward I initiated the Hundred Year War against France, and also acted as one of the prime architects of three hundred years of almost continuous warfare with Scotland. He died on the edge of the Solway, on 7th July 1307, on his way north for a last assault on his enemy. The Latin inscription on the monument describes him as ‘the greatest English king’.


On 3rd July 2007, a bronze statue of Edward I was unveiled by HRH The Duke of Kent to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of King Edward I (7th July 1307).


The King Edward I statue is on the Village Green in Burgh by Sands, and has been donated to the village by Fred Story of Story Construction Ltd.


There was a firing range stretched along the remote north Solway wetlands from Glasson in the west, through Drumburgh, and over to Burgh-by-Sands in the east. It was for use by No:9 Operational training Unit based at RAF Crosby-on-Eden, east of Carlisle. Still remaining is a large concrete target guide-arrow pointing out to the target, which was located in the Solway Firth.


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