Longtown (Arthuret) – St Michael and All Angels Church
South of Longtown, just off the A6071.
Arthuret Church, which is on the outskirts of Longtown, dates from 1150. It was originally served by the monks of Jedbergh. The present Church, dedicated to St Michael and All Angels was built in 1609 in a late Gothic style. The building was financed by a collection taken throughout the realm in the reign of King James I, because the people were considered to be without faith.
Archie Armstrong, favourite Court Jester to James I, and later Charles I, is buried in the Churchyard. In the Churchyard is also an unusual stone cross, consisting of two parts of an early medieval wheel-head cross clamped together on a tapering shaft with 19th Century decorations.
Near the church on the west side and situated half way down the escarpment is a spring known as St Michael’s Well. This has been refurbished and fenced with metal railings by the Parish Council.
Nearby lies the site of the famous 1542 Battle of Solway Moss, fought between the Scottish and the English armies. James V had defeated the English at Haddon Rig in August 1542 and then decided to invade England with approximately 10,000 men. Sir Thomas Wharton, with only 3000 English, met him at Solway Moss.
The wooded hill in the foreground is supposed to be the site of the Battle of Arthuret (circa 573AD), at which Urien of Reghed fought off the Anglo-Saxon invaders from the east coast.
Aerial photos by Simon Ledingham.
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