Keswick St John’s Church

Keswick – St John’s Church

Location : Keswick
Grid Ref NY 268232


Keswick - St John's Church. Pic F96P13.


St John’s Church was designed by Anthony Salvin, and the material selected for the construction was a soft pink sandstone from quarries in the Eden Valley. The site for the Church was chosen by the founder, John Marshall, Lord of the Manor of Castlerigg. Salvin worked for John Marshall’s brother William at Patterdale Hall, and later for another brother Henry, on rebuilding the house on nearby Derwent Isle.


Sir John died before building was started, but the project continued, and his remains are interred below the centre aisle of the nave. It was consecrated on St John’s Day, December 27th 1838.


The building, in the Old English style, originally comprised the west tower and spire, and what is now the central nave and vestry. The son of the founder decided to enlarge the building, and in 1862 a north aisle was added, and columns were introduced to support the roof, so that the walls and windows could be moved outwards. 20 years later, the south aisle was added, and in 1889 the chancel was created.


Keswick - St John's Church. Pic F96P13.

There is an interesting selection of stained glass by Henry Holiday, which is described in detail in a Church leaflet. The east window (above), containing 20 panels, is said to be one of his best, and should be viewed early on a sunny morning. It is a memorial to John Marshall, the Church’s founder, who died in 1836.


Hanging above the North aisle, is a banner depicting the young Saint Herbert who lived on an island in Derwentwater during the seventh century. It was created by the internationally renowned sculptress Josefina de Vasconcellos, who was born in Brazil, and has lived in Cumbria most of her life.


Outside the Church there are seats on the terrace for you to sit and enjoy one of the finest views of the hills around Keswick. In the graveyard is the grave of Sir Hugh Walpole, the novelist, who lived in Grange.


Keswick - St John's Church


Aerial photos by Simon Ledingham.


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