Penrith – St Andrew’s Church
A church has stood on this site since 1133, and the present church was built in 1720, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, a pupil of Christopher Wren, and modelled on St Andrew’s Holborn.
The tower remains from the original 13th century church, and has walls six feet thick, and was probably used as a pele tower.
The organ was said when it was installed to be one of the finest in the North of England. The church has an interesting stained-glass East Window by Hardman and Powell, inserted in 1870. It is surrounded by murals painted in 1844 by a local artist, Jacob Thompson.
In the graveyard is the ‘Giant’s Thumb’, a Norse cross dating from 920 AD, and erected as a memorial to his father by Owen Caesarius, King of Cumbria from 920 to 937 AD. There is a tradition that the ‘Giant’s Grave’ is the grave of Owen himself. The four hogback stones surrounding the grave are said to represent wild boar he killed in nearby Inglewood Forest. The two norse crosses are some 11 feet high.
Nearby is the grave of John and Mary Hutchinson, parents of William Wordsworth‘s wife Mary.
Window photos by Matthew Emmott.
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