St Kentigern Church (Great Crosthwaite)

(See also Great Crosthwaite , Keswick)

St Kentigern church Great Crosthwaite by Alexander P KappSt Kentigern Church is located in Great Crosthwaite, on the western edge of Keswick. It is said a place of worship existed on the present site of St Kentigern Church as early as the 7th century. The church is dedicated to the early missionary, St Kentigern, meaning “head chief”. In Scotland he is referred to as St Mungo, meaning “dear one”. Documented information about his life is lacking, and much legend surrounds it. It is thought he was born at Culross, Fife, Scotland and began his missionary life at Cathures on the Clyde, where Glasgow sits today. Some records say he journeyed to Wales, where he established St Asaph's monastery. Later he moved to Cumbria, which at the time was part of Strathclyde.

St Kentigern church interior Great Crosthwaite by Alexander P KappThe church, built in the Late Perpendicular style in 1523, retains its original 14th century north chapel of the church. Much of the church was altered in the 14th-16th centuries, and there was further renovation in the 19th century. The church contains a complete set of consecration crosses-17 in all-that mark where the bishop sprinkled holy water to consecrate the church. There are stained glass windows of note, some by Charles Kempe. They date from the 12th-16th centuries. A sundial and old clock add to the atmosphere. The organ, although rebuilt, dates from 1837.

St Kentigern church memorial to Robert Southey Great Crosthwaite by Alexander P KappA marble memorial to Robert Southey, poet laureate, lies in the church, and his grave is in the churchyard. Another famous grave is that of Canon Rawnsley, the vicar from 1888-1917 and co-founder of the National Trust. The baptistry, which contains a font dated 1400, was created in his honour.

St Kentigern's Feast Day is January 13th.
Leaflet available in the church showing famous people buried in the grounds.
Tel. 017687 72509 for service details.

Crosthwaite Church, on the outskirts of Keswick, is dedicated to St Kentigern. Near the B5289

Photos courtesy of Alexander P Kapp

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