Our Lady Star of the Sea & St Michael

The church was designed by Edward Welby Pugin (son of Augustus Welby Pugin) and built between 1873 - 1876 to replace a chapel in the grounds which now forms part of St Joseph's High School.

About this church

It was the home of Benedictine Monks from St Laurence's Monastery, Ampleforth for 199 years before being given over to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lancaster in 2009. It has a distinctive large vaulted interior designed to enhance musical and liturgical acoustics.

Situated close to Workington town centre and set in extensive grounds, surrounded by mature trees, the church of Our Lady Star of the Sea & St Michael is designed in Gothic Revival (Early English) style.

Above the front door is a bellcote below which is a large carved stone crucifix, a carving of Our Lady Star of the Sea and a carved tympanum depicting the Coronation of Our Lady.

The church has a 5 bay aisles with clerestory and transepts. It has a ‘full set’ of superb stained glass windows by Barnet of Leith and Hardman of Birmingham.

Has a large number of wood furnishings by Robert ‘Mouseman' Thompson of Kilburn and a number of 15th century alabaster reliefs, originating from Jervaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire.

The octagonal shaped Baptistry dedicated to the dead of two World Wars and more recent conflicts was designed by Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendell and decorated Geoffrey Burnand.

The Sanctuary with carved misericords depicting Aesop's fables whilst the fronts bear the coats of arms of eighteen former Benedictine cathedrals and abbeys.

Also features a High Altar and two side altars with carved Caen stone reredos and a pulpit of alabaster with open brass and oak balustrade.

The nave arcade has deeply moulded arches carried on Goraghwood granite columns.

The Grade II pipe organ by William Hill & Co was installed in 1906.

A Celtic cross stands at the entrance to the grounds in remembrance of Abbot Cuthbert Clifton who was instrumental in building the church.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Car park at church
  • Accessible toilets in church
  • Café in church

Other nearby churches


St Oswald

In spite of the eclectic origins of its many parts, St Oswald's significance lies it its alterations and accumulation of features over time including Norman font and walls, 13th century windows, 15th century chancel and furniture by Thompson (the Mouseman).


St James

A fine example of a Georgian church, which has been sympathetically modernised.


St Michael & All Angels

Lamplugh church, designed by William Butterfield, is located in a dramatic landscape, set against the outlying fells of the Lake District National Park with Owsen and Blake Fells beyond.

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