Over Denton Church

A very humble building, built from Roman stone, and includes a reused Roman arch, it can probably claim to be the oldest standing building in Cumbria.

About this church

The church stands at the northern end of the village and has been constructed largely of square-coursed sandstone rubble removed from Hadrian's Wall and Birdoswald Roman fort some 800m to the north.

The church consists of a single bay chancel and two-bay nave. The present entrance is in the south wall of the nave, it has a plank door beneath a shouldered lintel; the original entrance was in the nave's north wall and has subsequently been blocked.

There is one original lancet window in the nave and an early window in the south wall of the chancel, elsewhere the windows are 19th century and of one or three lights with trefoil or lobe shaped heads.

The chancel arch is Roman, reputedly to have come from Birdoswald fort. Externally the corners of the church are finished with large flush quoins, the roof is of stone slate with coped gables, and there is a bellcote at the apex of the west gable.

The church is thought to have been constructed in the early 12th century. In the 18th century the west wall of the nave and the bellcote were rebuilt, and in 1881 new windows were inserted. Lead rainwater heads were also added at this date.

The church was declared redundant in the late 1970s and the interior fittings removed.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • Car park at church

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St Thomas a Becket

Built in 1860 to an Athony Salvin design the building replaced the earlier church dating to 1169. The only remains is the dedication board to George the first. The church was funded by subscription, the donors included The Earl of Carlisle, Robert Stephenson MP and John Bell, father of Joseph Bell Chief Engineer on the RMS Titanic. A memorial to the Titanic engineers is part of the family head stone in the church yard.

Supported by National Churches Trust, for people who love church buildings