St Andrew

Beautiful Norman church on site of 7th century monastery in peaceful Lakeland location and home of the Dacre Bears, four unique medieval stone statues.

About this church

Historic links to the Venerable Bede, King Athelstan and Lady Anne Clifford. Interesting fragments from two Saxon stone cross shafts. Several stained glass windows mainly dedicated to the Hasell Family, from Dalemain. Stunning etched window by Whistler and colourful memorial window to Viscount Whitelaw. Great place of historic interest and spiritual presence.   

St Andrew’s Dacre nestles in the hills of the Lake District National Park, only 5 miles from the M6, close to Penrith.

Set within an ancient churchyard, this beautiful Norman church offers a warm welcome to visitors who are drawn by its beauty, tranquil atmosphere and long history.

There has been continuous Christian worship on this site since the 7th century. The Miracle of Dacre is mentioned by the Venerable Bede in 698, and it was here that King Athelstan convened the Congress of Dacre in 934. Intricately carved fragments of two Saxon stone crosses intrigue visitors seeking to interpret the stories they tell. The current Norman church, built on the site of the Saxon monastery, is mainly 12th century with 13th and 14th century additions.

Dacre is home to The Dacre Bears; the meaning and origins of these four statues are still a mystery. The tower houses three mediaeval bells and in the sanctuary is an effigy of a crusader knight. Lady Anne Clifford, a great Northern landowner in the 17th century donated a magnificent lock which secures the south door.

The memorials are mainly to the Hasell family from Dalemain. These include a number of stained glass windows, each telling its own story. There are two notable modern windows: an etched window created by Laurence Whistler commemorating the life of Sylvia McCosh and a colourful stained glass window dedicated to the former Deputy Prime Minister, William Whitelaw. The war memorial to those who fell in the First World War is a fine example of the work of the Keswick School of Industrial Art and a booklet with details of the lives of those who died is kept beside the memorial.

The churchyard is a mixture of wildlife areas with wild flowers, details of which are in the porch, and mown areas, making it a beautiful and tranquil place to linger. It overlooks Dacre castle and is on the popular footpath linking the village and Dalemain.

Key Features

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

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

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