St Catherine

A magnificent setting among the dales at the upper end of Eskdale with the backdrop of Scafell Pike, St Catherine’s dates back to the 12th century.

About this church

It is said in the 6th century a hermit lived on Arment Hill, a quarter mile east of the church. People used to travel miles to seek his prayers and healing. His well is still recognisable and some of the farmers still draw water from it when they bring their children to baptism in the church stepping stones.

The River Esk is easily crossed at St Catherine's and the old stepping stones are still used by those coming to church and those walking from The King George up to Doctor Bridge, one of the best riverside walks in the area.

The position of this church is determined by both the presence of the Holy Well and the Stepping Stones, it is very ancient. Fortunately the Victorians did not spoil its simplicity when they rebuilt it. A barn, beside a river, under the mountains where the Christian God has been worshipped by generations of valley people and their visitors.

The octagonal font has among its decorations ancient marigold designs found on Roman pagan alters and early Christian tombstones. The stained glass windows are worth studying. The east window depicts St Catherine, the Good Shepherd and St Cecilia. The south window portrays the Annunciation and the north window depicts the Last Supper.

The church is near to Boot village, about half a mile from Dalegarth Station at the end of the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven

Visitors information

  • Train station within 250m
  • Level access throughout
  • Parking within 250m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

St Mary

St Mary's has been an important religious site since the 8th century.

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