About this church
There has been record of a church on this site since 1140. The current building dates from the 15th century with various later alterations, including the chancel in the 17th century and the north transept and crenellation in the late 19th century by the famous architect Anthony Salvin, who remodeled the Castle for the Barons Muncaster. The church also has some particularly fine pre Raphaelite stained glass windows.
Surrounded by the gardens of historic Muncaster Castle, just outside Ravenglass, stands the small church of St Michael and All Angels, built on land used by the monks of Furness Abbey to graze teir sheep. It seems likely that there was an earlier church on this spot; in the churchyard is a high cross parts of which date from Anglo Saxon times. It is quite likely that the site was used for worship before the coming of Christianity.
St Michael's was rebuilt in the 15th century with the chancel being added in the 17th century. There was another major restoration in the Victorian period under Anthony Salvin; this includes the addition of a north transept in 1874 and a decorated tracery partition to the church.
The interior is very simple, with a four bay nave leading to a three bay chancel, both under a king post roof. There are numerous memorials to the Pennington family, owners of Muncaster Castle. On display inside the church is a cracked 15th century bell (replaced in the bell cote in 2002/03 by a new casting) and an interesting Forster and Andrews organ.
The church has some fine stained glass windows including some by pre Raphaelite artist Henry Holiday (1882 and 1887). They include a window installed as a memorial to friends of the then Lord Muncaster, who were kidnapped while travelling in Greece and held to ransom. They were all killed during an attempt to rescue them. Lord Muncaster who had been in the party but had been released to raise a ransom, survived and commissioned the window in their memory.
The vestry window is by Morris & Co and the west tripartite window is one of only a few in the country to depict a 'Doom' or Day of Judgement scene.
This Grade I listed church was extensively repaired and renovated around the turn of the Millennium and is still in regular use as a place of worship.
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