St Cuthbert's Church, 100m north west of Upper Denton Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Carlisle (District Authority)
- Upper Denton
- National Grid Reference:
- NY 61559 65513
Reasons for Designation
A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and
containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for
Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on
Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated
into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in
its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and
are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides
accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the
priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes
provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional
altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west
end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon
and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish
churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south
or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation
were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were
rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of
the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little
fabric of the first church being still easily visible.
Parish churches are found throughout England. Their distribution reflects the
density of population at the time they were founded. In regions of dispersed
settlement parishes were often large and churches less numerous. The densest
clusters of parish churches were found in thriving medieval towns. A survey of
1625 reported the existence of nearly 9000 parish churches in England. New
churches built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries increased numbers to
around 18,000 of which 17,000 remain in ecclesiastical use. Parish churches
have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for
their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later
population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour
and technical achievement. A significant number of surviving examples are
identified to be nationally important.
St Cuthbert's Church at Upper Denton is a good example of a medieval parish church which eventually became redundant. It survives well and retains considerable medieval fabric together with stonework removed from Hadrian's Wall. Internally the church contains a Roman arch believed to have come from Birdoswald Roman fort.
The monument includes the early 12th century St Cuthbert's Church at Upper
Denton. It is located 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 - that is a slender
pointed-arched window common in the 13th century - 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. The church is a Grade II* Listed Building.
The surfaces of all paths are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland, (1967), 121
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
SMR No. 4561, Cumbria SMR, St Cuthbert's, Upper Denton, (1984)
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing