LOWER ALLITHWAITE CARTMEL
8/42 Priory Church of
25.3.70 St Mary (formerly listed
as Cartmel Priory Church)
Former Priory Church. Chancel, Piper choir, transepts, 1190-1220; Town choir
c1330; nave and aisles, tower and tracery (except Town choir) 1395-1420; south
porch c1613; vestry 1677. Ashlar; nave dressed stone and rubble; slate roofs.
3-bay nave has embattled parapet and recessed gable; 5-light west window with
flanking deep buttresses and area wall. 2-light straight-headed clerestory
windows. Aisles have 3-light west windows; south aisle has 2 windows of
3 lights and truncated buttresses, part has moulded base; 2 entrances, one with
traceried door, the other in gabled porch is round-headed, of 3 orders, c1190.
North aisle has traces of north cloister; early C13 entrance of 2 orders.
Transepts have flat buttresses, that to north has 2 blocked north lancets, one
cut by blocked entrance; upper 5-light window; lancet to west, 4-light window to
east. South transept similar; parapet and recessed gable; 4-light south window
with 5-light window above; good attached memorials; signs of cloister to west.
Crossing tower has embattled parapet and diagonal upper stage with 4-light
windows and parapet. 3-bay chancel has moulded base and flat buttresses
flanking very large 9-light window; 2-light traceried straight-headed clerestory
windows. Piper choir to north of 2 bays, flat buttresses, corbel table and
3-light windows; vestry to east has 3-light segmental-headed window. Town choir
to south has 3-light windows, buttresses and 5-light east window with 2 blocked
lights. Interior: 3-bay plain nave arcades. Crossing arches have clustered
shafts to piers, choir has 2-bay round-headed arcades and continuous arcading to
triforium. C17 collar rafter roofs, but quadripartite vault to Piper choir and-
Cl9 roofs to crossing and Town choir. C15 stalls with good misericords; early
cl7 canopies and screens. Harrington tomb, originally free standing, now in
arch on south side of chancel; cutting sedilia, c1347, 2 recumbent effigies,
arcading and figures, painted ceiling. Many other memorials of interest.
Medieval grave slabs in Piper choir and chancel, recumbent effigy of canon c1340
in Town choir, slab to Prior William c1292 in chancel. Dame Katherine Lowther
(died 1700) and Sir Thomas Lowther (died 1745), wall memorials in Town choir;
other wall memorials in south transept are of interest. Many C17 and C18 grave
slabs in floor. Lord Frederick Cavendish (died 1881) by T Woolner, marble
effigy on alabaster tomb chest. Preston Family, 1646, painted board. C19
pulpit and font, also C17 font with cover dated 1645. Stained glass, early C15,
some figures to east window, Town choir and porch. An important survival of a
medieval monastic church, the Harrington Tomb and choir screen and canopies are
works of major importance. See V.C.H., Vol.8, p254 ff; Pevsner, BoE: North
Lancs:> pp86-90; J.C. Dickinson, The Land of Cartmel, p16 ff.
Listing NGR: SD3797478799