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St Michael's Church, Workington

St Michael's Church, Workington

Workington, CA14 2, United Kingdom

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Description St Michael's Church, Workington is the Parish Church of the town of Workington, Cumbria. It is part of the dearnery of Solway, in the archdeaconry of West Cumberland.HistoryThe oldest part of the church dates from around 1150, as evidenced by a marble plaque located at the rear of the church bearing that date and naming Walter as the first rector. However, there is evidence that an earlier seventh-century monastery was located on the same site. Nearby Viking Age finds confirm settlement well before the twelfth-century in the area surrounding the mouth of the river Derwent. Eleventh-century texts describe the arrival of monks from Lindisfarne, carrying the bones of St Cuthbert, in Workington (then called Derwentmouth) following the destruction of the kingdom of Northumbria by the Vikings in 875. It is presumed the monks stayed at the monastery on the site currently occupied by St Michael's Church before leaving Derwentmouth by boat.The twelfth-century church was typical of many border churches, being construction for both worship and protection. It originally consisted of a simple nave and chancel, with a fortified tower only accessible through the nave. The original tower constitutes the base of the current one. The church served a local population composed mostly of fishermen and farmers, as well as the Curwen family, the local lords of the manor. Effigies of Sir Christopher Curwen and his wife, dated 1450, are located within the church.

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