St Columba, Warcop
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Warcop stands half way between Brough and Appleby, and the parish comprises the villages of Warcop and Sandford and the hamlet of Bleatarn. It once included also the small village of Burton, lying under the lee of the Pennines to the north of the roman road (the A66), but this was demolished in World War II by the army which now uses the surrounding fellside for infantry training.
Warcop (“Warthe-coppe”) means “the hill where ruins mark the road,” – perhaps a reference to the bronze-age stone circle that once stood bedside the roman road. Its church existed by the mid-twelfth century, when it belonged to a local magnate of Anglo-Norman-Norse blood called Torphin, who was probably the one who chose its dedication to St Columba, the Celtic saint from Iona. The church was enlarged with transepts and chantry-chapels in the thirteenth century, survived Scottish armies in the fourteenth-century, and enjoyed progressive repair and improvement every century thereafter. Today it is grade I listed for its beautiful interior and its fine early Georgian oak pews. Inside the south door are hung the rushbearing crosses and floral crowns which are replaced every year at a substantial village ceremony on St Peter’s day, 29th June.
There is an active "Friends of St Columba's" Society who hold a variety of events throughout the year - for one example, please see our picture gallery - and new members are always welcome: contact the Priest-in-Charge for further details.
Sunday services are normally at 10.45am.
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The current editor is: Grace Tompkins