OpeningChurch open 24/7
Eucharist : First and third Sunday in month at 11.00am.
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 their 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.
The present church of St Michael's was built 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. T 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 4 bay nave leading to a 3 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 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 had been in the party but having been released to raise a ransom, he survived and commissioned the windows 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.
The Church was extensively repaired and renovated around the turn of the Millennium. It is a Grade 1 listed bulding, still in active use as a place of worship. Although surrounded by Muncaster’s gardens and close to the Castle, St Michael’s is open daily for sanctuary from the stresses of modern life to all, including visitors to Muncaster, seeking quiet reflection and prayer regardless of religion or denomination.
On A595 south of Ravenglass - follow signs for Muncaster Castle COACH PARK (SAT NAV CA18 1RJ)
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