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Ireby Old Church facts for kids

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Ireby Old Church
A small, simple, stone church, in front of which is a stone wall.  On the far gable is a bellcote with a single bell.
Ireby Old Church from the east
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OS grid reference NY 224 394
Location Near Ireby, Cumbria
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website Churches Conservation Trust
Functional status Redundant
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 11 April 1967
Architect(s) Ewan Christian (restoration)
Architectural type Church
Style Norman
Groundbreaking 12th century
Completed 1880
Closed 1971
Materials Sandstone and limestone blocks, slate roof

Ireby Old Church is a redundant Anglican church, of which only the chancel remains. It stands in an isolated position 1 mile (2 km) to the west of the hamlet of Ireby, Cumbria, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building, and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.


The church was built in the 12th century, altered in 1845–46, and restored in 1880 by Ewan Christian. In 1845–46 the nave, north aisle and porch were demolished. At this time the font, piscina and some carvings were removed to a new church built in the village. The church was declared redundant on 11 June 1971, and was vested in the Trust on 7 November 1972.


Ireby Old Church is constructed in blocks of sandstone and limestone, and it has a green slate roof. Only the former two-bay chancel remains. At its west end is an open bellcote. The door is at the west end in the blocked former chancel arch. It has a 19th-century surround over which is a re-used 12th-century tympanum and a built-in medieval grave slab. In the north wall is a blocked doorway, and a square window dating from the 18th century. The east wall contains three small round-headed windows, with one similar window above; this wall contains more built-in medieval slabs. Inside the church, the east wall contains a restored three-bay arcade. Also built into the east wall is a stone altar shelf over which is a carved medieval cross. There are two blocked 13th-century windows in the south wall; these are not visible from the exterior. Memorials include a wall plaque dated 1626 and an aedicule (small shrine) dated 1769.

External features

In the churchyard are two 13th-century octagonal columns with capitals that formerly stood in the nave of the church. In 1845–46 they were moved to the village where they acted as gateposts for a house. In 1933–34, excavations revealed the former bases of these columns and, following the 1972 restoration, the columns were returned to their original positions, now to the west of the church. They are listed Grade II*.

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