Natural Eden Images Nature Photography by Stephen James Thompson
Natural Eden Images Nature Photography by Stephen James Thompson
A Church steeped in history


Rich with history is the small Church of St michaels that stands on the left side of the road as you enter the village of Burgh by Sands on the road from Carlisle to the Solway Firth.Set in the small idyilic country village of Burgh by Sands on the site of the Roman fort Aballava, st Michaels church has endured centuries of war and peace and still operates as a place of worship to this day.It is thought that the church stands on the site of the Roman headquarters building of the roman fort.The site on which the church stands has seen christian worship practised for over 900 years, from the Romans to the vikings, and the Reivers, to the present day.Built almost entirely from the stones of Hadrians wall the small church has some very charming and ancient features that give this small but imposing church real character.

An effigy of ST Michael in a stained glass window in the church

There are carved saxon animals engraved on the walls in the tower that date back to the 12th century church.The large tower that has walls 8ft thick was built in the 14th century as a refuge from maruading scots that raided the village during the Border wars.The villages would have congregated in the tower while there animals sheltered in the churches nave.The gateway into the tower is an ancient "Yett" that dates back to the viking invasion.When stood in the peaceful church its long and fascinating and often bloody history all seems hard to imagine in such a small sleepy village in the north west of Cumbria,but it was in this very church where one of Englands most ruthless Kings was laid to rest and he was known as" longshanks" the Hammer of the Scots.

The heavy metal "Yett" from the Viking invasion that leads into the 14th century tower

It was King Edward I who died on Burgh Marsh in 1307, that lies roughly a mile from the church.The powerful King died of Dissentry whilst plotting another assualt on Scotland across the Solway Firth.His body was brought into the church where he lay in state, until he was transported south to Westminster Abbey.

The Interior of the church where King Edward I lay in state 7th July 1307

ST Michaels Church is also a haven for wildlife, its position in a sheltered graveyard is home to owls and many small birds that flit from the nearby gardens as they feed amongst the bushes.The church is certainly well worth a visit.

One of the stained glass windows on the church