Kirkby Stephen Church

2467 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel


Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

Kirkby Stephen church stands at the end of the Market Place and is reached through the building known as the Old Cloisters. This was built to shelter church goers and was also used as the butter market. Steps lead through into the well kept churchyard. The church is unusual as it is used jointly by Anglicans and Catholics with both holding services here. It is also unusual as it is not dedicated to a saint.

Built from red sandstone, it has a tall battlemented and pinnacled tower at the west end. The long clerestories nave has lower side aisles and taller chancel

There has been a church on this site since Saxon times and this is the third church to be built on the site in about 1240. The south aisle was rebuilt in the C15th and the tower shortly afterwards. It was restored in the C19th when the clerestory was added and chancel rebuilt.

Entry is through the south porch and the first thing to catch the attention is the Loki stone immediately facing the door. This is a C10th Anglo-Danish cross shaft with a carving of the Norse God, Loki, as a bearded and chained figure. It is the only known example in Britain.

In a display case under the tower are carved stones found during the C19th restoration. There are cross shafts with scroll carvings and crosses.

Arcades of round pillars with pointed arches separate nave and side aisles. Round the pillars at the back of the nave are C18th wooden bread shelves used for distributing bread to the poor.

The chancel screen is 20thC and a memorial to those who died in the First World War. In front of it is a Victorian Shap granite and Italian marble pulpit.

The chancel still has theC13th sedilia and piscina on the north wall, old carved chairs and three long lancet windows at the east end.

To the left of the chancel, tucked in behind the organ is the Wharton chapel containing the tomb of Thomas, 1st Lord Wharton with his first wife Eleanor and second wife Anne.

To the right is the Hartley chapel. Above the entrance from the south aisle is an engraved glass panel showing the stoning of St Stephen, done by the person who did the glass engravings in Coventry Cathedral.

The chapel is maned after Sir Andrew de Harcla, 1st Earl of Carlisle, who was hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor. His estates were forfeited and passed to the Musgraves. Set in a niche on the south wall is the tomb of Sir Richard Musgrave and has a small painted shield on the base. The Latin translation reads “Here lieth Richard Musgrave, knight near to him Elizabeth his wife and Thomas his son and heir who died 9th day of November 1464. May Gd have mercy on his soul or to those whose soul God be propitious”.

The second effigy in the chapel is another Sir Richard who died in 1499.

The information guide in the church makes mention of a Bushel wheat measure in the chapel. It is no longer there.

We found this a rather soulless church perhaps a result of the heavy Victorian restoration. The Loki stone was worth seeing as well as the other carved stones. The rest of the church is unexciting.

The church is open daily and there a large car park behind the Market Place.

There are more pictures “here.”:

Silver Travel Advisor

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.