Lancaster Priory

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May, 2017

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The Castle Quarter of Lancaster is five minutes up the hill from the train station. Lancaster Priory and Parish Church (Church of England) is quite unassuming as it stands on the hill next to the more imposing castle. However, it is well worth venturing inside to take a look around. When I entered I picked up the pamphlet “10 Highlights of Lancaster Priory” to ensure I saw the most important items on my walk around inside. My aim was to be finished before the 12:45 pm service. The church is a very old building and likely pre-Norman conquest. I particularly liked the Shrigley and Hunt stained glass window, the organ which was installed in 2012 and the Coptic Crosses that came from Abyssinia. The King’s own regiment brought the crosses, which are in the style of the fifth century, to England after the Abyssinian Campaign in 1868. Although there were workers in the church setting up for a concert that evening, they were all very welcoming and made sure I knew I could walk along the choir stall to get a good look at the carved stalls and misericords which are c.1345. Along with the older stained glass, there is also a more modern window (1966) depicting St. Thomas à Becket. The pulpit dates back to 1619 although the canopy was renovated for the Queen’s visit in 1999. Recently the crown on the top of the canopy was found in the tower and has been restored to its rightful place.

Unlike some churches, there is no entrance fee but donations are welcome.

From 1094 to 1346 the site was a Benedictine Abbey and music still plays a very important role in the life of the Priory. September 10-17, 2017 is the Lancaster Priory Festival of Song.

If you’re looking for light refreshments, there is a little café in the church (The Fig Tree Coffee Shop) which serves Fair Trade drinks and biscuits.

“Lancaster Priory”:

Denise Bridge

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