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Old All Hallows, Mealsgate, Cumberland

(54°45′54″N, 3°14′20″W)
NY 2037 4184
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cumberland
now Cumbria
medieval Carlisle
now Carlisle
  • James King
  • James King
4 Sept 2015

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=13865.

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Feature Sets

The only roofed parts of the church surviving are a rectangular chancel and a mausoleum built on the S side of the chancel. Both the W and E sides of the chancel arch are built with plain, uncarved voussoirs, with the central area of the arch blocked up. There are simple imposts but no capitals. On the N wall of the chancel is a Norman window. There are also a few later windows in the chancel. The mausoleum built off the S side of the chancel appears to have been first built as a chapel in 1587 and was rebuilt in 1671. In 1897-9, a new church was built at a site in Leesrigg (the village now named Fletchertown), the old church only used occasionally. The S chapel became the mausoleum for the Moore family. In 1935, the nave, S aisle and porch were demolished, leaving the nave filled with rubble and only lower sections of its outer walls. The whole of the nave area is overgrown, and the interior of the chancel and mausoleum are in a poor state


Domesday Book did not record this part of England. In 1092, King William II went into Cumbria and took Carlisle, where he ordered a castle be built. King Henry I established the diocese of Carlisle in 1133. The chapel dedicated to All Saints was in the area called Ukmanby (also written as ‘Uckmanby’ ‘Upmanby’, ‘Uchemanby’ and ‘Vochemanby’), which was in the parish of Aspatria, in the diocese of Carlisle. According to the Chronicon Cumbrie Alan, second lord of Allerdale, gave the manor of Ukmanby to Ranulph de Lyndsay/Lyndesay (Ran[ulfo] Lyndsei in Reg. of St Bees, p. 493; Ranulpho de Lindesey in Reg. of Priory of Wetherhal, p. 386), who had married Alan's sister Ochtreda/Octreda (also called Ethereda/Etheldreda). This same Ranulph is mentioned in other charters, usually as a witness, at least one of which was for King David I (d. 1153). Ranulph, himself, must have died before 1158, as his widow had remarried by then. When the male line ended, it passed through marriage to the Tilliols family. The chapel appears not to have been specifically mentioned in any of the usual medieval tax records, though Gilbert Welton, bishop of Carlisle, queried Carlisle Priory's right to demand certain monies from various places towards a pension, including 2s 6d from Ukmanby (Nicolson and Burn, p. 302). Sometime during the period 1178-84 J. presbitero de Vochemanby witnessed a charter. There are very few medieval documents which specifically mention the chapel of All Saints. In 1424, an ordinance of the Bishop of Carlisle did refer to it and stated that it was dependent on the parish church of Aspatria (capellae omnium Sanctorum de Ukmanby ecclesiae parochiali de Aspatrick). Because of this, the vicars of Aspatria were to ensure that on various feasts, listed in the ordinance, a vicar was to celebrate the sacraments in the chapel of All Saints. Celebration of the day of dedication of the parish church of Aspatria was also to be observed. In the 5th year of King Henry VIII, Robert English chaplain of the chapel of All Saints appeared as a witness to a document.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Salvin, while restoring the small chapel about 1861, suggested that the earliest parts of the church might date to between 1154 and 1189. It is unknown who caused the chapel to be erected, but if it was Ranulph de Lyndsay, then it would have been before 1158.

Only one person has written a full account of the chapel and its history: J. Swift. In 1703 William Nicolson, bishop of Carlisle, wrote a brief description of the interior of the church. He suggested that with a small amount of money the church could be put into a good order, and he praised the churchwardens for their efforts. However, in 1710, the churchwardens complained that Henry Salkeld was not keeping the chancel in good repair, and in 1747 the church was said to be ‘much out of repair’. In the second half of the 19th century, the church fabric received more attention and was restored. A photograph of the exterior of the church before the nave was taken down can be found in Swift’s article.

The red-sandstone baptismal font inside the chancel comes from St John’s Church, Barrow-in-Furness, which was made redundant. It does not appear to be of Romanesque date.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, 3 (London, 1899), 322.

T. Bulmer, History, Topography, and Directory of Cumberland (Penrith, 1901), 316-7.

J. Cox, County Church: Cumberland and Westmorland (London, 1913), 42-3.

R. Ferguson, ed., Miscellany Accounts of the Diocese of Carlile (London, 1877), 103-4.

T. Graham, ‘Patron Saints of the Diocese of Carlisle’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd Series: 25 (Kendal, 1935), 1-27.

W. Hutchinson, The History and Antiquities of Cumberland, 2 (Carlisle, 1794), 359-61 and 373.

M. Hyde and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cumbria (New Haven and London,2010), 518-20.

J. Nicolson and R. Burn, The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, 2 (London, 1777), 150-2 and 302.

J. Prescott, ed., The Register of the Priory of Wetherhal (London, 1897), 386.

Surtees Society, The Register of the Priory of St. Bees. (Durham and London, 1915), 57 fn.; 69 no. 39 and fn.; 83 fn.; 137 no. 100 and fn.; and 493 no. 498.

F. Swift, ‘The old church of Allhallows’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd Series: 75 (Kendal, 1975), 119-31.

W. Whellan, The History and Topography of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland (Pontefract,, 1860), 202-3.

J. Wilson, The Victoria History of the County of Cumberland, 2 (London, 1905), 125.