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St Michael and All Angels, Arthuret, Cumberland

(54°59′56″N, 2°58′20″W)
NY 379 676
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cumberland
now Cumbria
medieval Carlisle
now Carlisle
  • James King
19 Aug 2018

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Feature Sets

The medieval cross is located W of the church of St Michael. The present church was built in 1609, so the cross was probably associated with the medieval church, which was described as a ‘mean, low, ruinous building, and often destroyed by the Scots’ (Bulmer, 1884). The 1609 church was restored in 1868.

Only three of the arms of the cross survive, although fragments of stone show where the ring and upper arm began. Before 1816, the head of the cross had become detached from the shaft, but the fragments had been put back together, with the help of metal clamps, by 1860.


Arthuret was in the barony of Liddell (also spelt Lyddal or Lydale). The lordship of Liddell was granted to Turgis Brundos/Brundas (or Turgent Brundey) by Randulf de Meschines, in the reign of King Henry I. In about 1150, the advowson of the church was given to Jedburgh Abbey (founded 1138) by Turgis de ‘Russedale’, lord of the manor of Liddell, who may have been either Turgis Brundos' son or grandson. ‘Turgist de Russdell’ is mentioned in a grant by King Henry II in 1157 and in the Pipe Roll for the 11th year (1164-65) of Henry II. In 1204 the abbot and convent of Jedburgh appropriated the church of Arthuret to their house. By 1212, as recorded by the Testa de Nevill, Nicholas de Stuteville held the land which had been given to his predecessor Turgis Brandos by Randulf, count of Chester. Johanna, daughter of Nicholas de Stuteville, the younger, married Hugh de Wake, who consequently became lord of Liddell. In 1266 she claimed that she was entitled to the patronage of the church at Arthuret, but this was contested by the Abbey of Jedburgh, and in 1274 she quitclaimed the advowson to Nicholas, abbot of Jedburgh and his successors. Johanna died 1275/6. Later, in 1295, John de Wake, was created Baron of Liddell. His brother,Thomas de Wake (d. 1349), who succeeded as lord of Liddell, was married to Blanche, daughter of Henry, earl of Lancaster. Thomas died in 1349, without issue. Thus Margaret, sister of John and Thomas, succeeded to the barony, but she also died in 1349. Margaret was married to Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent whose daughter Joan married Edward the Black Prince. As a result, the barony of Liddell came under the control of the crown. In the Taxatio of 1291-92, the assessment for the church at Arthuret was given as £80.0s.0d. and the vicarage as £30.0s.0d. At the start of war with Scotland, in 1296, John Wake lord of Liddell presented the parsonage of Arthuret to his brother Baldwin, reserving to the bishop of Carlisle his usual portion out of it. In 1302 the church was described as having been destroyed by the Scots. King Edward II deprived the Scottish abbot of the rectory and advowson in 1319, but in 1332 King Edward III restored them, having been petitioned by the abbot and convent of Jedburgh in about 1128-30. Then in 1333, by reason of the war with Scotland and forfeiture of the abbot, inquisitions were held to ascertain the validity of the king’s presentations to the rectory and vicarage. From that time on, the advowson of the church of Arthuret remained in the hands of the crown. In 1604, King James I of England (VI of Scotland) granted George Clifford, earl of Cumberland, the lordships of Arthuret, Liddel and Randlington. In 1597 it was found by a jury of the West Marches that the church had been decayed for 60 years or more


Loose Sculpture


There are no early references to the cross, but it is thought to have been erected in the 12thc. Lysons mentioned the shaft with the cross incised on it in 1816, but not the upper section as it seems to have been detached and by this date. It is not known when the cross head was reconstructed with metal clamps, but in 1860 Whellan described it as it now exists.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications: or, England’s Patron Saints, 3, London, 1899, 34.

J. Bain, ed., Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, 1: A.D. 1108-1272, Edinburgh, 1881, 478-89 no. 2413, and 482 no. 2435.

C. Bulman, ‘The Parish and Church of St Michael, Arthuret’,Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd Series, 66 (1966), 179-89.

T. Bulmer, History, Topography, and Directory of Cumberland, Preston, 1901, 109-11.

Calendar of the Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), 2, London, 1916, 257-58 no. 1035.

W. Calverley, Notes on the Early Sculptured Crosses, Shrines and Monuments in the present Diocese of Carlisle, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, Extra Series: XI, ed. W Collingwood, Kendal, 1899, 8-10.

W. Collingwood, ‘Rockcliff and the Knowes of Arthuret’, W. Collingwood, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd series: 26 (1926), 378-89.

W. Collingwood, ‘An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Cumberland’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd series: 23 (1923), 233.

T. Graham, ‘Arthuret, Kirklinton and Kirkoswald’,Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd Series: 28 (1928), 41-58.

T. Graham, ‘Annals of Liddel’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd Series: 13 (1913), 33-54.

M. Hyde and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cumbria, New Haven and London, 1910, 118.

D. Lysons and S. Lysons, ‘Antiquities: Ancient Church Architecture’, Magna Britannia, 4: Cumberland, London, 1816, ccii and 10-14.

J. Nicolson, The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, 2, London, 1777, 464-75.

The Pipe Roll Society, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the eleventh Year of the Reign of King Henry the Second, A.D. 1164-1165, London, 1887, 51.

J. Prescott, The Register of the Priory of Wetherhal, London, 1897, 217-18 no. 121 and fn. 5, 389 no. 247 and fn. 2, and 502-3.

Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae Auctorite P. Nicholai IV. circa A.D. 1291, London, 1802.

The Book of Fees, commonly called Testa de Nevill, part 1: A.D. 1198-1242, London, 1920, 198.

J. Wilson, ed., The Victoria History of the County of Cumberland, 1, London 1901, 277.

W. Whellan, The History and Topography of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, Pontefract, 1860, 625-26.