Holy Trinity Church, Chapel Stile, Cumbria
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member flipflopnick
N 54° 26.414 W 003° 02.920
30U E 496843 N 6032505
Quick Description: Holy Trinity is one of only few churches built from local green slate, and stands above the village of Chapel Stile, looking down on the populace of Great Langdale.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 4:06:10 AM
Waymark Code: WM4V37
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
Views: 9

Long Description:
The present church is a modern Victorian structure, built on the site of a former chapel. Prior to approval in 1821 burials were conducted at Grasmere, over Silver How. The church is situated mid way along the Langdale valley, known for its slate quarries. The local gunpowder works, now a timeshare, used to export 95% of its product. Gunpowder was produced here because of the abundance of water power, not due to the quarries. There was money to be made for government explosives. In 1863 marriages and baptisms were allowed.

A chapel was first mentioned here in 1571. Later documents tell of the tithe by residents to the curate and chapel. Speed's map of 1675 shows chapels in both Little and Great Langdale valleys. By 1751 the chapel was in disrepair and was rebuilt that year.
In the 1800's the population was growing with quarrying, bobbin making and gunpowder production, and construction of new bigger church was necessary. But the cost was outside the reach of the parishioners. Two local landowners provided the funds, John Robinson, of Elterwater Hall, Chairman of Elterwater Gunpowder Works and Edward Wheatley-Balme, owner of High Close estate, in February 1857. The church was built quickly and the Bishop of Carlisle consecrated it on July 2nd, 1858. This was probably his first visit as only recently had Westmorland parishes been transferred to the Diocese of Carlisle. John Cory of Cory Fergusson architects designed the church, using local green slate in 'watershot' traditional way. The slate is laid sloping down slightly to shed water, with mortar is set back giving appearance of dry stone walling. The use of green slate would not be viable nowadays, as green slate is a highly valuable stone when polished.

The tower was on the end until the church's west wall was extended in 1877. The tower is now unusually in the south wall, and contains a fine peal of six bells cast by George Mears of Whitechapel foundry, London. These were paid for by EB Wheatley-Balme (£360). The first bell, a tenor, arrived from stock in April 1858. The remaining bells arrived in 1860. Bell number 4 was a gift from William Coward, born in Elterwater, then a banker in Bury. There is an Ellacombe Chiming mechanism which by a system of ropes and hammers allows one person to ring all the bells, when full ringing is not possible. The bells were rehung on a steel frame in 1959, by John Taylor & Co Loughborough.

The clock was made by James Harrisson of Hull, a descendant of John Harrisson of marine chronometer fame. The date of installation is not known, between 1860 and 1887. It is a flat bed turret clock possibly copied from a design at Meanwood church, Leeds, by Lord Grimthorpe. Separate mechanisms operate the clock and chimes. The very difficult to wind up weights were replaced with electric winding in 1995. There were originally two faces. East facing for Mr Wheatley-Balme, and south for Mr Robinson. The dial on west face was added in 1993 in memory of two local residents. This clock is superb example of English turret clock making. A detailed booklet 'Big Ben's Country Cousin' is in the church by Geoff Sykes.

There is a notable line of clergy who have worked for this church, and Wordsworth has a poem on the last of them's headstone, Reverend Owen Lloyd. The church is built in the Gothic style with many stained glass windows. (visit link) There are many local events held here. They recently had a 150 year celebration.

Langdale Valley Community newsletter (visit link)
Geograph (visit link)
Streetmap (visit link)

Langdale Parish Church by Alan Sykes
Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 7/2/1858

Age of Church building determined by?: Church website

If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: Anglican

If Church is open to the public, please indicate hours: From: 9:00 AM To: 5:00 PM

If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Sunday

Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: 10:30 AM

Street address of Church:
Holy Trinity Church
Chapel Stile, Cumbria England
LA22 9JH

Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

Secondary Website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

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bill&ben visited Holy Trinity Church, Chapel Stile, Cumbria 4/11/2010 bill&ben visited it