St. Michael's Church Barton
St Michael’s Barton is an ancient parish church, the earliest parts dating from the Normans
The parish of Barton originally extended from Eamont Bridge in the north to Hartsop in the south and east to Martindale. The parish church, St Michael’s, was built in 1150 by the de Lancasters. They were Normans, descended from Ivo de Taillebois, and resided at Lancaster Castle. The nave survives from this early period. In 1250, the south aisle was built with octagonal pillars, the north aisle in 1280 and the south chapel in 1300. This was originally a chantry, used to pray for the dead. The exterior of the west wall shows the join between the 12th century nave and 13th century aisles.
Changes through the ages
Back to de Lancaster origins
At the dissolution of the monasteries, patronage of the church was granted to the Earl of Rutland who sold it to Michael Hudson of Barton Church and Lancelot Lancaster of Barton Hall. It thus passed back to the Lancasters. The arms of the Sockbridge de Lancaster family are carved in stone to the left of the East window in the south chapel. These are thought to have influenced the Stars and Stripes, having been adapted by George Washington’s ancestors.
Lowthers and Hasells share patronage
Photos by Janet Wedgwood, Gordon Lightburn and Cecilia McCabe