The Churches of Alston Moor

by | Alston, History

The Churches of Alston Moor Each Tell a Story

Alston Moor, nestled in the heart of Cumbria, is a place of rich history and cultural significance. Among its many treasures, the churches of Alston, Garrigill, and Nenthead stand out, offering a window into the region’s religious past. These churches not only serve as places of worship but also as historical landmarks that tell the story of a community shaped by faith and resilience.

The Role of Religion in Alston Moor’s History

Religion has always played a central role in the life of Alston Moor. The rugged landscape and remote location fostered a close-knit community where faith was a source of strength and unity. Although the largest and most historically important churches are Anglican, the area’s religious history is marked by the presence of several denominations, each contributing to the cultural tapestry of the region.

St. Augustine’s Church, Alston

St. Augustine's Church in Alston, part of the churches of Alston Moor, with its Norman architecture and stained-glass windows.

St. Augustine’s Church, Alston, a stunning example of Norman architecture and a central part of the churches of Alston Moor.

St. Augustine’s Church, located in the town of Alston, is one of the oldest and most significant religious buildings in the area. Dating back to the 12th century, this Anglican church is a testament to the enduring legacy of Christianity in Alston Moor. The church features stunning Norman architecture, with its impressive stone structure and beautiful stained-glass windows. St. Augustine’s has long been a focal point for worship and community gatherings, serving generations of parishioners.

The churchyard, with its ancient gravestones, provides a poignant reminder of the many lives intertwined with the church’s history. Inside, the serene atmosphere invites reflection and connection with the past. St. Augustine’s continues to be an active parish church, hosting regular services and events that bring the community together.

St. John’s Church, Garrigill

St. John's Church in Garrigill, part of the churches of Alston Moor, with its simple, elegant design and wooden pews.

St. John’s Church in Garrigill, known for its simple elegance, embodies the humble spirit of the churches of Alston Moor.

In the picturesque village of Garrigill, St. John’s Church stands as a symbol of faith and community. Built in 1790, this Anglican church replaced an earlier medieval chapel. St. John’s is known for its simple yet elegant design, reflecting the humble and hardworking nature of the local community. The church’s interior is warm and inviting, with wooden pews and a beautifully crafted altar.

St. John’s has played a crucial role in the village’s social and spiritual life. It has been a place for villagers to gather for worship, celebrate significant life events, and find solace during difficult times. The churchyard offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, making it a peaceful spot for contemplation.

St. John the Evangelist, Nenthead

St. John the Evangelist Church in Nenthead, part of the churches of Alston Moor, reflecting its strong religious traditions and mining history.

St. John the Evangelist in Nenthead, a key part of the churches of Alston Moor, stands testament to the area’s rich mining history and religious heritage.

Nenthead, a village with a rich mining history, is home to St. John the Evangelist. This church, part of the Parish of Alston Moor, is open to visitors every day, offering a welcoming space for both worship and exploration. The church’s presence in Nenthead is a testament to the strong religious traditions that have shaped the community over the centuries.

Nenthead was once one of the highest and most productive lead mining areas in England. The lead mining industry brought prosperity and development, and with it, the establishment of strong religious institutions. St. John the Evangelist was built to serve the spiritual needs of the miners and their families, becoming a cornerstone of community life.

St. John the Evangelist plays an integral role in the local spiritual life, hosting regular Eucharist services and special events that bring the community together. The church’s architecture and serene environment provide a beautiful setting for reflection and worship.

Exploring Alston Moor’s Religious Heritage

For those interested in delving into the religious history of Alston Moor, a visit to these historic churches is a must. Each site offers a unique perspective on the area’s spiritual and cultural evolution. Walking through the ancient aisles of St. Augustine’s, attending a service at St. John’s in Garrigill, or experiencing the serene atmosphere of St. John the Evangelist in Nenthead provides a profound connection to the past.

Stay at Salvin House Alston

To fully appreciate the historical and cultural richness of Alston Moor, staying at Salvin House Alston is the ideal choice. Located in the heart of Alston, Salvin House offers the perfect blend of comfort and heritage. This beautifully restored Georgian house provides a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it the ultimate base for exploring the region.

Salvin House combines modern amenities with historical charm, ensuring a memorable stay. Guests can enjoy spacious, elegantly furnished rooms, a delightful garden, and a hearty breakfast to start their day. The hosts at Salvin House are passionate about the local history and are more than happy to share insights and tips on the best places to visit.

The Churches of Alston Moor

The churches of Alston Moor are more than just places of worship; they are landmarks of history and culture. They tell the story of a community deeply rooted in faith, resilience, and a sense of togetherness. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a spiritual seeker, or simply a curious traveller, Alston Moor’s religious heritage offers a rich and rewarding experience. And with Salvin House as your home away from home, your journey through the spiritual heart of Alston Moor will be as comfortable as it is enlightening.



Rob Lawson is a property investor and communications consultant who grew up in the South Tyne Valley. With a deep passion for historical preservation, he fell in love with Salvin House and committed to restoring it to its former glory. With a vision that blends respect for its heritage and modern comforts, Rob has revived this historic gem for future generations to appreciate.


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