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‘Ninekirks’ is more properly St Ninian’s, Brougham. It is a remote church accessible only by foot, along a track to a bend in the River Eamont to where the church nestles in the middle of a field inside a walled enclosure. It is a lonely, beautiful and evocative spot. The present church was built in 1660 by Lady Anne Clifford on the site of an earlier one and is a rare example of a 17th church. It is very simple – most of the fittings, including the box pews, date from this time. The completion date, 1660, is carved over the simple altar. However, this was a medieval site, possibly Roman. There was a Celtic monastic settlement here, by tradition founded by St Ninian, at the end of the 4th C. It is felt a settlement grew from this, but had been abandoned (or moved closer to Brougham) by the end of the 13th C. The church was dilapidated by the 17th C. Though the church is redundant, services are still occasionally held in it.
Post code is approximate. To get there – locate a small car park on the north side (eastbound) of the A66 more or less opposite Whinfell Park. It’s easy to miss – heading east from Penrith, start looking on your left ahead after the turn for Brougham Castle (on your right).