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St MARY’S, Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale’s Parish Church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, is in a lovely spot above the River Lune and just behind the Sun Inn. It was probably built between 1093 and 1130, on the site of an older Saxon church. It is an impressive building, displaying a range of architectural styles, but a particular feature are the three massive Norman columns, similar to ones in Durham Cathedral, with a diamond pattern on the stone. The first pillar has a carving of ‘The Green Man’, with foliage emerging from the mouth. The outer door archway to the tower is also a Norman feature. The tower houses six bells, dating from 1633 to 1724. The most significant alterations in the church’s long history were made in 1866 by local architect E G Paley. The churchyard contains ten Grade II listed monuments. Visitors should particularly note the memorial, south of the church, to five women who died in a fire in the Rose and Crown Inn in 1820. Closer to Ruskin’s View is a poignant memorial to an unknown stranger – a worker thought to be from Italy who drowned in the Lune.