Garrigill – St John

It is a wet, horrid summer and seems to have been grotty for the last few months. On Thursday 31 May Gareth was driving at Alston, so I went too. After one train ride down their new extension, I went for a drive. 

These lovely buttercup meadows are on the very narrow road along the slopes of Alston Moor – round about NY705428. Garrigill, although in the Diocese of Newcastle, is in Cumbria – so my Pevsner is no good.

Typing “St John’s Garrigill” into google, the first hit is “St John’s heated swimming pool”, the highest heated swimming pool in Britain, situated in the grounds of the old St John’s Parsonage. It says something about our Society’s priorities that they have the highest heated swimming pool, but the church only has a service once a month. Perhaps they need to install a jacuzzi and sauna in church …

The old school has gone too, but the Post Office remains. I parked in the village centre, NY745414. The churchyard is a bit of a nature reserve, with some wonderful mosses on the trees.

It is an eighteenth century church, but has been much restored. The original building was four-square, a chancel was added later. The organ dates to 1894, and all the windows are Victorian (the North Window – which rather dominates – dates to 1904).

There is an illuminated roll of honour on the wall, and the reredos is in memory of those who died in the Great War. Far too many people for a hamlet of this size. I returned to Alston where the worst my son is coping with is a difficult diesel.

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