Building » Cockermouth – St Joseph

Cockermouth – St Joseph

Crown Street, Cockermouth

A modest Gothic chapel of the 1850s, making a positive contribution to the local conservation area.

A temporary building served from Wigton was replaced, according to the Cumberland Gazetteer with a ‘a neat chapel’, in the course of erection in 1847. This is possibly that part of the present church which survives as a transept, linked to the present presbytery. The first priest appointed to the parish was a Fr. Orrell in 1853, who built the present church in 1856, from designs supplied by T. G. Gibson of Newcastle (Pevsner). In 1902 the parish was handed to the Ampleforth Benedictines by the then Bishop of Carlisle and Hexham, and various alterations and additions were subsequently made.


Built of plain coursed limestone with a Westmorland slate roof. Broad un-aisled nave and chancel. Gabled front set back from the road behind a car park; there may have been a frontage building. The gable has triple stepped lancets and a simple bellcote at the gable apex. The side walls have simple lancets.

The interior has an elaborate hammer-beam roof with curved braces rising from the hammerbeams. The seating is all benches, which probably date from c1900. At the ‘west’ end of the nave is a raised central platform with benches. The floor throughout the church is covered with red lino. The nave and apse windows have stained glass windows with coloured borders, all dating from 1905 (dated on windows).  Notes on the file at the diocesan offices record that after transfer of the parish to Ampleforth in 1902, Fr Fishwick OSB added a vestibule, organ gallery and confessional, and an apse and sanctuary. In 1920 Fr Dawes OSB arrived, and he installed new altar rails and pulpit, a new organ and a marble altar. The carved communion rails and pulpit are both of stone, now painted. The altar and gradine may date from c1905, though the altar with its marble colonettes, could be earlier.

Entry amended by AHP 18.12.2020

Heritage Details

Architect: T. G. Gibson

Original Date: 1856

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed