Building » Keswick – Our Lady and St Charles

Keswick – Our Lady and St Charles

High Hill, Keswick CA12 5PB

A large church in early Christian style, solidly built of vernacular materials. Work started in the 1920s and was seamlesssly completed in the 1960s. 

This was originally a Benedictine parish, served from Ampleforth. It was built in 1927-8 on a site blessed by Cardinal Bourne in 1926, with an extension to the nave and tower added in the 1960s. The the original architect has not been established. The architects for the completion were Oldfield Simpson & Saul. The church was consecrated on 4 November 1972.


The building is Romanesque in style, cruciform in plan, stone-built, with a curved, east-facing apse, rectangular nave and three-storey, pavilion-roofed tower attached to the west end of the nave. In the north transept is a side chapel. Directly opposite is the door to the sacristy. Round-headed windows (mostly of clear glass, with some green glass panes) light both the nave and the sanctuary, situated in the apse. A round-headed arch marks the transition from nave to sanctuary; this is supported on Doric columns, a quirky and attractive touch (cf Grasmere). At the opposite end, double doors lead to a porch in the ground floor of the tower, and the organ is housed in a gallery at first floor level. A small space off the nave – to its north as you enter the church – is currently used as a repository and stall.

Inside, the nave roof has an open timber roof, while the roof of the apse is also of wood. The interior walls are left bare. Apart from Stations of the Cross on the walls of the nave and a plain cross behind a simple altar table, decoration is minimal. The impact of this is impressive. There are modern oak pews and a wooden floor.

Entry amended by AHP 17.02.2023

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1928

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed