Building » Workington – Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Michael

Workington – Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Michael

Bank Road, Workington, CA14 3EP

A good and complete church by E W Pugin, part of the Benedictine mission to West Cumbria .

Founded from Whitehaven by the Benedictines in 1810 and still a Benedictine parish. The church replaces a chapel built in 1814 on land given by John Curwen of Workington Hall to serve the spiritual needs of Irish labourers (whom Curwen had imported to break a strike in his coal mines). The presbytery is presumably contemporary with this earlier chapel.

Built of coursed red St Bees sandstone with a Westmoreland slate roof; nave and chancel under one roof with east and west aisles, transepts and choir aisles, SW  aptistery, small projecting porch on W transept, NE vestry. Main S front has double doorway,  2  tall  r-light  lancet  windows  and  a  steep  gable  with  bell-cote.  Side elevations have 3 small lancets in each bay of the aisles with 2 lancets in each clerestory bay.  Chancel  N gable with tall 5-light traceried window. 

Interior has 4-bay nave arcade of pointed arches on granite columns with taller northern arches opening into transepts; clerestory bays divided by wall-shafts which support the main roof trusses. The nave and aisle roofs are boarded and painted. Chancel of 2 bays with ribbed ceiling and tall pointed chancel arch on clustered attached piers; 2-bay arcades open into side chapels which also have pointed ribbed ceilings. Baptistery has stencil wall decoration.

Fittings include original pulpit built round  w shaft of chancel arch; original carved high altar, choir stalls by Thompson of Kilburn; original octagonal font with elaborate carved and painted cover; wooden benches in body of church, probably original.

Heritage Details

Architect: EW Pugin

Original Date: 1876

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: II