Ancient Churches of Lunesdale

A day spent exploring the ancient churches in the area where we live. Lunesdale (or Lonsdale) follows the River Lune in the far north of Lancashire on the Cumbrian border.
Speed's map of Lancashire (1610) with the Lunesdale area shown boxed - the enlarged version below shows the four churches visited
The four churches visited - Gressingham (Creßingha), Hornby, Melling and Tunstall
St John the Evangelist's Church, Gressingham
The church dates from the 12th century
A fragment of a 9th century Saxon cross
The 18th century box pews
St Margaret's Church, Hornby
The octagonal tower was built in 1514, the east end sanctuary walls date from 1523
The Claughton Bell, dated 1296, is the second oldest bell in the country
Several fragments of crosses are displayed in the porch
This ninth century cross fragment depicts the miracle of 5 loaves and 2 fishes
Another fragment rests on a window sill
Base of an Anglo-Saxon cross, in the church yard
St Wilfred's church, Melling in Lonsdale
The tower is 15th century, other parts date from around 1300; the battlements at the top of the solid tower are not ornamental - the building was originally defensive as the Scots continued to raid this area until the 16th century
Several ancient fragments are displayed around the church

A squint (or hagioscope) in the south chapel enabled worshippers to see the altar on the other side of the wall
A grave stone from about 1400 is displayed in the porch
St John the Baptist's Church, Tunstall
The present building dates mostly from 1415 with some later additions; the unusual two-storey porch includes an upper room where the Brontë sisters would have eaten lunch between services each Sunday before walking back across the fields to the School for Clergy Daughters, two miles away in Cowan Bridge
A sundial is above the porch door - this was originally a window for the upper floor
Embedded in a window surround is a fragment of a Roman votive stone with inscription 'DEOS ASCLEPIO ET HYGIAEAE P S SVA CVM SVIS IVL SATVRNINVS', a dedication to the Roman deities Aesculepius (god of medicine) and Hygeia (goddess of healing)
Exterior of south aisle

Fragments of ancient stones lay outside the west door
More ancient fragments