In the village of Dacre stands the parish Church of St Andrew. Constructed of sandstone rubble walls, the church dates to the late 12th century. With 13th century additions, the building was rebuilt in 1810 and features battlemented parapets which date to the 19th century. The church has a west tower of three storeys with an inscription above the entrance noting that the steeple was rebuilt in 1810.
The church has an open timber roof which dates to the 17th century
The three bay chancel retains 12th century narrow round-headed windows and has a late 17th century communion rail with twisted balusters.
The nave features the original 12th century unmoulded round-headed tower arch and has two light clerestory windows. The four bay arcades date from the early 13th century and differ from one another. The north arcade is earlier having arches with slight chamfers and piers that are mostly round while the south arcade arches have normal chamfers and octagonal piers.
Engraved window memorial to Sylvia McCosh of Dalemain
In the chancel of the church is an engraved window (above) by Sir Laurence Whistler as a memorial to Sylvia McCosh. Whistler was a poet, writer and glass engraver who revived the technique of line engraving on both sides of the glass. This intricate engraving creates an illusion of perspective in his depiction of landscapes and was a popular technique during the 17th and 18th centuries. Sylvia McCosh of Dalemain was instrumental in bringing the gardens of Dalemain House back to life following the war. She had successfully nurtured small plants and seedlings since childhood and faced with the task of bringing a dormant garden to life again, she introduced many plants which flourished in her garden in Lanarkshire, including Meconopsis grandis, and over one hundred varieties of old-fashioned roses. Before her death in 1991, Sylvia started a campaign for a pipe organ in the church to replace the 19th century organ that had been removed in the 1970’s. Following extensive fundraising, the new organ was finally installed in 2002.
The Church of St Andrew is Grade I Listed.
In the chancel of St Andrews Church is a sculpted wall plaque dedicated to the memory of Edward Hasell of Dalemain. The plaque depicts a mourning woman beside an urn decorated with a coat of arms. Born in 1765, Edward was the son of Christopher Hasell and grandson of Edward Hasell (known as Blackcap) who died possessor of Dalemain in 1781. Aged sixty years old, Edward died on 24th December 1826 and the monument was erected by his surviving children who were united in describing their father as “one of the best and most affectionate parents.” The monument dates to 1830 and is the work of the 19th century British sculptor Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey. Having made his name in 1811 with a plaster model of a bust of the politician Horne Tooke, Chantrey was a well known sculptor of celebrated figures of Georgian England.
In the south chapel at Lanercost Priory is the tomb of Charles Howard, tenth Earl of Carlisle, and his wife Rhoda Ankaret. Born in 1867, Howard was a British soldier who served in the Second Boer War as a Captain. Following a military career, Howard served as a politician and was elected MP for Birmingham South in 1904. He held his seat in the House of Commons until 1911 when he entered the House of Lords having succeeded his father in the earldom. Howard died in 1912 aged just forty four and was laid to rest at Lanercost. The tomb was designed by the Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer and features the Dacre scallop shells and coat of arms. The inscription is taken from Proverbs 4:18 and reads “The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more until the perfect day.”
In the chancel of St Andrews Church are two beautifully carved cross shafts. Carved on all four sides, the smaller of the two shafts (above) dates to the 9th century and was found in 1900 deep in clay near to the church. Although significantly damaged, the sharpest and best preserved carving depicts a winged lion with a serpents head. Discovered during restoration work in the 19th century, the larger of the shafts (below) dates to circa 10th century. The narrow set of panels are carved with figures and beasts with hunting scenes a common theme during the Viking period. The bottom panel depicts two figures beneath a large tree and is thought to represent the story of Adam and Eve. An antlered stag with a hound on its back is carved in the panel above. Symbolising the soul being pursued by the forces of evil, the hart and hound motif was an allegorical interpretation limited to Viking era carvings in northern Britain and the Isle of Man where themes from Norse legend occur. The top of the panel is believed to depict the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac.