Dacre: St Andrews Church

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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.

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The church has an open timber roof which dates to the 17th century

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The three bay chancel retains 12th century narrow round-headed windows and has a late 17th century communion rail with twisted balusters.

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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.

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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.

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The Church of St Andrew is Grade I Listed.

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Dalemain House: The Great Barn

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In the courtyard at Dalemain House is a 16th century Great Barn. Built in the 1500’s, the large loft barn is constructed of mixed sandstone and rubble walls with flush quoins. The two storey building features parallel stable ranges, casement windows and slit vents on two levels.

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Flat headed under loft doorways of the Great Barn

The height of the roof was raised in 1685 and the upper floor of the building is now home to a Fell Pony Museum.

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The Fell Pony Museum

The museum features an extraordinary collection of agricultural implements which chart the history of a bygone country life. Much of the equipment and tools have only become outdated over the last seventy years as a result of mechanisation.

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Exposed roof timbers in the museum

The breed of ponies that have worked and travelled through the history of the Lake District have been known for over a century as ‘the Fell’. Native to the north of England, the breed are mostly found in the old counties of Westmorland and Cumberland and are known locally as galloways.

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The cloisters under the Great Barn in the courtyard

Sylvia McCosh (born a Hasell of Dalemain) was involved in the revival of the breed during the post war years and she bred many prize winning Fell ponies that were exported all over the world. Some of her prizes and equipment are on display as part of the collection within the museum.

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The enclosed castellated courtyard

The Great Barn and Stables are Grade II Listed.

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Left stable range with segmental arched doorways