St Giles' Great Orton
Postcode: CA5 6NB
Opening Times: The church is usually open all year round, but times may vary owing to volunteer rota.
Parking: small car park adjacent to churchyard
Level access into church
St Giles’ Church Great Orton, founded 1098, is a Grade 11* Listed Building is reputed to have been the first church built in Cumberland following the Norman Conquest and is the only church in the Carlisle Diocese dedicated to St Giles. Built of sandstone blocks from Hadrian’s Wall, the church is of simple design with chancel and nave. Two beams above the chancel and two Norman windows in the sanctuary may be original. Externally, marks made by the original masons can be found. Internally, the three feet thick walls are of ‘navis’ design representing a ship or ‘The Ark’. The single bell is dated 1752. Due to the close proximity of the English/Scottish border, there were frequent raids and destruction (including fire) during which, the original dedication was lost and for a while the dedication was to St. Kentigern. In the late 19th century, the original was restored. The church was extended at the west end during the 19th century when an adjoining school room was demolished. Internal renovation also took place, including installation of the stained glass windows. A more recent window depicting St. Giles was added in the mid 20th century. Other features were added during the 61 years of the longest serving Rector, Rev. Canon W. F. Gilbanks. Visitors of all faiths, or none, are welcome for prayer or to discover more about our local history and heritage.