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This Project is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas


Discovering new layers of history west of Carlisle

The Three Solway Churches’ Development Project 2012-14 was the result of close collaboration between all three churches in order to provide improved visitor infrastructure and tourist information.


  • St Mary’s, Beaumont has seen the installation of illustrated Historical Information and Welcome panels inside and outside. 

  • St Michael’s, Bowness-on-Solway has received a Welcome and Information panel outside.

  • St. Michael’s, Burgh-by-Sands has seen major infrastructure improvements.  These include a granite time-line which has been laid alongside the church path, giving details in chronological order of the key events in the history of the church and area. An alternative level access into the church has been created by re-opening the 13th century west door, blocked up in the 1880s.  This doorway and the newly created WC are accessed by ramped paths, and a kitchen has been installed in the vestry.  Cycle racks are now in place and there is an exterior tap at the east end of the church where visitors, and particularly walkers and cyclists may fill their water bottles on their travels.  Welcome/Information panels have been placed at each gateway and in the ground floor of the tower there is a superbly illustrated series of Historical Information panels, covering the church’s story from the Roman Fort on which it stands through to the building of the 14th c. tower and its defensive history.


See below for pictures of some of the work in progress.


All these developments have only been possible through generous grant funding. 

  • Towards the end of 2012 the Project was awarded a grant of £22,476 from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) 2007-13, through the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

  • In November the same year the project received a major award of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £80,000.

  • The Carlisle Diocesan Pastoral Fund gave a grant of £3,000

  • In addtion to a number of smaller grants from other funding bodies, Burgh Church added around £9,000 - £10,000 from funds, some raised specifically for the Project. 


The Three Solway Churches acknowledge with immense gratitude the funding which has enabled for Project to be carried out.

© Richard Speirs

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