Priory Church, St. Bees – the beauty of stained glass

While I was on my recent Easter weekend break in north west Cumbria I visited the coastal village of St. Bees, and during my wanderings I was delighted to find that the Priory Church was open to visitors so I was able to go in for a look round. Built from red sandstone The Priory Church of St. Mary and St. Bega, to give it its full title, was founded around 1120 and was built on an existing religious site ; its name comes from its links to St. Mary’s of York and the legendary Irish princess St. Bega. The most interesting feature of the church’s exterior is probably the west doorway, beautifully crafted in seven moulded layers which are decorated with various different carvings.
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St. Bees Priory Church
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The west doorway
There is so much history and legend within the church and its grounds, including a special display telling the story of St. Bees Man, that I couldn’t possibly study and photograph everything in the time I had so I concentrated mainly on getting shots of the many stained glass windows set around the building – and they were certainly worth photographing.
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Looking down the nave
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Since getting back home from that weekend I’ve found out that there’s far more to this lovely church than I could ever have imagined, and many things of interest which I missed, so there’s more than one good reason for me to make a return visit in the not-too-distant future.
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