An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.
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75 ORMSIDE (F.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XV, N.E., (b)XV, S.E.)
Ormside is a parish and village on the left bank of the Eden 3 m. S.S.E. of Appleby. The church and Ormside Hall are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. James (Plate 146) stands on a knoll or mound at the N. end of the parish. The walls are of sandstone rubble and of water-worn stones in the oldest part of the building; the dressings are also of sandstone and the roofs are slate-covered. The Nave with a small square Chancel was built probably late in the 11th century and to this a N. aisle was added about the middle of the 12th century; soon after the W. wall was taken down and a new W. front built to carry a bell-cote, immediately to the W. of it. The West Tower was added c. 1200 and about the same time the chancel was lengthened about 8 or 9 ft. to the E. The chancel was largely re-built, lengthened and widened towards the S. late in the 15th or early in the 16th century. A S. porch was added in the 16th or 17th century. The Hilton Chapel was built in 1723 partly on the site of the former aisle. The church was restored in the 19th century when the South Porch was taken down and reconstructed farther W., the chapel-arch re-built and the North Vestry added on the site of an earlier building.
The church has interesting early features and the mediæval bells are noteworthy. In the churchyard was found the late 7th-century Ormside bowl now in the Yorks. Phil. Soc.'s Museum. More recently, Viking remains have also been found in the churchyard.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (26½ ft. by 17¼ ft.) has an early 16th-century E. window of three elliptical-headed lights in a square head with a moulded label; re-set, higher up, is the head of a 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights. In the N. wall is a modern doorway and farther E. a 14th-century squint with a trefoiled head. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost and westernmost similar to the E. window but of two lights; the re-set 14th or 15th-century middle window is of two ogee-headed lights in a square head; below it is an early 16th-century doorway with moulded jambs, ogee head and square moulded label. The thicker part of the N. wall is part of the original structure and part of the wall to the E. is of c. 1200 and has a double-chamfered string-course. The chancel-arch is modern.
The Nave (30 ft. by 16 ft.) has a mid 12th-century N. arcade (Plate 147) of two bays with round arches of two square orders with a chamfered label on the S. face; the cylindrical column and half-cylindrical E. respond have scalloped capitals and moulded bases; the W. respond is an 18th or 19th-century reconstruction. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost of the 14th century and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label; the second window is of the 18th century with modern tracery; the third window is modern and set in the blocking of the late 11th-century S. doorway (Plate 147); this has square jambs and a heavy shouldered lintel with a round arch enclosing a plain tympanum above it; the existing S. doorway is modern. The W. wall is of mid 12th-century date with an external plinth and a central projection to carry a bell-cote; in this projection is a doorway with plain jambs and round head; the rebates have been mostly cut away; above it is a square-headed doorway in the second stage of the tower.
The West Tower (about 11 ft. square) is of c. 1200 and one and a half stages, reduced in height and finished with a gabled roof, the tops of the gables retaining two or three corbels of the original parapet. The S. and W. walls of the ground-stage have each a lancet-window. The second stage has a similar window in the W. wall and a square-headed window above it; the S. wall has two windows one above the other; the lower is probably of c. 1200 with the head replaced by a lintel; the upper window is of the 18th century or modern.
The South Porch has been re-built with old masonry. The 16th or 17th-century outer archway has chamfered jambs and a roughly corbelled head.
The Roof of the chancel is probably of early 16th-century date and is of three bays with moulded tiebeams, curved braces, king-posts and raking struts.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st inscribed in Lombardic capitals "Paulus"; 2nd inscribed in similar capitals "Ave Maria gracia plena"; 3rd inscribed in similar capitals "Robertus T(ar ?)dius me fecit fieri," all probably 15th-century. Brasses: In Hilton Chapel— (1) to Sir Christopher Pickeringe, 1620–1; (2) to Cyprian Hilton, 1652; (3) to Cyprian Hilton, 1693; inscriptions only, set in the same slab. Churchyard Cross: S. of chancel—square base with stop-chamfered angles and date 1643 on one face, shaft modern. Coffin-lids: In nave—(1) re-used as lintel of S.E. window, slab with ornamental cross and sword. In churchyard—on N. wall of vestry, (2) tapering slab with shaft on stepped base and having fleur-de-lis head and sword; on E. wall of vestry, (3) two fragments with remains of cross-head and stepped base; S. of chancel, (4) tapering slab; on E. wall of porch, (5) fragment with sprayed stem; on W. wall of porch, (6) fragment with ornamental cross-head; all late 13th or early 14th-century. Floor-slab: In Hilton Chapel—with traces of cross and incised sword, mediæval, re-used for brasses. Font: square tapering bowl with rounded angles, square chamfered stem, late 12th-century, base modern. Piscina: In chancel— two recesses with hollow-chamfered jambs and elliptical heads, western with round projecting drain, early 16th-century. Plate: includes late 17th-century cup (Newcastle) and a stand-paten of 1711 (Newcastle) given by M.H. in memory of her son Cyprian Hilton died 1712; also a pewter flagon and alms-dish. Recesses: In chancel—three small rectangular recesses, probably early 16th-century. Sundial: In churchyard —S.W. of porch, square gabled stone base and short chamfered shaft with sundial on top, probably 17th-century. Miscellanea: On E. wall of vestry—wheelhead of stone cross, mediæval. In porch—stone with two attached shafts and line of lozenge-enrichment between them, 12th-century. In chancel—rectangular stone with round bowl, probably mortar.
a(2). Cross, on the W. side of the road 130 yards S. of the church, is now only represented by a series of five steps, square on plan, out of the middle of which springs a large tree.
a(3). Ormside Hall (Plate 16), 70 yards S.E. of the church, is of two and three storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The house belonged to the family of Barton till late in the 16th century, when it passed to Sir Christopher Pickering and from him to the Hilton family. The building was probably of the usual mediæval form with a hall-block and cross-wings at the N.E. and S.W. ends. The existing S.W. wing dates from late in the 14th or early in the 15th century, but the main or hall-block appears to have been re-built in the 17th century and the other cross-wing no longer exists. The S.W. wing is of three storeys; at the S.E. end the middle storey has an original window of two trefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label; the label of a similar window remains in the floor below and in the top floor is a 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights; the N.W. end has two 17th-century windows and on the top floor a 15th or early 16th-century window of two lights with arched heads under a square moulded label. On the S.W. side are two windows with elliptical heads probably of the 17th century; one of these has a square moulded label. Inside the wing, there was formerly a circular staircase in the E. angle, now cut through to form an entrance and opening into a small lobby with 17th-century round-headed doorways, in the thickness of the N.E. wall. The first floor has a 17th-century frieze of modelled plaster, with scroll-ornament. The main block has a late 17th or early 18th-century doorway with a moulded architrave and key-block. The outbuilding, N.E. of the house, incorporates two 17th-century windows. The entrance to the courtyard is flanked by two late 17th or early 18th-century rusticated piers with moulded cappings and ball-terminals.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(4). Cottage, on the W. side of the road 400 yards S. of the church, has been largely re-built but incorporates a door-lintel with the initials and date I.M.G. 1683.
a(5). Bromley Green, house 150 yards E.S.E. of (4), retains some original windows and a door-lintel with the initials and date C. and E.T. 1687.
b(6). Cottage, on the S.W. side of the road at Little Ormside, nearly ¾ m. S.E. of the church, has a doorway with embattled sinking on the lintel, the initials and date W.O., M.O. 1686 and a moulded label.
b(7). Outbuilding, at High Rutter 1½ m. S.W. of the church, incorporates a stone panel with the initials and date W. and M.E. 1691.
b(8). Outbuilding, at Catherine Holme ½ m. S. of (7), incorporates a door-lintel, with the initials and date I. and V.M. 1675.