All Buzzing at St Bees

St Bees Priory is sited in the beautiful coastal village of St Bees on the west coast of Cumbria and St Bees Priory is the parish church of St Bees, Cumbria.

The Benedictine priory was founded by William Meschin, Lord of Egremont on an earlier religious site, and was dedicated by Archbishop Thurstan of York sometime between 1120 and 1135. The Priory was dissolved in 1539, and since then the priory church has been the parish church of St Bees and is a grade I listed building, together with various other structures on the site.

St Bees is also famous for being the starting point of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk which attracts hundreds of tourists per year, most of whom also visit the church.

The church continues in use as the parish church of St Bees. In 1953 the Butterfield Romanesque spire was removed, and the bells were re-hung. In the 1960s the central pew arrangement was removed to give a centre aisle, and in the 1980s a doorway was built between the church and the monastic choir which now acts as one of the parish rooms. In the lapidarium in the south aisle there is one of the finest collections of effigies and carved stones in the county, including a very fine incised stone of Prior Cotyngham and there is a comprehensive history display created in the nave.

The existing heating system was old, outdated and fairly typical of a late Victorian solid fuel system that had evolved and had been converted to gas, unfortunately the result gave poor comfort levels and was expensive to operate.

The agreed solution was to install a new modern low pressure hot water system; consisting of two wall mounted condensing boilers serving a series of triple panelled convector radiators, allowing the church to be heated quickly and efficiently in complete silence. Control of the system is by our unique Churchwarden controller which maximises comfort levels and minimises running costs.

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