Holy Trinity Church




 Holy Trinity church can be traced back to the twelfth century, Shap abbey had local influences here, where its monks founded an oratory on the same spot, then in the late 1600's the church pictured below was built there, the tower was only 30 feet high and dwarfed by several mighty yew trees, which were planted several hundred years earlier, the church hall held around 70 people and the only visible memorials within the grounds were those of the Holme family and friends, the ordinary dales folk just couldn't afford to have them made.



 Burial rights were not granted until 1729, before then the deceased were taken upon horse back, via the old corpse road, (still in use as a public right of way today), up and over the 1600 feet high pass, and down through the valley of Swindale and on to their final resting place at Shap village.


 Before the flood waters reach the site, over a hundred bodies not all in coffins but wrapped in simple cloth were carefully exhumed and moved to their new resting place at Shap, the locals wanted the contents of the church to go to Shap, but after a hearing at the Consistory Court in August 1935 the best part of them went to a new church just being built at the time, called St Barnabas at Carlisle, the Jacobean oak pulpit is still in use today in the church at Rosthwaite in Borrowdale, the church was finally broken down in 1936.


 The church authorities were awarded compensation by Manchester Corporation to the sum of 2405.00, it was said that a new church was to be built above the new water level of the lake, but sadly this never came to pass.



 At the rear of the church grew several magnificent yew trees much older than the church itself grew, to the right  the Chapel Hill vegetable garden can be seen and in the background, the tiny meadows sheltering below the mighty Riggindale ridge can still be seen today.



 Rev. Barham winding up his gramophone, which he used in the absence of an organist, a rather amusing moment took place, when someone changed his cherished Beethoven symphony, for a record playing stop yer tickling jock, notice the oil lamps and candles that are placed around the church, there was never any mains electricity in the valley.


 When the order to move out of the vicarage came, the reverend with no where else to go refused to move, the waters would not reach this place for another six years, in their wisdom the MCWW, bombarded him with stern letter after letter, some asking him for rent on the property, in the end he left the valley a broken man, but would return.



 Above and below shows the church tower with its lamb and sword weather vane, now aloft the church in Shap village.



Above showing a view of Chapel Hill, on the right a number of large Hessian barrier have been erected for privacy during the exhumation procedure.



 The Bailey sisters from Goosemire Farm on their annual holiday, their father also rented Riggindale Farm on the other side of the valley, during the survey of the reservoir Helena Bailey and other children of the valley, used to follow on behind the surveyors and pull out and throw away their  marker pegs.

This was the only kind of local protest against the corporation, the Haweswater act was not widely publicised, and people as little as twenty miles away heard nothing about it, there were no televisions or daily papers which to read in those days, finding out news of such things were relatively few and far between.