Skip to Content

St Mary's Church - Sebergham

Welcome to St Mary's Church, Sebergham



The Revd. Norman L Robinson, 

The Vicarage


Wigton CA7 8AU

016973 43723

     sebergham church


Sunday Services      
1st Sunday 11:00 a.m. Morning Prayer  
2nd Sunday 11:00 a.m. Morning Prayer (BCP)  
3rd Sunday   no service Links:
4th Sunday 11:00 a.m. Holy Communion Staff & Churchwardens
5th Sunday   as advertised in the magazine Carlisle Diocese
A Short History of St Mary’s Sebergham  

This area was once covered by Inglewood Forest.    In 1188, during the reign of Henry II, a hermit called William Wastell, or William de la Wastell,  came to live on the site of this church.    No one knows why he became a hermit.    Perhaps, disgusted by the lawlessness of the times,  he chose this place for a life of retirement.    Imagine him in his earlier years felling trees on this very ground,  helped by local inhabitants! He planted fruit trees and built himself,  on the site where now stands the church,  a cell in which to live with a private chapel next to it.    Into his chapel he used to summon the local inhabitants,  for whose spiritual welfare he was concerned.     King John granted him the land he had cleared and William became the Lord of the Manor.    He died at an extremely advanced age and is remembered for the saintliness of his life.

There is little known as to how his chapel became replaced by the present church.   The present building is of plain and ancient structure,  consisting of chancel, nave and tower (added 1825) with one bell.    The church was restored in 1880,   when the chancel was almost entirely rebuilt,  the old east window restored and a new pulpit provided at a total cost of £300.    There was a further restoration in 1905,  at a cost of £1,000,  when the western gallery was taken down,  an entirely new roof provided,  new windows on the south side and the nave seated in oak.   The accommodation is 170.

Three great names in Cumberland history are connected with this church: 

Josiah Relph, poet, curate and schoolmaster, Thomas Denton, parson and poet, and  Musgrave Lewthwaite Watson, the renowned sculptor.    The carved memorial to his father in marble showing the graceful heads and outstretched arms of three women, adorns the north inside wall of the church.   The Greek inscription thereon translates as 'Be awake, for ye know not when the time is'  (St Mark's gospel ch13v33).    The magnificent statue in The Crescent in Carlisle is his work too.

The four lancet windows, retained in the restorations, date from 13th Century.    From the belfry a triple mullioned oriel window looks down on the nave and up to its hammerbeam roof.    This dates from the 1905 restoration,  replacing an oval one.    A pair of windows in the North side of the nave contains a fine stained glass picture of the Good Samaritan and on the wall nearby is a charming memorial mosaic of our Lord with the little ones.    In 1957, electricity and an organ blower were installed.    The heavy oak door of the church was supplied by the national civil engineering and building firm of John Laing, which had it origins in the district and built their first house in Sebergham in 1848.   It is a memorial to two members of the Laing family,  one of whom  lived in Sebergham until 1963.   The Lych Gate was also constructed and given by them in memory of  ???????