Tradition has always maintained that the Norman entry dates from 1111 as the foundation (or founding) of St Mary’s Church. The Church was restored in the reign of Henry VIII and the building evidences this; when a gale destroyed the tower and crushed the church. The 1542 replacement tower and church were rebuilt using stone from both the Furness Abbey ruins and Conishead Priory.
The present church building is a result of five alterations and restorations; only the west wall and the bell tower remain from 1542. As you walk around, you will see how much the people and traditions of the past have helped to make the building that we see today. The beautiful stained glass windows in the church contain hidden stories of the people who have been part of this community, as well as illustrating themes or characters from God’s own story, the Bible, all commissioned and installed ‘to the glory of God’
In 1866 Ulverston Parish Church underwent a major restoration, to the value of some £10,000, the equivalent of over one million pounds today! Ulverston had become a prosperous market town exporting local iron ore and the wealth of the area is reflected in the fine collection of stained glass windows in the church. Leading manufacturers were employed, including Heaton, Butler and Bayne of Covent Gardens, Abbotts Co of Lancaster, Powell and Co of Whitefriars, London and Wailes of Newcastle. Wailes is also responsible for the eye-catching window on the staircase at Conishead Priory.
Take a tour of the windows by clicking on the window images below to enlarge and scroll through for information about the stained glass windows on display.