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  • Writer's pictureOwaine ApDyfnwal

St Michael's Church, Workington

In 1994 the Church of St Michael in Workington, Cumbria, was gutted by a fire which left little more than the outer walls and tower. Prior to its refurbishment, the church was excavated by the Carlisle Archaeological Unit and in 2012 Oxford Archaeology North were commissioned to reassess and publish the findings.

We were invited to St Michael's as part of an event launching the publication where one of our members, Adam Parsons, delivered a talk in his capacity as one of the authors.

A rare socketed base for a stone cross

St Michael's is a fascinating site, located somewhere near the southern limits of what was the Kingdom of Strathclyde/Cumbraland, and Adam covered a lot of the findings from the human remains (including C14 and isotopic analysis) as well as touching on early medieval sculpture from the church.

Our role for the weekend was to put on a Living History Display as part of the Launch Event's Open Day and we were kept very busy with a constant stream of engaged and enthusiastic locals! As well as display of reproductions from Viking Age Cumbria, we had demonstrations of a range of crafts, and we were able to get a couple of decent pictures when it quietened down!

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