Perched beside the gravel beach on the east coast of the Furness Peninsula is the rather lovely Aldingham Church.
This small gap is known as a leper's hole or squint. It was created so that people with the illness could see into the church and watch a service without entering the holy building. In the middle ages they believed that leprosy was highly contagious so went to great measures to ensure that anyone suffering with the disease was kept at a safe distance. Holes like this could also be used to pass communion bread to those outside.
The church tower here at Aldingham was added in the 1300s and much restoration has taken place within the church since to leave it how it looks today.
You may be wondering about the name of the church - St. Cuthbert's. Why is it named after a Saint who predominantly lived in the North East in Anglo-Saxon times? Well, this could be because the relics of St. Cuthbert (his body) were rested in Aldingham when the monks from Lindisfarne were fleeing from the Danes in the East sometime in the late 800s AD. An inscription in Durham Cathedral mentions Aldingham alongside other areas where the Saint was rested.
With such an important person's body having rested in the village it is little wonder that the church was dedicated to him. There may well have been an Anglo-Saxon church here at the time (a worn section of an Anglo-Saxon cross can be found in the walls of the church which may give evidence to this) which could originally have taken up the name.
This church is a great place to visit with a wonderfully layered history. There is lots to discover, more than I have mentioned in this post, so why not pop along for a look and even enjoy a wander along the beach that runs beside the church yard..