St. Bridget’s Chancel Arch
The parish church of Moresby, St Bridget’s, occupies a unique location, sited on a former Roman camp, known as Gabrosentum – there isn’t much of the camp that remains. The church dates from 1822, but there is evidence of a much earlier place of worship, as far back as the 13th century. An ancient chancel arch still stands in the churchyard as testament.
Gabrosentum occupied a classic fort site formed by a low promontory overlooking the sea to the west. Regiments from Thrace (modern Bulgaria) and northern France were stationed there. The ramparts are still visible in the field to the west of the church. This former fort and adjoining settlement was built during Emperor Hadrian’s reign and was in use until the late 4th century AD. Excavations have revealed official buildings including the commanding officers house, as well as numerous civilian buildings, a fort and a small natural harbour.
St. Bridget’s Church is in West Cumbria between the the villages of Parton and Lowca, just north of Whitehaven, off the A595. It is a dramatic location, overlooking the Solway Firth with stunning views of the Scottish coast and Isle of Man.
The chancel arch of an earlier church is in the churchyard of St Bridget’s Church, to the south of the church. It is in stone, and consists of a slightly pointed arch. On the south side is a brass plate recording burials, and tombstones are attached to the arch.
The chancel arch is a Grade II listed building.