Religious sites in United Kingdom

St. Clement Parish Church

The Parish Church of St Clement"s origins lie with a privately owned wooded chapel which is thought to have been destroyed during the Norman raids. Construction of the stone church began around the year 911, starting with a chapel which is now the nave. The church became a parish church no later than 1067, because it is known that Duke William II of Normandy granted half the tithes of the church to the Abbey of Monti ...
Founded: 911 AD | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Struell Wells

Of all the wells throughout Ireland dedicated to Saint Patrick, the Struell wells must be the most famous. It is said that Saint Patrick travelled throughout Ireland using wells to baptize his new converts and in some cases to demonstrate the power of God with healing acts or with expressions of powerful piety and dedication. At Struell wells, there is a story of how Patrick used to bathe under a fountain of flowing water ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Downpatrick, United Kingdom

Torteval Church

The original Church of St Philippe fell into a state of disrepair and was demolished when the current Church replaced it in 1816. The States of Guernsey funded the construction as the parishoners had been unable to maintain its upkeep. It features an unusual round tower with the tallest spire in the island. It contains the oldest bell in the Channel Islands, cast in France in 1432. Thankfully it survived both the Reformat ...
Founded: 1816 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

St. Moluag's Church

St Moluag"s church (Teampall Mholuaidh in Scottish Gaelic) was built in the 13th century. The church has a basic T shaped structure, with two small chapels on either side of the main body of the church. The southern chapel can only be accessed from outside. There is a lot of speculation about the ancient origins of this place of worship; one tradition tells that St. Ronan founded the church, before retiring to the Is ...
Founded: | Location: Outer Hebrides, United Kingdom

Maghera Church and Round Tower

It is believed that Saint Domangard or Donard founded a monastery in Maghera in the early christian period, c. 500 AD. He lived as a hermit on Slieve Donard, a nearby mountain that is named after him. There are no antiquities remaining from the early foundation but excavations in 1965 produced evidence of occupation around the tower during the Early Christian period. The medieval church situated behind the more modern c ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Maghera, United Kingdom

Inchkenneth Chapel Ruins

Inchkenneth, ‘Kenneth’s Island’, is dedicated to Kenneth of Aghaboe, a contemporary of St Columba. However, no evidence survives for an early Christian monastery on the island. The present ruin is a rectangular chapel dating from the 1200s. In form it is like many medieval churches in the Highlands – small, sparsely lit and simply arranged. The entrance was through a door at the west end of the no ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

St. Andrew's Church

The church of St André de la Pommeraye (St Andrews of the Apple Orchard) is one of the smallest in Guernsey and originally consisted of a nave and chancel only. There is little doubt that the walls of these date from the 12th century but, French slate now replaces the early wooden roof and the stone vaulting was added in the early part of the 13th century. The north aisle and tower are 15th century additions, whic ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Eilean Mor

Eilean Mor, ‘the big isle’ at the south end of Loch Sween, has three ancient monuments – a cave, a chapel and a cross. Together, they tell the story of Christianity in this corner of Scotland. The cave is known as St Cormac’s Cave, after the Irish saint Cormaig, legendary founder of nearby Keills Chapel, who is reputed to have used the cave as his hermitage, or retreat. It is now entered through a fissure in the ...
Founded: 700-1300 AD | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Loughinisland Churches

The Loughinisland Churches are the remains of three ruined churches, dating from the 13th to the 17th centuries. They are situated in Tievenadarragh townland, in a large graveyard on an island in Loughinisland Lake, now reached by a causeway. The earliest recorded reference is to a parish church on the site in 1306. The Middle Church is the oldest, probably from the 13th century. The large North Church was built in t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Downpatrick, United Kingdom

Eynhallow Church Ruins

Eynhallow Church is probably the ruin of a 12th-century Benedicitne monastery. Because of the name of the isle it is likely that Eynhallow was an important religious centre. Eyin-Helha is Old Norse for Holy Isle. Eynhallow Church was deserted before the reformation (circa 1560). The church was converted into dwellings in the 16th century. In 1851 the inhabitants of Eynhallow were transferred elsewhere and the church and ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Orkney, United Kingdom

Dunnet Church

Dunnet Parish Church was mentioned first time in the 13th century, and there are pre-16th century gravestones in the churchyard. It undoubtedly has pre-reformation origins, and the cartographer Timothy Pont was a notable minister here in 1610.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Thurso, United Kingdom

Arbuthnott Church

Arbuthnott church is one of the oldest in Scotland dating back to the pre-reformation days. Consecrated in 1242 the church was dedicated to the memory of St Ternan. The oldest part of the building is the chancel, with the rest of the building added around 1500. After the reformation the first minister was a member of the Arbuthnott family, who later went on to become a moderator of the Church of Scotland.
Founded: 1242 | Location: Inverbervie, United Kingdom

Ardtole Church Ruins

Ardtole was formerly the Parish Church of Ardglass and is dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. The structure is of a characteristic Anglo-Irish parish church of the Middle Ages. The long narrow church seems largely of 15th century date, with a huge east window and opposed north and south doors, one with a draw-bar hole. In 1791 a cross-decorated slab of the Early Christian period was found, showing ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ardglass, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Externsteine Stones

The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.

In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.

The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.

The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.