photo by Flickr user horslips5

photo by Flickr user horslips5

What you see above is the exterior of the strange and beautiful St. Mary’s Church at Wreay, Cumbria. There’s no other church in the world like it. You’ll note there the apse at the east and: here’s what it looks like from the inside:

photo by Flickr user abbeyman2002

photo by Flickr user abbeyman2002

And here’s the interior of the church from the west end:

photo by Flickr user horslips5

photo by Flickr user horslips5

The whole church is filled, inside and out, with beautiful but very curious ornamentation, like this fanciful steam vent:

photo by Flickr user horslips5

photo by Flickr user horslips5

You may see many more photos of the church here.

The church was designed in the mid-nineteenth century by an amateur architect who had never designed a building before and who also oversaw the construction and even made some of the ornamentation. Her name was Sarah Losh, and there is a new book about her and her church by Jenny Uglow. I review the book and sketch out Sarah Losh’s story here.