St Martin’s Parish Church

In Front Street, Brampton, lies St Martin’s Church, an active Anglican Parish Church and designated as a grade I listed building by English Heritage. Built in 1878, it has been heralded as a “very remarkable building” by historian Nikolaus Pevsneras, it is the only Church to be designed by the Pre-Raphaelite architect, Philip Webb. Services are held on Sundays and sometimes during the week, it’s also used as a concert venue in the summer and used by the local community for various events and gatherings. The building consists of red sandstone, green slate roofing and a lead spire, sourced largely from local areas like Wetheral Quarry for the sandstone. St Martin’s Hall lies to the west of the Church and was built in 1895, designed by C. J. Ferguson and built largely of the same above-mentioned materials. It is said that Webb had designed the Church to fit in with the surrounding houses and architecture but also reflect the ancient border town’s history with battlemented parapets and a fortress-like appearance.

St Martin’s Parish Church was actually a successor to a much smaller, humbler church about 1 mile west of the town, nearer to Hadrian’s Wall. This Church was Brampton Old Church, still standing today, it’s classified by English Heritage as a grade II listed building. Built on the site of an old Roman fort, south of the Roman wall, it originally boasted a tower, nave and chancel which were all destroyed between 1787 and 1789. The porch was added in 1861 and the building was re-roofed around 1891, eventually 1878 saw it completely replaced by St Martin’s. As of 1978, Old Brampton had its interiors and furnishings removed as it was confirmed to be redundant. It now stands as a piece of English history and can be visited all year round.