English Churches - County Durham

St Giles Church, Bowes


Two ancient fonts


Bowes is a small settlement of stone built houses bypassed and unseen from the busy A66 road. Ignored by the tourists and there is little information on the internet. There is little left of the castle. The church is set behind the main street, close to the castle. Surrounded by trees it is easy to miss.

It is a small, low church with a simple bell cote at the west end. The nave dates from the mid C12th, the chancel was added in the C13th and the transepts in the C14th. Like so many churches it was extensively restored in the C19th when the porch was added.

St Giles Church, Bowes

Above the doorway is a much older and very eroded carving of the crucifixion with the figures of the Virgin and St John.

St Giles Church, Bowes

The church was firmly locked when we visited and there was no information about a key holder. Itís only claim to fame seems to be that it has two fonts. One is a large C12th circular stone bowl with an incised zig-zag round the top. It sits on C13th stem with four shafts, which may have belonged to the other font. This is smaller with a C13th stone bowl decorated with three carved scrolls with leaves. It stands on a base from a Roman altar. These pictures were taken in 1983.

St Giles Church, Bowes  St Giles Church, Bowes
The nearest post code is DL12 9LD and the grid reference is NY 993135. There is plenty of parking along the main street through Bowes.

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