Hawkshead was an important wool centre in the Middle Ages, and the area contains many fine examples of the Lakeland vernacular architecture, not least the church, which was built in around 1300 on the site of a Norse Chapel. The bulk of the building, as it exists today, is 16th and 17th century (there is more history of the church here). The Chapelry of Hawkshead was formed into a parish in 1578 by Archbishop Edwin Sandys of York, who was born near Hawkshead. He also founded and financed the former Grammar School which is now a museum, where William Wordsworth studied between 1778 and 1787.
If you are here doing some family history research, you will be interested in this page.
We have a parish magazine- The Esthwaite Link- which is delivered to all the houses in the parish, and is available online here. Here you will find lots of local news.
I saw the snow-white church upon her hill
Sit like a throned lady sending out
A gracious look all over her domain
Wordsworth, The Prelude
(This refers to Wordsworth's return to Hawkshead in 1788, following his first year in Cambridge. The church was painted white at the time, but the view remains the same!).