During my recent visit to the lakes, I visited St Bega’s Church in Bassenthwaite Cumbria, (http://www.visitcumbria.com/cm/bassenthwaite-st-begas-church/). The building is pre-Norman and it was amazing to touch the ancient arch, constructed out of rough hewn stone and know that it had been built prior to the Norman conquest of 1066.
As explained by the above link, the church inspired one of Tennyson’s greatest poems,
“Lord Alfred Tennyson stayed at Mirehouse in 1835 while he was writing his poem ‘Morte D’Arthur’ and St Bega’s Church inspired the opening lines:
‘…to a chapel nigh the field,
A broken chancel with a broken cross,
That stood on a dark straight of barren land,’.
A small distance along the shore you will find a simple open-air theatre erected by the Tennyson Society at the place where it is thought he composed much
of the poem”.