STONE fragments of crosses which give a glimpse into early Christian life at Burton-in-Kendal have been put on display in St James's Parish Church in the village.

A special heritage corner created in the church features the remains of the tenth and eleventh century stone crosses, which were rediscovered during restoration work in the nineteenth century.

There are also explanatory panels, which have illustrations of how the stone carvings may have appeared when they were new and painted.

All the stone pieces are medium or coarse grained yellow sandstone. The stones are parts of three cross shafts and the wheel head of a cross shaft. They represent the earliest evidence of Christian sculpture in the parish.

They would originally have been painted using lime wash, coloured with pigments of opaque shades of yellow, red, browns, black, blue and green.

Kath Hayhurst, keeper of Burton archives, has set up the heritage corner with churchwarden Frances Roberts.

She explained that the display also included a fourteenth century stone head, which was found in the rubble of the tower wall during recent major repairs to the twelfth century church tower.

The church is grateful to Brian Duckett, who has mounted the stone head as a gift to the church.

The heritage corner, in the north west corner of the church, and panels have been made possible due to grants awarded to Holme and District History Society by The South Westmorland (South Lakeland) Community Grants Fund and by Kendal Historical and Archaeological Society and funds from Cumbria County Council.

The earliest reference to a church at the site is 1120 and the tower is the oldest-surviving structure.

The church is open to visitors each Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm (or dusk in winter).

Holme and District Local History Society meets every month in Burton Memorial Hall.