Another view of the church, the cherry blossom showing that it was photographed in the Spring. The Church of St Michael and All Saints was built in the 15C or early 16C, and the north aisle was rebuilt in 1578; the date-stone has the initials IS and the Sandys arms. The roof was raised and the clerestory added in the late 16C or early 17C. In the north chapel there is a chest tomb for William and Margaret Sandys, with recumbent effigies, dated 1578. These were the parents of Archbishop Edwin Sandys, who carried out the alterations to the church. Some of the masonry of the church might be part of the 13C chapel. The vestry (on the north-west corner) and hearse house were built c.1793. The chancel is a continuation of the nave, unlike many churches where it was built separately with a lower roof. The aisles and chapels are under lean-to roofs. As often, many of the windows were renewed in the 19C. Inside, the nave and aisles have wall paintings, texts in ornamental surrounds, by J. Addison c.1680, also some of 1711 and some repainted by W Bolton in 1876.
In 1219 the manor of Hawkshead was a chapelry of Dalton-in-Furness, twenty miles away, paying tithes also to Urswick, and the people wanted Hawkshead to become a parish with its own cemetery. This was supported by the Abbot of Furness but was opposed by the vicars of Dalton and Urswick, as they did not want to lose the income from the tithes. They appealed to the Pope in 1220, but he decided in favour of Hawkshead; however for some reason this decision was not implemented. It was not until 1578 that Hawkshead and Colton (the southern part of the manor) became parishes. Satterthwaite was made a separate parish in 1741, Claife became a civil parish in 1866 and Skelwith in 1894.