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ESW Nov 21st, 2014 03:02 PM

Saxon and Norman churches in Northumbria
We have spent a couple of holidays in Durham and Northumberland, mainly visiting some of the lovely old churches.

Northumbria was the centre of Christianity in the C7th with Cuthbert, Aidan and Bede. Many of the churches are Saxon foundations and still contain Saxon work. There is the Saxon crypt in Hexham Abbey

The tiny church at Escomb in County Durham is possibly the best example of a Saxon church in England and is one of the oldest churches still in regular use.

St Andrews Church in Bywell has a splendid Saxon tower

Corbridge church has a Saxon arch beneath the tower made from reused Roman stones.

Durham Cathedral, the burial place of Cuthbert and Bede must be one of the best examples of Norman architecture in the country.

On a smaller scale is the lovely Norman church at Norham.

Fra_Diavolo Nov 21st, 2014 04:02 PM

Wonderful. Thanks.

pat Nov 22nd, 2014 12:15 AM

Thanks so much. Ralph Neville was my ancestor and I enjoyed looking at all these ancient churches.

dotheboyshall Nov 22nd, 2014 01:18 AM

You missed St Paul's in Jarrow, and St Peters in Sunderland both strongly associated with the Venerable Bede.

ESW Nov 22nd, 2014 05:05 AM

"You missed St Paul's in Jarrow, and St Peters in Sunderland both strongly associated with the Venerable Bede."

We visited these a few years back and you are right, they are lovely churches. We didn't have time to fit them in this vist. Another time hopefully.

Ozarksbill Nov 22nd, 2014 08:52 AM

Interesting visits you are making to Saxon chapels.
Yes, Durham Cathedral and Hexham Abbey (

In England some years ago DW wanted to find a pre-Norman church built in the Saxon period. St. Gregorys Minster, Kirkdale, is near a stream. Here's a thorough history about this lovely chapel:
One part is very old and the added part as well.
In front is an ancient sundial. Inside is an old baptistry.

What we found was that Saxon churches are built near streams and wooded areas instead of on top of a hill with a steeple
...a different idea about being close to God.

ESW Nov 23rd, 2014 12:11 AM

Kirkdale Minster is an absolute gem. We've visited but I've yet to write that up, although I did write a reviews here:

Nearby is Ellerburn which is a similar date to St Gregory's but as yet undiscovered by visitors.

There are a lot of interesting old churches in the East Riding of Yorkshire, many with splendid Norman carved fonts. Again I've still to write those up.

ESW Jan 6th, 2016 06:37 AM

dotheboyshall ticked me off for not including St Paul's Church in Jarrow or St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth. I've been going through all our old slides recently and found pictures of both churches taken in 1982 which I have now added to the website....

They are still on my list of churches to visit.

Following on the Saxon theme, I also found pictures taken during the excavation of the Saxon graveyard at St Peter's Church, Barton-upon-Humber in 1985 and have also added them here:

bilboburgler Jan 6th, 2016 07:52 AM

churches with steeples on top of hills, before lightening conductors were discovered.....

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