The Warkworth report~part 4 – Hermitage edition.

Although I’d visited Warkworth Castle before, I had no idea about the Hermitage until I saw it on Robson Green’s Tales of Northumberland TV series (which was brilliant by the way!).  Now really you need to know a little bit about the place, so here’s a brief history.

The Hermitage is part of the Warkworth Castle grounds, and was built as a chantry chapel in the period 1332-49, by Henry Percy II, son of the first Percy, Lord of Alnwick, although some of it was built at a later date. Hermits were employed by the Lords of the land in those days, and paid to say prayers for the Lord and his family, and there are records of 4 different Hermits living at Warkworth Hermitage concurrently from 1471 until the last one in 1531. Fuller history Here.

The more romantic legend found in “Ghosts and Legends of Northumbria” …….

There are several versions of the legend, one of which tells of Sir Bertram of Bothal one of the Earl Percyʼs knights who was betrothed to the Lady Isabel, the daughter of Lord Widdrington.    Badly wounded in a fierce and bloody battle when the Earl Percy led his knights to attack the Earl Douglas, Sir Bertram sent a message to Isabel begging her to come to his side. However, he waited in vain for her to arrive and as soon as he was able to ride, he set out with his brother to Isabelʼs home. There he was dismayed to learn that she had left immediately she received the message, and must have been kidnapped.

Sir Bertram and his brother set off in different directions to find her. Wandering through the countryside, often in disguise, Sir Bertram eventually heard about a beautiful princess held captive in the tower of a remote castle. Arriving at the castle he was unable to gain admittance and, keeping watch in a nearby cave, he eventually saw Isabel framed in the window of the tower. Exhausted he fell into a deep sleep.

Awoken by strange noises, he saw Isabel being helped down a rope ladder, by a figure in Highland costume. Brandishing his sword, Sir Bertram ran to the attack and dealt his opponent a terrible blow. The terrified Isabel, recognising Sir Bertramʼs voice, rushed between the two men shrieking, “Stop, wait, itʼs your own brother”. But it was too late. The next huge blow from Bertramʼs sword killed them both.

Returning to Warkworth, Bertram gave all his lands and wealth away to the poor, and built the tiny Hermitage, where he lived in solitude for the rest of his life. In the chapel he built an altar-tomb with the effigy of a beautiful lady, her hands raised in prayer. At her feet kneels the figure of a hermit, his left hand pressed to his heart, as if in sorrow. Over the doorway he carved an inscription, which translated reads: “My tears have been my meat night and day”.

I like that version best 🙂

 

River Coquet and old tree
River Coquet and old tree

A few people have been here before of course, the trees tell us so, and the whole place is covered in wild garlic plants, which perfume the air 😉

we woz 'ere
we woz ‘ere

as you walk down the river, you get a glimpse of the ferry that crosses over to the Hermitage

Ferry across the Coquet
Ferry across the Coquet

When you get to the landing area you wait until the ferryman comes back for you, and then he helps you onto the boat, and tells you the tales of the legends, and some of the history. Also where to get a glimpse of red squirrels and kingfishers, but we didn’t see any sadly.

Mike the Ferry Man
Mike the Ferry Man
view from the boat.
view from the boat.

Once over, it’s a little walk to the Hermitage, and this is what you see when you get there..

The Hermitage
The Hermitage

HW-8

The Hermitage Tree
The Hermitage Tree
ancient being
ancient sea creature
The Hall with flood markings
The Hall with flood markings
The Hermits chamber
The Hermits chamber

Depending on what you want to believe, these next 2 shots are either a nativity scene, or the effigy’s of Isobel & Bertram

Isobel?
Isobel?
Bertram?
Bertram? sitting at Isobel’s feet

It was lovely,quiet and peaceful there, and I can see how it would be cool to live in such a secluded but beautiful place, but keeping warm in winter would not have been easy, and where would you plug the hair straighteners in??

It was very dark inside the caves and difficult to get any decent shots really, even with flash, so I concentrated on the outside.  When we’d finished, the Ferryman took us back over and Sophie and I walked into town along the river path.

View of the castle on the way back to Warkworth
View of the castle on the way back to Warkworth
a second view of the castle
a second view of the castle

and we were lucky enough to see 2 herons fishing at different places along the river, now without a long zoom at the minute until Fuji get there finger out and produce one, I had to make do with my 55mm end of the little zoom, but still, you can see the Heron, just about!

Heron fishing.
Heron fishing.

So next time we’ll have a look around Warkworth the village, and then on to York.

My holiday nearly over now, but still another outing yesterday to the Wetlands at Washington with Cal & Phil, and tomorrow I’m off out with Sophie again to see some more medieval ruins, betcha can’t wait! 😉

laters gaters

😉

 

15 Comments

  1. I like the Hermitage tree and the second view of the castle most. But they are all gorgeous. But we’re is the beautiful lady Isabel? You will not sell us these stone fragments as a beautiful lady, do you? 😉 I can only repeat myself. Great series.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohhhh I’m loving thisFraggy, I love myths and legends as well. I loved the shot of Betram and Isobel , well there are so many shots I loved..
    I think what it is… Maybe, that I actually no someone who sees these things, and can capture them for ….me;)! I love learning about history, and I never thought about going over the big pond.. Till u came here, but more and more… I can’t wait to do it!!! And explore with you;)!!! I’ll be looking at theses the rest of the day. Over and over…. I’m in awe!!! Of your Merry ole’England

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome post! A great story with some fantastic photos. I’m happy that you were able to get back to see the hermitage. I get a real sense of the surrounding landscape from your photo of it (smell, temperature, sounds..) I’m looking forward to more photos and posts… All the best, Melissa 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.