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The History bit

The Domesday Book, is a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. Both Ormesby Hall, and St Cuthbert’s church, are mentioned in this record and listed as belonging to ‘Orme’, to whose name the suffix ‘by’ (the Viking word for habitation or dwelling place) was added to make Ormesby.  There has been then, a church on this site for at least 933 years, maybe more. Unfortunately the church as it stands today has been largely rebuilt between 1875 and 1907 to designs in the Decorated Style (gothic) by architects W. S. & W.L. Hicks. What was interesting to Sophie and me was that they incorporated the Anglo-Saxon foundations, carved work and re-dressed masonry from the 12th-century church into the building.

Of course we can’t possibly be steeped in North East ancient history without St. Cuthbert getting in on the act (hence the amount of St.Cuthbert churches up here), and according to the church’s own web site ‘It is said that St Cuthbert’s body rested here during the movement of his body about Northumbria in the 9th Century.’ St Cuthbert sure got around a lot after he died in 687!

You can read my history of St Cuthbert’s post-death journey here.

On with the pictures now.

The tower and spire, housing the ring of 8 bells, was only completed in 1907.

There are some elaborate crosses in the church yard, decorated in a medieval style.

A path runs through the churchyard and the bottom entrance has an oak lych gate.

We came across a chap digging a hole, so I asked if he was digging a grave, but he was just doing upkeep of the grounds, and planting things.

There I was, diggin’ an ‘ole… anyone remember Bernard Cribbins? 🙂


Mr.Digger’s dog.

Mister Digger was very nice and chatted on to us about the church yard. We were quite excited when he told us there was an Anglo-Saxon grave in the grounds, and we asked to see it.

? Anglo-Saxon grave

He explained that they’ve allowed it to get overgrown, and keep it that way, as some people are not averse to sticking their hands through cracks in the stonework to steal bones. 🙄 The headstone is top right in this picture. So a bit disappointing we couldn’t make much of it out.

There were of course less old but still old graves,

Sarah, died aged 23 on 6th September 1793

possibly Bess, died 1734

?Damars/Damats/Damaris  Smith died November 1710

I’ve tried researching the name Damars or Damarts, which is what it looks like to me, but think it’s actually meant to be Damaris, which is a girls name  used here in the 1700’s, and is still in use in the USA.  It is the name of a woman mentioned in a single verse in Acts of the Apostles (17:34) as one of those present when Paul of Tarsus preached in Athens in front of the Athenian Areopagus in c. AD 55. Together with Dionysius the Areopagite she embraced the Christian faith following Paul’s speech. I think biblical names were a thing back then.

Philip, son of Philip & Jane Snowdon, who departed life in the 3rd year of his age.On the 1st October 1767

I’ll finish up with some pictures of the 12th century stones incorporated into the rebuilt church.

There were several christenings going on in the church so we didn’t intrude, but would have loved to see what they had on the inside!

all picture are embiggenable with a click.

Full album can be found here.



23 comments on “St Cuthberts Church ~ March 2019

  1. beetleypete says:

    Interesting to see so many Celtic Crosses in a churchyard cemetery. It was good that the digging man was so accommodating too.
    I found Bernard’s song for you. 🙂 (He is still alive, aged 90.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love it! Cheers Pete 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So much history, here European history goes back less than 200 years so the UK always amazes me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Steve, I do love finding out about our past history, cheers! 🙂


  3. raistlin0903 says:

    Between Pete’s and your posts, I’m thinking I really have to take a sabbatical for a year in order to visit all these sites in England. Don’t think my boss is going to say yes to that though🤔🤔😂😂
    Great pictures ! Especially love those old Celtic crosses. Love these posts, keep them coming! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha that would be cool!


  4. Keith says:

    Oooooo, pretty! I would have loved to see inside but that’s understandable. Tons of history there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always history 🙂 cheers Keith

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sue says:

    Love those Celtic crosses

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my 7th great-grandmothers was named Damaris Jones. She was born in Massachusetts in 1685 and died in Maine in 1754. I don’t know her parentage, but her husband’s family came from Tiverton, Devon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow great family history knowledge! Damaris is a lovely name. Thanks so much for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. April Munday says:

    That long stone in the wall looks as if it might have come from the top of a tomb. Mr Digger sounds as if he could tell a tale or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure it’s a tomb/grave top as I’ve seen others like it that were. Cheers April.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. joshi daniel says:

    Looks nice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. richlakin says:

    Cuthbert did get about. I was a reporter in Carlisle a few years back and he was everywhere in the city centre

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The 7 years he was trundled about are mind boggling really, I wonder if the monks carrying his coffin got the On Tour tee-shirts! 🤣


  10. enmanscamera says:

    I always enjoy your regular history of the long ago architecture and the commentary you ad. Great photos as usual frag..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. steviegill says:

    Lovely shots. One of three the houses at my primary school was named after St Cuthbert, which makes my childhood sound very Harry Potter 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everywhere has St.Cuthbert up here, roads, buildings, parks etc!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. steviegill says:

        Yeah, old St Cuthbert seems to be well liked in the north east

        Liked by 1 person

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