Holy Trinity Church Old Bewick ~ March 2022

After we had visited St.Maurice’s Church we drove up the road 15 minutes and turned down a narrow country lane to find the rather lovely Holy Trinity Church settled in a secluded glen.

The History Bit πŸͺ β˜•οΈ

( Actually a lot of this is supposedly, and apparently, so there’s history and a bit of lore.)

The oldest part of the mostly Norman Church is believed to be 12th century and built by the monks of Tynemouth afterΒ  Queen Maud ~ (Matilda of Scotland who was the wife of the Henry I ) gave the Manor of Bewick to Tynemouth Priory in 1107. She did so in memory of her royal father Malcolm Canmore (or Maol Chaluim mac Dhonnchaidh in his native tongue), King of Scotland, who was slain at the Battle of Alnwick in 1093 and buried at Tynemouth. He had snatched the crown of Scotland from Macbeth (the one from Shakespear) in 1054, and in 1091 brought an army south across the border, laying waste to much of Northumberland.Β Due to the ongoing battles with the pesky Scots in the late 13th century, the church was damaged but restored in the 14th century. There is a possibility that the restoration was done by the husband of a lady who’s effigy can be found in the chancel. She is wearing C14th century costume, and is thought to be the work of sculptors who had a workshop near Alnwick until about 1340. But it is also said to be of Matilda, aka Queen Maud!

A bell dated 1483 was found in the rubble of the vestry suggesting that at this time it had a tower or belfry. Inside the church and porch are several examples of C13th and C14th tomb slabs. Although the church went through more damage around 1640, Ralph Williamson, Lord of the Manor, restored the nave. However, early in the next century, the roof was blown off and the chapel fell to ruin although still used for burials. In 1866 Mr J C Langlands (whose monument stands at the end of the lane) had the church restored, and it opened for services in 1867.

Sophie entering the church grounds. (Contax Aria, Kodak UM 400)

As usual we went hunting for interesting gravestones and found a few..


Someone took the trouble to work this out!

“In the year of our Lord God 1720, here lieth the body of Roger, who departed this li(f)e at bueck (Bewick) mill race, muera (?died ~ possibly meant mori, latin or less possibly muerte, Spanish) 1720″.

This seemed sad,

so young
? Cap’n Jack πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ

Grand Master Burdon and his wife, the last surviving daughter of Major Thomas Packenham Vandeleur of Belfield, Co. Limerick.

The bushes behind the robin on a cross are not bushes, that’s a full length fallen tree courtesy of Storm Arwen, and a few of the headstones got battered.

Snowdrops and Robin

Going inside there are both anglo saxon and Norman features

the Norman arches of the chancel and apse.

The church was re-roofed in Victorian times, thanks to Mr J.C. Langlands.

nave, roof, and font at the end.
effigy of a lady ? Queen Maud.

So that’s the end of our initial foray into the churches nearest our favourite cafΓ© in Northumberland. The following week we did two more, and had lunch again 😊 and they’ll be up in the next couple of posts. I bet you’re all agog so stay tooned!

πŸ“· 😊

clickable pics for embiggerment.

Full album HERE for last week and this weeks posts.

refs- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matilda_of_Scotland

45 thoughts on “Holy Trinity Church Old Bewick ~ March 2022

    1. Yes sir. The pesky Scots have featured in many of my Northumberland history posts. They quite liked Northumberland and wanted to have it for themselves, I kind of wish they’d won it in the end, but alas it didn’t work out that way. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post. The wonderful thing of living on a rocky island is that one can carve grave stones that excist for many ages. In my wet, flat, non-rocky country, they used wood that has dissapeared long ago. So really old grave stones of ordinary people are scarse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Old churches and cemeteries are fascinating. Here in New England the headstones are slate, so the carvings remain intact. One that I remember is of a child who died from ‘throat distemper’. My doctor confirmed that term meant ‘diphtheria’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a lovely little church, the kind I think are among the best. Grand as cathedrals can be, these have an intimacy I rather like. And, as a descendant of a pesky Scots family . . . well, what can I say? πŸ˜‰ Looking forward, A G O G as usual, to your future posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have many interesting photos, do you have photos of Cornwall, I’ve read many books with the set in there, and it would be great to see some photos. It’s one place on my list to visit one day.

    Liked by 1 person

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