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 🍪 ☕️

( 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 after  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. 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 🏴‍☠️

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 café 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!

📷 😊

clickable pics for embiggerment.

Full album HERE for last week and this weeks posts.

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

Embleton Church ~ April 2019

After Sophie and I had our walk on Embleton Beach we decided to have a look around Embleton Church.

Embleton Church Tower

Known as the Church of the Holy Trinity, the oldest part of it is the lowest level of the tower, and is the only identifiable bit from the 12th century, and it has two blocked Norman windows. At this point in time the church would have had a Nave without aisles and a chancel only. The aisles were added around 1200. The upper levels of the tower were added in the 14th century. At the top is an open battlement, which is unusual for northern churches.

As you enter through the South Porch which dates from the 15th century, there are some old tomb slabs set into the walls.

The shears to the left of the cross indicate a woman’s burial.

There is also a lovely green man carved boss carved into the ceiling of the porch.

The church has undergone many restorations, especially in the 1800’s. In 1803 the mediaeval chancel was replaced by a plain classical one with a flat ceiling. You can see in the picture below an outline of a blocked window which would have looked out over the chancel roof. The last time the chancel was replaced in 1887 the axis of the chancel was, and remains, inclined.  No-one seems to know why, but apparently it wasn’t uncommon.

Looking toward the chancel.

looking toward the Nave

At the back of the church is an ornate spiral staircase for the bellringers to climb up into the tower.

Stairway to heaven.

There are some lovely stained glass windows made by Charles Eamer Kempe, a famous glass designer and manufacturer in the 1800’s.

South Aisle- in memory of the Forsters, 1856. (not sure who they were but one was a doctor).


The Craster family (no not the incestuous bad guy wildling in G.O.T you know, where Gilly came from) are an ancient family in Northumberland, and you might have seen my previous post on the village of Craster which was owned by the family. The church has a Craster Porch at the north-east end of the north aisle with the Craster arms and memorial slabs.

Shafto Craster Craster. Best. Name. Ever 🙂

We had a look around the graveyard, it had a gorgeous blossom tree,

In 1870 a number of coins were discovered in the churchyard at Embleton. The coins are known as groats. The groat is the traditional name of a long-defunct English and Irish silver coin worth four pence, and also a Scottish coin which was originally worth fourpence, with later issues being valued at eightpence and one shilling. They were minted between the reigns of Edward II and Edward IV, the earliest coin dating to about 1351 and the latest about 1464. I can’t find which museum they are in, but Merton College Oxford have been the patrons of Embleton church since 1274, so it’s conceivable that they have them somewhere, but that’s pure conjecture on my part. Also wondering why M.C Oxford would be a patron of this church, but can’t find anything on it as yet.

So that’s it for Embleton!

full album can be viewed HERE

Next time we’re starting a day out on a riverside walk at Allen Banks, a hidden Norman church, and the convergence of the Rivers Tyne.

Stay Tooned!

refs :– Leaflet from Embleton Church,



Washington Old Hall~July 2016 part 3

Part 1.  Part 2.


Technically speaking these shots are from the Holy Trinity church right next door to the hall, but we did it on the same day so I’ve chucked it in with the Hall report. 🙂

The History Bit

Holy Trinity Church is known locally as the ‘Church on the hill’ and has been central to Washington’s large parish for centuries. The oval mound on which it stands, once within a rounded enclosure, suggests the re-use of a pagan site. Rounded churchyards usually have Celtic origins. Unfortunately the Domesday Book (1086-7) excludes places north of the Tees and because of this the church’s earliest documents belong to the 12th century. In 1112 the area around the church was mentioned as being part of Bishop Rannulf Flambard’s lands. Again it is mentioned in 1149 as being part of Bishop William of St Barbe’s estates. The next bishop, Hugh of Le Puiset (1153 – 1195) decided to re-organise his estates. In one of the areas to be changed he required more land to build a castle and to make a new borough. This area was known at the time as Stockton and Hartburn and was held by William of Hartburn. William exchanged his lands and by 1180 William had settled in his new lands and was known as “de Wessington” from which the name Washington derives.

Some really old graves to be found

and also some new ones

theres always a spider

We did go inside..

In 1832 the old church was demolished and, sadly, it is likely that many historic objects disappeared. This included the Saxon (or early Norman font). However, fortunately, the font was later found, being used as a water trough, and returned to the church where it still stands.

and that’s the end of our day out in Washington. (UK…Not where Trump works 😀 😀 )

(info @ http://www.holytrinitywashington.org.uk)










The York Report 4~ a miscellany

I have a few odds and sods to post that don’t fit into one category, so here they are,

Firstly I forgot to take a shot of the outside of our hotel, but did think the light fixture in our room was very funky.

funky lamp
funky lamp

Also we had mood lighting in the bathroom lol, they were blue LED’s and looked very pretty.

mood lighting
mood lighting

You can see part of the old city wall here, and this is the exact place Princess Margaret, who was Henry VIII sister, entered York on her progress up to Scotland, after she was married by proxy to James IV in 1503.

City wall

Booth Bar was the main gate we entered the city through on the short walk from our hotel, and stone men look down upon you. There are 4 bars of York, I already showed Micklegate Bar in my previous post here.

Guardians of the Gate
Guardians of the Gate

on our first day we stopped for a coffee and sausage roll and sat down in a little square between two buildings, there were gravestones fastened to the wall, this one struck me for the date, and the Latin.

a long rest
a long rest

All Saints, such a beautiful church, it dates from the 14th century, but there has been a church on this site for even longer. The earliest mention was in the Domesday Book (1086), and an Anglo-Saxon grave cover, dating from the 10th century, is the earliest evidence for a burial ground. One tradition even claims that All Saints was built in 685 AD for St Cuthbert.

The elegant lantern on top of the tower is visible from many parts of the city.  It was built around 1400. Throughout the mediaeval period, the light was kept burning at night to guide travellers into the city through the wolf-infested Forest of Galtres to the north.

The beautiful glass of the huge 14th century west window depicts the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. The pulpit, with its sounding board to reflect and amplify the preacher’s voice, dates from 1634.

All Saints, The Pavement Church.

Clifford Tower has a long and bloody history, the original mound of Clifford’s Tower, with a timber structure at the top, was constructed by William the Conqueror in 1068 as a statement of his power over the region.  This building stood for just over a century before being burnt down in one of York’s bloodiest and tragic moments, when, in 1190, 150 Jews were massacred on the site.

Cliffords Tower
Cliffords Tower

Between 1190 and 1194, it was repaired at great expense, and the mound was raised to its present height.  The second timber structure was destroyed (this time by a gale) in 1245, and then when we were at war with the Scots, Henry III ordered the tower to be rebuilt and strengthened, this time in stone. After being decimated by fire, wind, and even water (the castle sunk into the moat causing the walls to crack in the 1350s) the next challenge came from a very unlikely source – the castle’s jailer, Robert Redhead.  In 1596 he began demolishing the tower and selling the stone as building material ‘for his own profit’.  He was only stopped after prolonged protests by the city council. It later became a garden ornament (albeit a large one) until it was incorporated into the extensions of York’s prison in 1825.  Over the centuries the tower has regularly been threatened by demolition or neglect and yet still it stands, a proud, if somewhat decayed, monument to York’s turbulent and bloody past. Why Clifford’s Tower? The name may well be a reference to the fact that Roger de Clifford was hanged at the tower in 1322 for opposing Edward II, or to the Clifford family’s claim that they were the hereditary constables of the tower.

Another building that I can’t remember what it was!

window undressing
window undressing

These unassuming, plastered timber-framed cottages with pantiled roofs date from 1316 when a deed was granted for their construction in the Holy Trinity Church grounds. They are the oldest row of houses in York and one of the earliest examples in England of the medieval ‘jettied’ houses, whose upper story protrudes – or ‘jetties’ – outwards above the lower part. Built within the ancient churchyard with a separate house for the Chantry Priests the rental income, a considerable sum of money, funded the church’s maintenance and contributed to the Chantry endowment costs on a regular basis.

Our Lady’s Row

Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate,  stands in a small, secluded, leafy churchyard, with the Minster towering behind. To visit, you pass through an 18th-century archway tacked on to buildings that served as artisans’ workshops in the 14th century. The building dates chiefly from the 15th century, but has features from its foundation in the 12th century right up to the 19th century.


Holy Trinity Church
Holy Trinity Church

The east window especially has marvellous stained glass that was donated in the early 1470s by the Reverend John Walker, rector of the church.

Holy Trinity Windows
Holy Trinity Windows

St Michael-le-Belfrey is the only church in York to have been built in the 16th century and is the largest pre-Reformation parish church in the city. Guy Fawkes the infamous Gunpowder Plot conspirator, lived in nearby Petergate and was baptized in this church.  An enlarged page from the church register recording his baptism is displayed inside the church. There was a service just finished when we went in with loads of people having coffee, so I didn’t get any good photo’s as it was a bit embarrassing!

St.Michael Le Belfry Church

Well that’s enough for this post, still loads more to come though so stay tuned 🙂

laters gaters