Churches & History ~ #Medieval #Church #Photography #Historical

Although I’m not religious I enjoy looking round old churches that have history and atmosphere, without the opulence and wealth associated with the church in later years.

The header photo is St Cwyfan’s ~ the Little Church in the Sea. Built in the 12th century, the church originally perched on the end of a peninsular between two bays. Over the years the sea slowly eroded the peninsular turning it into the tiny island it is today. The church eventually fell into disrepair and became a ruin until it was restored around the mid 1900s. The elements are again causing damage to the building, nevertheless the church is still in use and is popular as a wedding venue.

St Oswald’s (on the right) is a church perched on top of a hill and situated by Hadrian’s Wall trail. The church sits on what is believed to be the site where King Oswald of Northumbria raised a large wooden cross so his troops could pray before the battle of Heavenfield, against the Welsh, in 635 AD. The Welsh army was immense compared to Oswald’s few thousand warriors. However, the Northumbrians were eventually victorious but their success resulted in the massacre of the Welsh army. The victory enabled them to re-establish the spread of Christianity throughout Britain and into Europe.

On the left is the medieval 11th century church of St John the Baptist. According to the information booklet in the church, there were earlier wooden structures on the site but the first stone building took shape during the year 1000. 

St Aidan’s church, Bamburgh was founded in 635 AD by St Aidan of Iona, an Irish monk. The original building was built of wood and has been rebuilt several times. It’s probably best known as the burial place of Grace Darling. Her memorial is on the right. 

Grace was born in Bamburgh, Northumberland in November 1815. Her father was a lighthouse keeper on the Farne Islands and Grace spent a good part of her youth in the lighthouses with her father, learning about the factors affecting the sea and the climate. In 1838 the paddle steamship SS Forfarshire, sailing from Hull to Dundee, ran aground on rocks off the outer islands. Grace was watching the storm from her window in Longstone lighthouse and saw the helpless ship wrecked on the rocks. She and her father watched for any signs of survivors but saw none. Grace carried on watching until daylight, which was when she saw movement on the rocks. 

During the rescue that followed, which was at Grace’s insistence, she and her father saved the lives of eighteen people. Grace became a national heroine but hated the attention, the lack of privacy and the pressure it brought. Her health began to deteriorate and she died of tuberculosis in October 1842. She was 26.

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7 comments

  1. Beautiful photographs Cathy, I too prefer the smaller, remote churches and I especially love your capture of St Cwyfan’s by the sea. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Wednesday and much love from our house to yours 🤗💖🐕 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gorgeous! We love old churches, but our oldest are only from the middle age. In Finland churches and bell towers are generally separated from each other. Are there inside Votive ships in your country? Thank you.

    Have a great day!

    Liked by 2 people

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