Finchale Priory

Religious Place Framwellgate Moor County Durham

Finchale Priory

Religious Place In Framwellgate Moor, County Durham

Finchale Priory was a benedictine priory founded in 1196 on the site of the hermitage of Saint Godric.

Finchale Priory was founded in 1196 on the banks of the River Wear. It was an outpost of Durham Cathedral and was a holiday retreat for the monks of Durham until it's dissolution in 1538.

The priory came under attack in 1942 by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) and 2 bombs were dropped on the site. It is thought the Luftwaffe had set out to bomb nearby Durham Cathedral as part of the raids in the North East of England. However, as they approached the cathedral on 1st May 1942, a dense mist came over the city and the bombs mistakenly hit Finchale Priory, saving the cathedral. Some people believed that the spirit of St Cuthbert was behind the camoflaging of the cathedral.

The site is now managed by the English Heritage and is free to look around, though there is a small charge for parking. It is quite a small place, but you can continue your visit by heading over the footbridge and walking through Cocken Wood.

Main image courtesy of Phil Page.

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Where Is Finchale Priory

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54.8182, -1.54043
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The priory is visible from the car park.

Where To Park?

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54.81847, -1.54127

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There is a charged car park for the priory on site, not managed by English Heritage.

Sandra Clemens

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

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