Religious Place In Bishop Auckland, County Durham
Founded about AD 670–675, it is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon churches in England.
Sat in the village of Escomb on the south side of the River Wear near Bishop Auckland, is a church untouched by the Georgians and Victorians.
No-one is sure when the church was first built but archaeological evidence and features suggest between 670 and 690 AD. Some of the stonework has diamond broaching carved on it and is a feature of Roman stonework which would of originally had plaster on it.
The little windows on the North side are a Saxon feature along with the Saxon sundial on the south wall.
Unlike most churches, there is no dedication to a Saint. The guide book says no Saint was associated with it and the founder of the Church ranges from monks at Jarrow, Lindisfarne and Monkwearmouth to St Wilfred of Hexham, Ripon and York. St Hilda of Hart and Hartlepool is another suggestion.
Inside the porch is a display with the history of the church and village along with archaeological finds including Saxon stone cross. In the church is a late medieval font. A stone cross behind the altar is around 9th century and comes from a standing cross or grave cover.
The church is kept locked but the key is easy to get and information in on the notice boards around the church. Guide books in the church are available for £2.
The village has a pub and has footpaths that will take you down and along the river to Bishop Auckland.
Place contributed by Ashley Lightfoot
I love history, exploring churches, castles and ruins with my camera in tow. I am a member of English Heritage. Northumberland is my second home and any chance I get, I'm up there with my Dad, who volunteers with the national park, discovering a little something with a story behind it. The rest of my time, I'm just a simple greenkeeper!
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