St Aidan's Church
Religious Place In Bamburgh, Northumberland
A 12th century church standing on the site of the original wooden church built by St Aidan in the 7th century.
Adding to the splendour is St Aidan's Church and as with most churches in Northumberland, there is a lot of history surrounding it. The first thing that probably draws you to the church is the Grace Darling Monument in the graveyard, but there is lots more to see.
Let's take you back to the start. After St Oswald was victorious at the Battle Of Heavenfield, he wanted to further establish Christianity in his newly united kingdom of Northumbria, so he asked an Irish monk called St Aidan to help out. Aidan was currently living in Iona Abbey on an island off the west coast of Scotland and he headed over with 13 of his monk pals in 635AD.
When he arrived he quickly built a wooden church on the site of an existing church and then settled on Lindisfarne (Holy Island) building a monastery there which later developed into the priory you see today.
Aidan actually died inside this church in 652 AD and the wooden beam he was resting on as he passed away is still inside the church within the Baptistry. It is also said to have miraculously survived two fires.
There are two effigies within the church. One is an unknown knight who may have been a crusader and the other is of Grace Darling.
This is the original statue that was initially on her memorial outside, but was brought inside after it started to suffer from erosion. There is now a replica effigy on the memorial. The grave where Grace and her family are actually buried is just a few metres from the monument.
Near the main entrance there are stairs leading down to a crypt which is now open for public access. It holds the bones of 110 people who died sometime in the 7th and 8th century. They were found in the Bowl Hole graveyard (located on the sand dunes outside the castle) during an excavation by the Bamburgh Research Project (between 1998 and 2007) and were eventually interred within the crypt in 2016.
There is a digital ossuary available for more information.
Contributed by Simon Hawkins
Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.More Places from Simon
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