List grade: 1
List number: 1155072
Keys to the Past HER: N9768
Grid ref: NY9364793281
Wikipedia: St Cuthbert's Chu...

Church of St Cuthbert, Elsdon


St Cuthbert's Parish Church in Elsdon, Northumberland, dates from the 12th century, with alterations and additions in the 14th and 17th centuries. The church was restored in 1837 and again in 1877 by F.R. Wilson.[1] The church is dedicated to St Cuthbert. It is said that Elsdon was one of the resting places of St. Cuthbert's body during it's journey from Lindisfarne to Durham (at that time there was an earlier timber church here). The Church is a Grade I listed building.

St Cuthbert's Church is located in Elsdon, Alnwick, northeast England. The church was one of the resting places of St. Cuthbert's body in the wanderings of the monks. It is one of the many dedicated to his memory. St Cuthbert's Church is a Grade I listed building in Northumberland.

Geography

St. Cuthbert's is situated within Elsdon's village green. Larger in size than many Northumbrian churches, it is situated close to the fortified vicarage. It is west-northwest from Morpeth. The village and church are located along St. Cuthbert's Way.

Architecture and fittings

The church shows evidence of extensive later medieval rebuilding. The cause may have been damage at the time of the 1388 Battle of Otterburn. The ceiling over the nave and the transept aisles forms quadrants, and slabs exist across the structure. Of the present church, there are two transepts, one called Anderson's porch, and the other Hedley's porch. The building had a leper window. There are several deep cuts on one of the pillars of the arcade of the south aisle, which are of a different character from masons' marks, and considered likely to have been made by the sharpening of weapons upon them.

In some country parishes in large sparsely-inhabited districts, it was expedient to build hearse-houses against the churches for the convenience of keeping a hearse for the use of the parishioners; one was built against the shady north side of the chancel of Elsdon's church. The rectory house is an old tower with a circular staircase at one corner. Its lowest story is spanned with one large arch. On its front arch are the arms of the Hunfranvilles, with an inscription beneath.

History

The first church at Elsdon was probably constructed of oak, with a roof made of rushes. A subsequent church has few remains still in existence: Norman pilasters, and two small Norman windows in the west gable, circa 1100 or earlier. Most of the current construction is 14th century. St John the Evangelist's Church in Otterburn is a chapel-of-ease to St. Cuthbert's.

The monks of Lindisfarne during their flight from the Danes, halted for a while with the relics of St. Cuthbert on what is now the site of Elsdon Church.

During the 1877 church restoration, it was necessary to change the levels of the church flooring. The flooring was damp; the bases of the pillars were nearly covered and out of sight because of soil accumulation. The reduction of soil levels in the nave, transepts and chancel lead to the discovery of an immense collection of skeletons. The labourers reported that 996 whole skulls were re-interred, as well as a large number that were mutilated in the course of their removal. The remains of nearly 1200 of the former chief inhabitants of the district were disturbed and removed from their resting place, while approximately 300 or 400 were left where found. The skeletons appeared to have been disturbed by the interment of those more recently buried. No doubt the intra-mural interments had taken place during hundreds of years, the last having occurred in the late 18th century. The bones of the earlier deceased had frequently been moved to make room for their successors. Skulls were frequently found lying together in groups of three or four in one spot. No remains other than bones were found, with the exception of a very few coffin handles, with a little decayed wood, and in one instance a small quantity of hair. It is possible that some bodies had been buried here after the Battle of Otterburn.

Also in 1877, it was necessary to pull down the small spire, which terminated at the bell turret surmounting the church's western gable. In the spire, immediately over the bell, a small chamber was discovered, without any opening, and in it, nearly filling the cavity, were three horse skulls. When found, the three skulls were standing on their bases in a triangular form, mouths upwards, and leaning against each other at the top; the cavity seemed to have been purposely prepared for them. There were two large skulls and one smaller; two were well preserved, while one was decayed. The heads appeared to be two of draught horses, and one of a cob. The reason for placing skulls in the bell turret may have been to increase the resonance.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 26/10/2018).
Visit the page: St Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.

from Geograph (geograph)
St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Elsdon

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Elsdon

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - south transept (exterior)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - bell tower

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - chancel

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - 18th C memorial (detail)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - stained glass window

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - nave

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - font

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Parish Church, Elsdon

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Bell tower and west window of St Cuthbert's

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - pulpit

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - sedilia

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - Roman funereal stone

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - info re the Roman funereal stone

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - organ

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - carved stone panel below the west window

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - north transept

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - cabinet containing the skulls of three horses

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - 18th C memorial (2)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St.Cuthbert's, Elsdon

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St Cuthbert's Church

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Entrance pathway to St Cuthbert's, Elsdon

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - stained glass window (2)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from https://historicengland.org...
CHURCH OF ST CUTHBERT - Elsdon - List Entry
- "Parish church. C12, C14 and C16 or early C17. Restored 1837 and again in 1877 by F.R. Wilson. Random rubble and squared stone with Welsh slate roof.....Interior: In ...

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Ordnance Survey 1GL Bolt

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St Cuthbert's, Elsdon

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - nave (2)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
St. Cuthbert's Church, Elsdon - chancel and nave

Pinned by Simon Cotterill

Comments

Add a comment or share a memory.

Login to add a comment. Sign-up if you don't already have an account.

ABOUT US

Co-Curate is a project which brings together online collections, museums, universities, schools and community groups to make and re-make stories and images from North East England and Cumbria. Co-Curate is a trans-disciplinary project that will open up 'official' museum and 'un-officia'l co-created community-based collections and archives through innovative collaborative approaches using social media and open archives/data.

LATEST SHARED RESOURCES