List grade: 1
List number: 1041684
Grid ref: NU2414605952

Warkworth Hermitage


"The Hermitage is reached by boat across the river Coquet. It was almost certainly established in about 1400 by the 1st Earl. Rather than a secluded dwelling for a religious recluse (hermit), it was in fact probably a chantry, or private chapel, where a priest performed services in return for a stipend. The chapel, with three vaulted bays, was carved directly out of the rock. To the right of the altar is a cluster of worn sculptures forming an almost life-size Nativity scene. The inner chamber was probably a closet from which the earl and his retinue could view the service, as there are viewing slits and windows cut in the wall adjoining the chapel"(English Hertitage)

Warkworth Hermitage is an unusual relic situated on the North bank of the River Coquet in Northumberland, England, close to the village of Warkworth.

The Hermitage consists of an outer portion built of stone, and an inner portion hewn from the steep rock above the river. This inner part comprises a chapel and a smaller chamber, both having altars. There is an altar-tomb with a female effigy in the chapel.

From the window between the inner chamber and the chapel, and from other details, the date of the work may be placed in the latter part of the fourteenth century, the characteristics being late Decorated. The traditional story of the origin of the hermitage, attributing it to one of the Bertrams of Bothal Castle in this county, is told in Bishop Percy's ballad The Hermit of Warkworth (1771).

The carving in the window is a nativity scene, the female is Mary with the newborn child at her breast; the item at her feet is the head of a bull, and the figure at her shoulder is an angel. Of the dedication crosses placed at the time of its construction only one is visible, the altar was plain the crafety is just that. The ballad is to all intents fiction as the chapel was built as a chantry, and occupied by a series of clergy from 1489 to 1536; since that time it has remained as it is today.

Warkworth Hermitage belongs to English Heritage and is normally open to the public during the summer season. It is accessed by a small boat from the path along the river behind Warkworth Castle.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 26/04/2016).
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Warkworth Hermitage

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The Hermitage, Warkworth

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Inside the Hermitage, Warkworth

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Hermitage Warkworth

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Warkworth Hermitage

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Warkworth Hermitage

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Fireplace, at the Hermitage, Warkworth

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Warkworth Hermitage

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Warkworth Hermitage
- "Hermitage. Mid-C14, enlarged late C14 or early C15. Original part cut in natural sandstone cliff; later parts squared stone with cut dressings. Plan: 3-bay chapel with parallel sacristy to rear ...

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Image taken from page 118 of 'The Local Historian's Table Book of remarkable occurrences, historical facts, traditions, legendary and descriptive ballads, connected with the Counties of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, and Durham. Historical Division.

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Warkworth Hermitage

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Warkworth Hermitage

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Warkworth Hermitage

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Warkworth Hermitage

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Warkworth Hermitage

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Warkworth Hermitage

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