Bedlington – St Cuthbert

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I parked by St Cuthbert’s Bedlington, NZ260817, wandered in, admired the plaque and the entrance pillars, and was greeted by a big hug from Elizabeth, one of the clergy. The church is on an ancient site, perhaps 8th century. It is recorded that Bishop Cutheard of Chester-le-Street purchased land for a church, priest’s house and farm around 900. The first recorded incumbent was Eilaf, who is thought to have been one of the seven monks who left Holy Island in 875 carrying Cuthbert’s body. This is a Saxon carving of angels.

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Norman features are seen in the upper south wall and the Chancel arch.

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The original Norman tower was demolished and replaced in 1867.

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The Chancel was restored in 1847. In 1817 the original Norman North Wall of the nave was demolished and an extension built to accommodate the growing population. By 1919 it was demolished and replaced with the Burdon Aisle, which includes the Burdon Window (lots of Masonic influences). The pews were removed from here in 2002. Most of the glass is early 20th century – I can’t work out what is where!

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This War Memorial came from Whitley First School in the town. It was thought to have been destroyed in a fire in 1969, but turned up in an antique shop in Holland – http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/bedlington-schools-lost-war-memorial-4393026. It is here until a permanent place can be found for it in the school.

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The South Porch was added in the 14th century, but the congregation preferred to enter by the door closest to the town – these congregations, we build them a nice new porch, and they prefer to use the closest door – so by 1723 it was a school. It is now a Memorial Chapel for the men of Bedlington who lost their lives in the Wars. There is a Roll of Honour for those who worked down the pits, a Parish Enlistment Book, and the colours of the 2nd Battalion of the Tyneside Scottish Regiment which were laid up there in 1920.

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DSC03171DSC03170 Some nice memorials inside and out.

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