North Tyne Steeplechase

Saturday 31 August 2024


Engraving of Simonburn Church and Rectory

Simonburn Church and Rectory drawn by the Rector, The Rev. David Evans, MA, and published 1825

Travel will be by car and every effort will be made to arrange lifts.
Starting at the first church at 10.30am. Programme ending around 5.00pm.
Lunch will be self-catered in Humshaugh, either picnic or at The Crown or The George at Chollerford.

The cost of £15.00 includes afternoon tea and cake and donations to the visited churches.

Mediaeval churches along the North Tyne, such as St John Lee and St Giles at Chollerton, have fabric and fittings which reflect border history from Roman times to ours. Quite distinct, and much less changed, are the late-Georgian, toy-gothic churches built by the landlord, Greenwich Hospital, when 'The Great Parish' of Simonburn, once the largest in the country, was divided into smaller parishes including Humshaugh and Wark. Hugh Dixon, Dr Richard Pears and others will puzzle how Renaissance repairs to earlier churches were themselves re-forged in the fervour of the Victorian gothic revival and current changes in forms of worship and other church activities. We will notice too how the architectural style of the churches is reflected in settlements and estate buildings. Along the way we will find a headstone depicting a fulling mill, an outstanding tomb effigy somehow missed by Pevsner and St Peter's keys in regular use. Do join the steeplechase. No running involved.

Limited numbers, booking on first come first served basis.

Flyer with full details as previously circulated to members; booking form (.docx format).

NAHS North Tyne Valley 31st August 2024 - draft itinerary - very provisional!

Company - about 20 people
Travel in cars - five or six at most
Lunch will be self-catered in Humshaugh, either self-catered picnic or at The Crown or The George at Chollerford.

10.30 Meet at St John Lee Church, north off A69 opposite Hexham. Ample car parking beyond church
11.05 leave: six miles to
11.15 St. Giles's, Chollerton - limited parking in vicinity of the church - care needed
12.00 leave: four miles, over Robert Mylne's Bridge at Chollerford to
12.15 Humshaugh village with St Peter's Church. Parking beside road near church - again care needed
12.45 Lunch at will picnic, or village community shop if open) or at pub: The Crown - award-winning, traditional county pub; large beer garden serving local cask ales & good food. [Check if booking possible or necessary: 01434 681231]
1.45 Leave by B6320 - 8 miles to
2.15 Wark village and square (parking with luck) and Town Hall (former Mechanics Institute)
2.35pm leave one mile north to
2.45pm St. Michael's Church and Old Rectory (exterior only, seen over a wall) Ample parking north of church by former Rector's trap house
3.20pm leave five miles south on B6320 again, then west to
3.35 Simonburn 18thC and gothic revival village. Parking in 'square' by church
4.00pm Tea at Simonburn
4.45pm St. Mungo's Church, and Parsonage, Simonburn
5.30pm leave (Newcastle about an hour away)

An east-of-the-North-Tyne, home-going option (via Wark Bridge - 5 miles) could include, for the resilient, St. Christopher's, Gunnerton, 1899, designed by its own curate, the Rev. J C Hawes, in its own style.

Church with square tower

St Michael's Church, Wark, 1818 - Greenwich Hospital late-Georgian gothic.



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