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Saints and Heroes

Bamburgh St Aidan 12th century build

Notable saints associated with this region include Aidan, Bede, Chad, Cuthbert, Ebba, Gregory, Hilda, Oswald and Wilfrid - try searching for churches by these names.

For an introduction to six of the Northern Saints, here is a short video produced as part of the Spirit in Stone digital resource for schools

To see the full set of 7 short video films, visit our YouTube playlist here: Six Northern Saints

Some other remarkable people commemorated in churches around the region: 

Bernard Gilpin (1517-1583), “Apostle of the North”, is remembered at St Michael and All Angels, Houghton le Spring. And the North East occupies an important place in the story of John Wesley (1703-1791) - notable sites include Brunswick Methodist Church in Newcastle, Westgate Methodist Chapel, and Ireshopeburn High House Chapel and Weardale Museum.

The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, Newcastle is proud of its links with Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood (1748-1810), second-in-command to Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.   

Grace Darling (1815-1842), the lighthouse-keeper’s daughter who risked her own life to save others, is commemorated at St Aidan’s, Bamburgh. The social reformer Josephine Butler (1828-1906) is remembered at St Gregory’s, Kirknewton, and the grave and monument of ‘Votes for Women’ campaigner Emily Wilding Davison is in St Mary's churchyard, Morpeth.  

In a region famed for inventiveness there are memorials to the inventor of the steam turbine engine, Sir Charles Parsons (1854-1931) in St Bartholomew’s, Kirkwhelpington, whilst at All Saints, Rothbury a lovely chancel screen commemorates industrialist and science hero, William George Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong (1810-1900).

Newcastle was transformed in the 1830s by property developer Richard Grainger (1797-1861), whose memorial is at St James’ in Benwell Newcastle, whilst the grave of 18th century engraver and artist Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) is at St Mary’s, Ovingham.

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