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Holy Cross Chuurch, 1813

Name: Holy Cross Church

Region: Wallsend, North Tyneside

Date of Origin: 1145

Site Type: Place of Worship

Condition: Ruined

Status: The church is in ruins near Valley Gardens in Wallsend. It is a Grade I Listed Ancient Monument.

Last Updated: 24/05/2020

"The Holy Cross Church, located near Valley Gardens in Wallsend dates from the mid 12th century. It was the chapel for Wallsend in the parish of Jarrow, belonging to the Prior and Convent of Durham, confirmed by Henry II. The church ceased to be used at the end of the 18th century and fell into ruin, but was excavated in 1909. It is a scheduled ancient monument and Grade 1 Listed." Co-Curate

"The Church of the Holy Cross dates back to 1145AD and was built by the monks from Jarrow Priory using Roman stone taken from the nearby Hadrian's Wall. The church was used for public worship until 1798 after which time it became derelict, the stone foundations and grave were restored and a steel railing erected in 1909 to protect the site.

A church of such age has many stories attached to it and one such story is recalled by Richardson in his local table book of legends. A member of the Delaval family was returning from Newcastle one night when he saw the church was lit up. Leaving his servant with the horses he went to investigate. He found a group of old hags engaged in the dissection of a corpse. They were putting parts of the dead woman into a cauldron suspended from the bell rope. As he ran to disperse them the managed to capture one witch. She was taken back to Seaton Delaval and tried before being sentenced to death by burning on Seaton Sands. On her way to her execution she begged for two new wooden platters which were then brought. As the fire was lit she placed her feet on the platters and muttered a spell. Immediately she rose high into the air above the beach. One of the platters however had been washed in running water and her foot slipped off and she fell to the ground. The crowd did not give her a second chance, and they ran to throw her back on the fire." -


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