Back in the snows of last December I drove to Bywell, where there are two churches next to each other, down beside the Tyne. St Andrew’s in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust – what we used to call Redundant Churches – and was unlocked. St Peter’s is the parish church – and was locked! I went back having tried to visit Riding Mill – on this occasion the parish church was open, the redundant church closed for building work. Most of these photos are from December.
St Andrew’s – NZ048615 – has a page on the website at http://www.visitchurches.org.uk/Ourchurches/Completelistofchurches/St-Andrews-Church-Bywell-Northumberland/
Bywell used to be a busy town – a population of 500 in 1570. A major flood in 1771 and then mid-C19 re-modelling means that the churches are quite isolated – although the village cross still stands.
The top of the Saxon tower is thought to date to c.1000, but the lower part is even earlier. There are all sorts of cross slabs displayed inside and out, and a Saxon cross.
The Victorian glass is by William Wailes, who is buried in the other churchyard. I liked these two nativity scenes, and the calling of the disciples. The reredos is also Victorian. Inside needs a re-plaster and some TLC – I must go back when the restoration work is finished.