Holystone – St Mary

A fortnight later (28 April) we drove up towards Rothbury, but turned left, over beside Simonside, through the bustling metropolis of Great Tosson, then across a flood Coquet, and past Woodhouses Bastle. Sunday’s readings were sheep and shepherds, and Christ the cornerstone – so they got a few photos too.

We continued north and turned into the village of Holystone (NT954027). Not easy to park. The church website http://coquetdaleanglican.org/holystone/ says that in the 19th century it was a much busier village with population up to about 200, and there was a resident doctor and headmistress until the school closed 40 years ago. In earlier centuries it was not so prosperous. A nunnery had been established here, probably between 1107 and 1124, but Edward I’s war with Scotland led to it being burned in 1312. Over the next couple of centuries the nunnery had many difficult times, rarely able to collect their tithes, and it was dissolved in 1532. The Augustinian Priory was immediately to the south of the church, which would explain why the churchyard is to the north. Like Alwinton, George Pickering was used to rebuild the church (1848).

Most of the stained glass windows are Wailes, but there is this new Millennium window, designed locally by Jan and Dawn Watson. Not quite as light as an Evetts.















Just inside the door the tradition of hospitality continues with a table of refreshments. I also liked the book produced by the school children.


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One Response to Holystone – St Mary

  1. Ray Ion says:

    Simonside …. also known (appropriately !!) as …. the Sacred Mountain.

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