Back to sunny Newcastle – though, on 21 October 2013, it was anything but sunny. A DAC visit to St Bartholomew Long Benton – NZ277691 – good website with a photo gallery. You can read back numbers of church newsletters – The Mothers’ Union want their tribute (or they’ll send the girls round). There is a large organ which fills a side chapel. The side chapel has a lovely Evetts’ window (search him on this blog if you’re a new reader). The Evetts’ window is hidden by the organ. Can they replace the organ with a modern electronic version which will be smaller (but probably a better instrument)? That would mean the chapel could be used (though flat access will be difficult) and the window seen.
The church is basically a 1790 rebuild of a medieval church. Pevsner says the architect was William Newton. Backworth Hall is one of his, as is a hunting lodge out at Kielder. I visited Backworth, now Backworth Miners’ Welfare, a few years ago on a Heritage Open Day. From the outside it is a beautiful hall, inside it is a miners’ social club. Wonderful railway photos of the huge colliery system here at this flickr site. Back to this church, it sits in a huge graveyard – too wet to explore much. (The van parked beside the church is the organ people’s).
Inside the church is obviously loved, busy, a bit higher than sunny Ponteland, with plenty going on. The bright red carpet is a bit too bright for me, but better that than something beige! You can just see the Evetts’ icon on this photo. The font is dated 1857. Various medieval grave slabs, C16 ledger stones and memorial tablets from the C18 and C19.
Finally the St Bart’s Tapestry. Made in 1991 to commemorate the bi-centenary of the completion of the present church. 46 members of the congregation produced it. Their inspiration was from Revelation chapters 20 and 21. “A new heaven and a new earth.” Precious stones, the river of the water of life, and the twelve fruits in their season.