North Sunderland, Northumberland – St Paul

I continued to Seahouses and found the church in North Sunderland – NU212314. A very nice little guidebook by David Donaldson gives a good history of church and parish – the parish which includes Seahouses (I assume they are actually the same place) where the harbour is now the starting point for boat trips to the Farne Islands (see our trip to Inner Farne on Midsummer Day 2011) but which has been a major grain and lime exporting point, and a centre for the herring trade. As well as a good guidebook the church has a nice tidy noticeboard and a lovely “people board” inside.

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North Sunderland was part of Bamburgh parish until 1834. The Lord Crewe Trustees commissioned Anthony Salvin (1799-1881), and this church is one of his earliest commissions. He had worked for them on the restoration of the Gatehouse of Bamburgh and later built the memorial to Grace Darling in Bamburgh churchyard. Across the Pennines he gets a mention on the visitcumbria website – and we came across his work at Lanercost. Pevsner describes him as “the most successful restorer and purveyor of castles in the second half of the 19th Century” – I would like the description “purveyor of castles” on my CV! North Sunderland is a simple church, but rather lovely.

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I wonder who came up with the idea of the stars. If my dad had still been with us, I bet he would have suggested that they should have painted with a proper constellation – what you see in the sky over North Sunderland on the Vicar’s birthday! Nice altar too.

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The Chancel Screen is a nice bit of woodwork – presumably original to the church. The pulpit is by Ralph Hedley, a local carver, around 1900.

august d 056august d 066august d 067This knight looks a little pregnant. There are also some nice Evetts windows. The sun was shining through, indeed the north side of the church (the one beside the road) was in such deep shadow I couldn’t really photo it. It was a glorious day, and a lovely church.

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