Thursday, 18 December 2008

Heysham, St Patrick's chapel.

St Patricks chapel,

On a headland just off the A589 in Heysham, the remains of the chapel of St Patrick can be found, just behind the ancient church of St Peter.

The chapel can easily be reached by following the signs to the remains from down in the village. The walk is easy and around a quarter of a mile from the main car park. It's free too....which is always a bonus!!!

Black Sabbath fans will most likely recognise these graves from the 2006 album cover, The Best of Black Sabbath!!

These graves have the sockets for crosses still visible, although both the crosses, the grave lids and the contents have long since been removed!

Once you've passed the church on your right, the chapel is situated up a gently slope, overlooking the sea to the West. All that remains now, are the largely re-constituted walls of the chapel, no doubt re-built using rubble found on the site. However, this has been done exceptionally well, and no more than necessary has been done to convey the essence of this site.

There is a small rectangular ruined building with arches and some standing stones. Around these remains are the remnants of carved grave stones, hewn from the bedrock.

The chapel dates from around 667AD.The remains of a cemetery were found roughly to the South of the chapel, with the buried remains of around 85 people.

This Saxon gateway\doorway can be found between the chapel and St Peters below.

Around the back of the chapel, down a path that leads eventually to the beach, the remains of further paths, walls and arches can be seen, some hewn from the bedrock, and some rebuilt from known remains and rubble.