Art and Architecture

Kirkharle St Wilfrid

Our churches are rich in architecture and decorative arts. Whether you simply enjoy the pleasure of lovely places and visual delights, or have an eye for the finer points of building styles, monuments and art in glass, wood or stone, there is plenty to wonder at and enjoy.

The medieval period is well represented, including stone carvings of the Magi at St Gregory’s at Kirknewton, tombs and figures of warrior families at St Peter’s in Chillingham, St Mary’s in Staindrop, and the “Lumley Warriors” at St Mary and St Cuthbert’s in Chester-le-Street - to name just a few!

Church windows are colourful story-books! Here is a short video introduction to church windows - made for children but rather fun for anyone to enjoy!

The art of glass has a very long history - indeed first stained glass in England was produced in the 7th century at the former monastery at St Peter’s in Monkwearmouth. Look for local saints, heroes and Bible stories – some familiar, others mysterious to modern eyes. Magnificent modern work is well worth seeing, for example Hexham Abbey’s “Tyrrell Window” (2012) and the new “Hartley Memorial” windows (2013) at St Alban’s Church in Earsdon.

Other artistic gems include the Arts and Crafts splendours of St. Andrew’s in Roker, St George’s in Jesmond, Newcastle, and St Chad’s in Gateshead, and contemporary sculpture by Fenwick Lawson: “The Journey” at St Mary’s, Lindisfarne and “Christ Ascending” at St Michael & All Angels at Houghton-le-Spring.  Some churches host regular art events, including the Sanctuary Artspace at St Edmund’s in Gateshead and St Augustine’s in Alston, Cumbria.

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    All Saints Exterior

    Fine examples of stained glass by two artists and artwork on the walls from one of these and another artist.

    Holy Trinity at Horsley

    Built in 1844 by 2nd Lord Redesdale - architects J & B Green. Important estate church with strong links to the Mitford family.

    St Mary the Virgin at Longframlington

    St Mary’s dating from 1190, has a fine Norman chancel arch, as well as good Victorian stained glass, and a carved altar and font cover from the early 20th century.  It is at the centre of a thriving Christian community, with a community room completed in 2012 attached to the north wall.

    Sunny Day at Ingram

    A beautiful church set in a large rural churchyard, an ideal place for quiet meditation.

    Beautiful Day at St Michael's

    A church in a magnificent setting with a fine view of the Cheviot and Flodden hill from the porch. The building dates from the 13th century and has always been closely associated with Ford Castle and whoever owned it.

    Autumn Scene of St Cuthberts

    Originally designed by John Dobson, a church with an interesting spire and Kempe Glass.


    Ellingham Parish Church is situated in the woodland East of the village of Ellingham – you may just see the tower above the trees as you approach.

    St James the Great's Church

    St James is a fine Victorian church in Morpeth. It’s open every day, so come and see it.

    Listed 18th Century Tombstone

    Visitors, sometime from as far away as Australia and the USA have described the church in the visitors book as ‘impressive’ and ‘lovely; they admire the particular peaceful quality of the building.

    St Andrew's Roker

    Consecrated 1907, known as the Arts & Crafts Cathedral of the North.  Contains Tapestry by Burne Jones, Carpet by William Morris, Stained glass windows by Paine. The altar can be seen from all points of church.

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