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St Gregory The Great: Kirknewton

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From Akeld going west on the B6351 lies Kirknewton church one of only 35 churches in the British Isles dedicated to St. Gregory the Great. Earliest records dated 1223 refer to the first incumbent identified as Stephen, priest here from 1153 to 1197. Recurrent Border warfare left the church building in ruins over various periods; however rebuilding at the end of the 15th century replaced the long chancel. From the old foundations on the north and south walls, the present distinctive barrel vaulting rises as a thick protection against fire and assault. The Burrell chapel with the family tombstones at the south transept is a similar style with vaulting slopping inwards from floor level. The old Coupland chapel was pulled down in 1796 and the north wall was extended the full length of the nave. The last major restoration was in 1856 undertaken by John Dobson of Newcastle in a Lancet style typical of his work and completed in 1860. Later, the perpendicular style tower was added.

A great treasure of the church is a relief of the Adoration of the Magi on the facing wall of the chancel arch above the priest’s stall. It’s sturdy, crude workmanship suggests 12th century origin, but it could possibly be 9th century. On the north-west corner wall of the chancel is a fragment of stone bearing signs of Saxon workmanship, and what appears to be a stone children’s coffin lids of antiquity are in the north and south walls of the tower. Set into the floor of the chancel is an old tombstone which records the death of a Yeavering man who died ‘bravely’ in 1617. A memorial window on the east wall to Captain Claud Lambton based on Psalm 104 is a modern addition. In the graveyard to the west of the tower lies Josephine Butler (1828-1906) who was a great social reformer.

To download more information about Josephine Butler click here www.job.org

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church number

Kirknewton

St Gregory
The Great

Grade II*

13C


Church Services

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opening hours

Open at all times

churchyard

Churchyard

wheelchairaccess

Accessible for wheelchair users

transport

Public Transport nearby

public toilet

Public Toilet

accessible public toilet

Accessible Toilet