The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Bywell Church of St Peter

In the civil parish of Bywell.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ04926142
Latitude 54.94747° Longitude -1.92481°

Bywell Church of St Peter has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


St Peter's Church is one of two churches in Bywell, both with Anglo-Saxon origins. It originally belonged to the Benedictine monastery of Durham and was the location of Bishop Egbert's consecration as 12th Bishop of Lindisfarne in AD803. The oldest parts of the church are the north wall of the nave and the western parts of the chancel walls. The present chancel was built at the beginning of C13, but the church is reported to have been burnt down in 1285. It was rebuilt in C14 and C15 and restored in C19. The Anglo-Saxon church is thought to have been a major building with a nave over 19m long. C13 tower is built on and partly within the original nave and overlies some Anglo-Saxon foundations. Built into the walls of the church are many Roman stones which has in part lead to the suggestion that the church may stand on a Roman site. Excavations in 1995 discovered the massive foundations of the Saxon chancel. (Keys to the Past)

The tower, built partially upon the site of the western part of the original nave, but not its equal in width, is a short, massive and plain, constructed probably, among other purposes, for that of defence. It is of a date somewhere about 1310, and has a western doorway, the inner arch of which is higher than the doorway, a double lancet window, divided by a square mullion, in the second stage, on the north, west, and south sides, a single chamfered set-off and a battlemented parapet, all contemporary with the tower itself. (Hodgson 1902)

Tower is said to be defensible although church towers, containing vibrating heavy bells, need to be heavily built.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:10

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact