Border Churches



Location: In Bellingham town


Note the heavy stone slabbed roof and closely spaced buttresses.

The church was attacked and destroyed so many times that the roof was eventually replaced with the heavy stone slabs which can be seen today to give protection against fire. This is possibly the only one of its kind in England. Note the many buttresses to support the heavy slabs and the narrow nave windows which is another defensive feature.

The main support for the heavy roof is the roof vaulting inside the church which is a very unusual feature. It is a similar construction to that used in tower houses to support the heavy weight of the floors above.

The Churchyard contains many interesting stones. Above the doorway of the church entrance, two old grave-stones have been used as lintels. On the stonework near the porch, can be see some deep scratches which could have been made by bowman sharpening their arrows. It seemed to be common practice to sharpen weapons on church stonework near the entrance. 
There are other marks on the pillars near the door which are likely to have been sword marks.

Serving as it did a region inhabited by many lawless reiving families; the church was not well patronized and it became neglected and dilapidated. No books, not even the bible and prayer-book, were available in the church probably because the church clerk saw no need for them as he could not read or write.

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