St Andrew's Church, Bywell, Northumberland
- What's nearby
The church of an ancient market town
Bywell was once a thriving market town beside the Tyne, though little now remains except the castle, a medieval market cross, the Hall, and two churches dating from Saxon times.
The tall tower of St Andrew's is a magnificent example of a late Anglo-Saxon building. Dating from about 850, it has massive walls 5 metres thick, clearly intended for defence; but it is much more than a defensive structure. It is built from a lovely mixture of cream, yellow, brown and even red sandstone and has the small rounded windows characteristic of the time.
The main body of the church dates from the thirteenth century and was considerably enlarged and restored in 1871. Most of the interior dates from this Victorian restoration, including the mosaic floor of the sanctuary and the glittering reredos. There is very fine Victorian stained glass, some by the notable designer William Wailes, who is buried at St. Peter's, Bywell's second church. Set into the walls, both inside and outside, are magnificent early Medieval grave slabs. They have bold carvings with emblems denoting the status of the person they commemorate - swords, shields, a hunting horn, shears and a book.
A 12th century church made of “handsome stone” in a tiny parish.
A medieval treasure saved by George Gilbert Scott
A church high on a hilltop
Gravel path to church. Slight, shallow step into church allows reasonable access. Some internal steps to the chancel. During winter and after wet weather, the path leading to the porch can become slippery.
Facilities & Hire
Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.
5 miles east of Corbridge. Turn off the A695 and pass Stocksfield rail station. Continue over the bridge and turn left towards Bywell (signposted).
Nearest railway station: Stocksfield (1 mile). Bus route numbers 10/416/508.
All our Northumberland churches are in our North region.
Useful local links:
- Visit Northumberland tourism website
- Northumberland National Park
- Northumberland & Durham Family History Society
- List of societies at Association of Northumberland Local History Societies
- Northumbria Historic Churches Trust
- List of churches in Northumberland
- Northumberland is in the Diocese of Newcastle