St.Cuthbert's Church - Norham
St.Cuthbert's Church

Norham was granted to the See of Lindisfarne by King Oswald and about 830 AD King Ecfrid built a church there, where he reburied the bones of the king and Saint Ceowulph, to whom Bede dedicated his History.

On the site of the Saxon church Bishop Flambard erected a Norman church at the same time as he built the castle. Although much of the Norman work was destroyed during three later restorations there are sufficient remains to show the architectural character of this fine twelfth century building. In the nave are two arcades of round-headed arches, with tall cylindrical columns. In the lofty chancel are five round-headed and deeply-splayed arches in the south wall, connected by a continuous label carved with zigzag. The Norman work also includes the stately chancel arch with three-shafted piers.

The south-east window of the chancel, and the wide east window, with its geometrical tracery, belong to the Decorated period.

The church contains two recessed and canopied tombs. One of which is fourteenth century and on the slab is a stone figure of a knight, clad in mail, his hands clasped, his legs crossed and his feet on a lion.

My family have many connections with this church. Many generations of my ancestors lie in the churchyard and while my father was alive, he carried out a lot of work on the building. I well remember as a youth spending the summer holidays on the roof of the church ripping up the lead covering so that the wood ceiling could be replaced as much of the old roof suffered from dry-rot. Once the wood was replaced, it was recovered this time with copper sheet. The alter rails and font lid were made by my father, my uncle, Douglas Simpson, designed and built the model of a salmon fishing boat which lies in a glass case on the south wall of the chancel and my cousin Ian Simpson designed and installed the new glass doors on the front porch.