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David Ford, History EditorTours > Coquetdale > Rothbury Church

Rothbury Church
11 miles southwest of Alnwick

Rothbury Church The church of All Saints mostly dates from G Pickering's rebuilding of 1850; but it is thought that, to a large extent, he may have simply rebuilt what had previously stood on the site. The chancel and part of the south transept alone remain from the 13th century. The place was originally an ancient Saxon monastery and the church is justly famous for the remains of a fine Saxon cross (AD 800) which still grace its interior.

Rothbury Cross DetailThe cross shaft was used, in 1664, to form the base of a rather nice restoration font. The head has also been discovered and is on display in the Museum of Antiquities in Newcastle. It is particularly important as the earliest known English depiction of Christ's Ascension, but there are also beautifully carved beasts and scrollwork.

In 1120, King Henry I gave the churches of Rothbury, Warworth, Whittingham and Corbridge to his chaplain, Sir Richard of the Golden Valley. In light of the former two being in Coquetdale, presumably, it was from here that he took his name - and what more fitting?

The church is a regular place of worship owned by the Church of England. Free Entry, but donations welcome.

Next Stop: Whitton Tower

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