Tours > Coquetdale > Warkworth Hermitage |
Half a mile west of Warkworth
A rather long - though very pleasant - walk from Warkworth Castle, along the side of the River Coquet, brings you to the Warkworth Hermitage. Though very obvious when eventually reached, it is on the opposite bank of the river, and visits - via a little boat - are usually only available on Sundays and Wednesdays in the Summer, so check at the castle first.
This fascinating two-storey structure consists of both living quarters and a little chapel - complete with carved vaulting - hewn straight out of the rock in about 1350. Traditionally the builder was one Sir Bertram, a knight who mistakenly killed his own brother and lover, whilst trying to rescue the latter from the Scots. The hermits were patronised by the Earls of Northumberland until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It appears to have been quite a cushy job, saying prayers for a number of nobles listed by the Earl in return for pasture for 12 cows, a garden, 20 loads of firewood, fish every Sunday and £20 a year to boot! It was also a place of popular pilgrimage and the hermit must have done rather well out of alms-giving.
The site is run by English Heritage. There is an entry fee, though Free admission to members.
Next Stop: Amble