Warkworth Hermitage

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Warkworth Hermitage
Warkworth Hermitage.jpg
Warkworth Hermitage
EnglishHeritageLogo.svg
Warkworth Hermitage is located in Northumberland
Warkworth Hermitage
Warkworth Hermitage
Warkworth Hermitage shown within Northumberland
OS grid reference NU241059
Coordinates 55°20′49″N 1°37′16″W / 55.347°N 1.621°W / 55.347; -1.621Coordinates: 55°20′49″N 1°37′16″W / 55.347°N 1.621°W / 55.347; -1.621
List of places
UK
England
Northumberland
Warkworth Hermitage circa 1814.

Warkworth Hermitage is a chapel and priest's house built onto and within a cliff-face on the north bank of the River Coquet in Northumberland, England, close to Warkworth Castle and the village of Warkworth.

The hermitage consists of an outer portion built of stone, and an inner portion hewn from the sandstone cliff above the river.[1] This inner part comprises a chapel and a smaller chamber, both having altars. There is an altar-tomb with a female effigy in the chapel.

From the window between the inner chamber and the chapel, and from other details, the date of the work may be placed in the latter part of the fourteenth century, the characteristics being late Decorated. The traditional story of the origin of the hermitage, attributing it to one of the Bertrams of Bothal Castle in this county, is told in Bishop Percy's ballad The Hermit of Warkworth (1771).

The interior of the hermitage in 1814.

The carving in the window is a nativity scene; the female is Mary with the newborn child at her breast. The item at her feet is the head of a bull, and the figure at her shoulder is an angel. Of the dedication crosses placed at the time of its construction only one is visible, the altar was plain the crafety is just that.[clarification needed] The ballad is to all intents fiction as the chapel was built as a chantry, and occupied by a series of clergy from 1489 to 1536; since that time it has remained as it is today.

Warkworth Hermitage is in the care of English Heritage, who provide its only public access, a ferry boat which crosses to it from the riverside path below the Castle. The ferry point is about 12 mile (0.80 km) upstream from the castle.[2] The hermitage, which English Heritage manages together with the castle,[3] is normally open to the public during the summer season.

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