St Chad’s Church, Bensham, Gateshead

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Canon dSLR 300D – windows taken without flash 1.60sec/f4.5/400ISO

Here are some architectural details from a church near where I live. St Chad (d 672) was a native of Northumberland and a pupil of St Aiden on Lindisfarne. In 664 he became Abbot of Lastingham in Yorkshire.

The church was built between 1900-1903 by a Newcastle architect William Searl Hicks. It is influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement in design. The windows in the Chapel of All Saints were designed by Caroline Townshend (d 1944) – I think it is unusual for William Blake to be so immortalised. Isaac Walton is to the left of the poet. If you click on the images you can see some of the detail, including Blake writing on a notepad!

The carvings are from the front porch entrance and are in good condition. The winged lion is symbolic of Mark, and the eagle of John among the evangelists. The church is presently having part of its roof re-slated and improved. Although it could never be said to be a beautiful building it is nevertheless a landmark in the area, as it is visible above the many Tyneside flats and other parts of Bensham.

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