Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of WARKWORTH HERMITAGE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NU 24146 05952



22/331 Warkworth Hermitage

31.12.69 I

Hermitage. Mid-C14, enlarged late C14 or early C15. Original part cut in natural sandstone cliff; later parts squared stone with cut dressings. Plan: 3-bay chapel with parallel sacristy to rear cut into cliff; built against foot of cliff later hall with solar over, and kitchen.

External elevation: front wall of hall/solar stands to 4 metres, with projecting stepped chimney breast and remains of chamfered window openings to left. Right remains of door to entrance lobby (beneath later stair) with left chamfered round arch to hall and right blocked chamfered door into kitchen; only footings remain of kitchen, with base of oven on right return. Stair from kitchen leads up to roughly-arched chapel door in rock face above; to right a quatrefoil loop and a window of two pointed lights under a rough enclosing arch; to left a recessed,loop, all cut in rock. To right of chapel a rock buttress with flight of steps rising through short tunnel to the hermit's former garden on the cliff top.

Interior: Chapel doorway opens into small porch with worn crucifix above small inner doorway. Chapel 6.2'x 2.3 metres, with imitation groined vaulting on semi-octagonal wall shafts with moulded caps and bases. Rock-cut altar with cusped recess above; south of altar worn relief carvings, perhaps a Nativity, on inner sill of 2-light window; north 4-light traceried window opening into sacristy. Centre bay has cusped squint on north and bowl cut into sill of quatrefoil window on south. West bay has doorway to sacristy, beneath shield with Emblems of Passion.

Sacristy has plain arched roof; damaged altar at east end, 2 cupboards on north and traces of screen near west end. Remains of doorway at west end of south wall (west end now open to cliff face) into chamber (also open to west) with 4 slits looking into west end of chapel.

Historical Notes: first recorded in 1487 when Thomas Barker was appointed for life by the 4th Earl of Northumberland to be 'chaplain of the chantry in Sunderland park'. Abandoned by 1567. One of the most elaborate and well preserved cave hermitages in the British Isles. Scheduled Ancient Monument Northumberland 6A. English Heritage Guide by C.B. Hunter Blair & H.L. Honeyman.

Listing NGR: NU2414605952


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Hunter Blair, C B, Honeyman, H L, Guide to Warkworth Hermitage


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 31 Jan 2005
Reference: IOE01/13689/34
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Richard McDonough. Source Historic England Archive
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