Many of you will know that I grew up in a little place called Heysham, near Morecambe in Lancashire. As a child, I often played around the stone coffins and would spend an hour or two in the old graveyard of St Peter’s church reading the headstones. It’s these childhood memories that inspired me to take up photography as I wanted to capture my emotions when revisiting my childhood haunt years later.
As a young child at the age of 9 or 10 years old, I was cruelly torn away from this place, never to live there again. I miss it a lot as within the churchyard and up on the Barrows, there’s a quiet and peaceful atmosphere and you could also describe it as one of magic and suspense, especially at sunset. It’s difficult to describe, but hopefully my photography below will help.
Within the grounds of St Peter’s church, you will find a few Saxon and Viking remains. The image above shows an old Saxon cross shaft in the foreground and inside the church you will find an old Viking hogback stone.
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Stone Coffins or Rock Cut Graves
Next to the ruins of St Patrick’s Chapel situated on the Barrows, you will find these rock cut graves or stone coffins that are thought to date back as early as the 11th century. St Patrick’s Chapel is thought to date back as early as the 6th century and these ruins overlook the beautiful St Peter’s Church.
The Barrows as it is known locally, suggests that the area of grassland and woodland that overlooks Morecambe Bay was once an ancient burial ground. Perhaps this is why the area has that wonderful atmosphere I wrote about above?
St Peter’s Church
Designated by the Engish Heritage, St Peter’s Church is a grade I listed building. The chancel was built around 1340, but inside the church, you will find Saxon fabric that remains from the old Saxon church from 1080.
I have been to many a service in this old church as a child. I remember walking from St Peter’s School, through the village with the other children to attend service. It was always a special occasion. Within the graveyard, my great grandfather is buried and this is the only place I would like to be buried in.