Here’s a collection of my most recent photography from a day trip to Heysham, together with my reasons why I think you should visit this special place.
This beautiful Saxon cross shaft dates from around 800AD with intricate carvings on all sides and it can be found within the churchyard of St Peter’s in Heysham, near Morecambe in Lancashire.
Saxon Cross Shaft of Heysham
This Saxon cross shaft can be found just to the left of the path as you enter through the gate of St Peter’s Church. I love the reverse side due to the figure being so weathered. It gives it an almost ghostly feel with penetrating eyes staring right back at you.
St Peter’s Church in Heysham
I grew up here and I have relatives buried in the graveyard. I haven’t been lucky with tracing my great great grandparents, but there are a lot of Blacow’s buried here. This beautiful place that overlooks Morecambe Bay, has a special atmosphere and I used to walk down from St Peter’s school to attend church services when I was a small child. It’s steeped in history and it’s a shame more people don’t know about this place or maybe that’s a good thing?
It is certainly one special place that has always inspired my photography. Due to moving away as a young child, I always get home sick and in 2004, I went back to take photographs so that I could treasure those memories. I got home and they were awful snapshots. No emotions, no passion, just a picture. From that day forward, I always thought about what I wanted to capture and the reason for it.
If you would like to visit Heysham, have a look at the Heysham Heritage website that has all of the information you need and if you do visit, please let me know your thoughts by commenting below. http://www.heyshamheritage.org.uk/html/visiting_heysham.html
This next image shows what you will find if you go to the back of the churchyard. It’s an ancient wall and behind that starts the 6th century ruins of St Patrick’s Chapel that stands upon the barrows. In case you didn’t know, ‘barrow’ is the term for an ancient mound of Earth where bodies once where laid to rest. In front of this wall stands an old Saxon doorway. It must have been moved there for safe keeping, but at least it wasn’t destroyed.
It’s quite a magical part of the graveyard and it makes me think of faeries for some unknown reason. Just to the right, you will find the graves of those who once inhabited Heysham Hall. I love the detail that remains on the iron railings. I wonder if these graves are long forgotten?
The Barrows at Heysham
Up on the Barrows you will find the ancient rock cut graves. There’s an artists impression next to the chapel of what these must have looked like with large Celtic crosses, standing high. It’s a magnificent spot to be laid to rest.
I was quite lucky to get this shot and I was hoping for a better sunset, but I avoided the showers as the sun set under the brooding sky. A man walking his dog decided to risk the weather and I hope he didn’t get caught in the shower when it arrived minutes later.
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