Longhoughton Church of St Peter and St Paul

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameLonghoughton Church of St Peter and St Paul
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishLonghoughton

Parish Church. Nave and west part of chancel probably mid-C11; west tower early C12; south aisle, chancel extension and perhaps upper part of tower c.1200; porch remodelled C18; upper part of tower remodelled c.1840 after a fire; restoration with partial rebuilding of aisle and chancel, and addition of vestry, 1873 by Streatfield. C11 parts coursed rubble; tower large squared sandstone blocks, red in lower part and grey above; chancel extension squared stone; aisle large rubble; porch squared stone except for older rubble on west; 1873 parts squared stone with ashlar dressings. Welsh slate roof. Plan: nave with large west tower, 3-bay south aisle and south porch, chancel with north vestry.

Broad squat west tower in two stages divided by chamfered setback. Later medieval stepped buttresses on south and west and narrow round-headed lights in each wall. C19 two-light belfry openings in Saxon style, except on east where there is an old blocked opening and weatherings of 2 levels of nave roof; string below C19 embattled parapet.

West end of aisle has old chamfered plinth and C19 two-light window. South wall largely C19 except for old stepped buttress at each end. Porch has plain round-headed arch and coped gable with finial cross; wood-topped rubble benches and C19 south door: studded, with foliate hinges in moulded pointed arch. Two windows, each of 2 trefoiled lights, to east. East end of aisle shows C15 two-light window with panelled square head, under head of C13 lancet. North wall of nave shows three 1873 trefoil-headed lancets, and jambs of blocked medieval door.

Chancel shows medieval masonry in lower parts of walls only; all windows C19: paired and single lancets on south, single lancet on north, and 3 stepped round-headed lights in east end. Incorporated in east wall C12 chevron- moulded voussoir and head of C12 cross slab. Gabled vestry with 2-light window. C19 coped gables and finial crosses.

Interior: Plastered

Moulded semicircular tower arch with chamfered imposts on stepped jambs. Arcade of double-chamfered pointed arches, with chamfered hood to nave, on octagonal piers with moulded capitals and bases, and corbel responds. South aisle east window has shouldered round rear arch. C11 slightly-stilted round chancel arch of one square order, with chamfered impost band; large squint to south. Chancel has double-chamfered segmental-pointed arch to vestry/organ chamber and two small recesses with pointed arches, one trefoiled, south of sanctuary. C19 roofs: nave with arch-braced collar-beam trusses and scissor braces, chancel with similar trusses and wagon vault.

Font has older octagonal bowl on C19 panelled shaft and moulded base. Monuments: various C18 and early C19 wall tablets in south aisle. Old candelabra in nave now fitted with electric lights. (Listed Building Report)

The chirche and steple of this towne is the great strenth that the poore tenants have to drawe to in the tyme of warre, wherfor it wer neadfouU the same be, for that and other causes, kepid in good reparations, and thereunto the parisheyners be alwaise straitly comandit, and request maide to the Qweynes Majestie's officers for the reparyng of the chansell so often as nead shall require. (Parish survey of 1567 transcribed in Bateson 1895)

Gatehouse Comments

It is suggested, by Brooke (2000) that the lower half of the church tower walls are 4ft thick and from an earlier ecclesiastic building built to act as the local refuge during raids from the Scots. This seems to be supported by the statement in the surveyors parish report of 1567. However 4ft is not exceptional for the thickness of the walls of a church tower and the church has no actual specific defensive features. It should also be noted that the parish claim for a defensive use are mentioned in association with requests for money (notably for the upkeep of the chancel - not the tower). It is entirely likely that all parish churches were used as refuges in extremis and that actually most raids in borders were aimed at taking livestock, not at killing local people, so the actual risk to locals can be overplayed. However raids would have been frightening and people would have found relief in being together in a stone building.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNU243151
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  • Brooke, C.J., 2000, Safe Sanctuaries (Edinburgh; John Donald) p. 85-6
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 120
  • Pevsner, N., 1992 (revised by Grundy, John et al), Buildings of England: Northumberland (London, Penguin)
  • Bateson, Edward (ed), 1895, Northumberland County History (Newcastle upon Tyne) Vol. 2 p. 372 online copy