St Patrick's Chapel, Heysham

On Saturday we visited St Patrick's Chapel and St Peter's Church, in Heysham. There is something deeply moving about this place. The setting of the Chapel is amazing, so close to Morecambe Bay and surrounded by the hills and mountains of Cumbria. It is a spectacular and striking medieval ecclesiastical site, and so easy to imagine why this site was selected as an important holy location. So many of the heritage sites we visit - stone circles, ruined abbeys and priories - were built in locations with spectacular views of hills, mountains and the sea. How amazing and sacred this space must have felt for Anglo Saxon man, almost poised in a place between heaven and earth.

I've been reading an excellent book about poetry and architecture in Anglo Saxon England, and Heysham is mentioned many times. Lori Ann Garner explains that the reason for the location of St Patrick's Chapel is clear. The views that we so enjoyed on Saturday would also have provided excellent visibility and security for worshipers. She goes on to say "however, beyond, and likely because of, the obvious security and visibility offered by such a location, elevated architectural sites in the textual and poetic record connote an inherent nobility and positive aura that transcend sheer military advantage."

We certainly felt the "inherent nobility and positive aura" of St Patrick's Chapel, as well as St Peter's Church.