Discovering Albion – day 4: An Irish Saint in Lancashire

Heysham (130)We climbed up the ruins of St Patrick’s Chapel, built in the eighth or ninth century. Legend has it that it commemorates the landing of St Patrick of Ireland and although it was constructed many years after his death, it is possible the place was already marked and remembered. A large cemetery going back over a thousand years was excavated long ago here, but the most striking feature is the line of rock-cut tombs.

scotland trip jan 15 147Given the nature of decomposition we had to wonder about those. We thought they may have once held bones instead and later research confirms this has been considered. I wondered too about the use to which they may have been put considering the veneration of the bones of the ancestors that had been prevalent in earlier centuries.

Heysham (148)The shaft of a standing cross remains near the chapel, as well as record of the eagle shaped stone once found there that may have been part of a seat or throne. The chapel was once highly decorated… painted plaster fragments with inscriptions were found during an excavation. Yet little is known of its history…it remains an enigma.

scotland trip jan 15 219A dyke was cut between the chapel and the place where a new church was built, quite deliberately, it seems, dividing the old from the new when St Peter’s was built. An older, Saxon church had once stood upon the site of the present church, dating back, it is thought to the seventh or eighth century, similar to St Patrick’s just a few yards away.

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in adventure, Ancient sites, Churches, Photography, scotland road trip, travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Discovering Albion – day 4: An Irish Saint in Lancashire

  1. It’s a favourite spot, this. Did you know that the rock graves featured on a Best of Black Sabbath album? If not, you do now!


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