Blanchland Abbey

Blanchland Abbey

Blanchland Abbey
4.5
Historic Sites • Religious Sites
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4.5
35 reviews
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TonyKate16
Prudhoe, UK43 contributions
Important religious heritage site...
Oct 2020
Well worth a visit to this very old, former 'White Monk' monastery ,and current parish church. Interesting history lesson...
Written October 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

johnhouston2
Knaresborough, UK4,136 contributions
A simply lovely place to visit.
Feb 2020 • Couples
Whenever we are in the area we love to drive to Blanchland to stroll in the attractive stone village and look at this lovely church. The church was once part of a much bigger abbey and it is perhaps worth considering the general history.

The abbey at Blanchland was founded as a Premonstratensian priory in 1165 by Walter de Bolbec II, and it became an abbey in the late 13th century. And for those who might be interested - my understanding is that Premonstratensians are the Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Premonstratensians or Norbertines. In the British Isles however they have tended to be known as the White Canons because of their plain, undyed robes. The Order was founded by St. Norbert in the early 12th century and is still going today, and is a group of Roman Catholic priests, brothers and sisters.

And another note of interest is that the 16th century former Abbot's house is now the rather grand Carew Arms hotel.

But back to the Abbey! With a building of such an age, there is clearly a lot of history to it, and the location near the Scottish Borders means that it was always vulnerable to a bit of sacking and pillaging. One legend that particularly appealed to me (perhaps because I’m a Scot!) is that during one raid in the area, the monks prayed that the abbey would be spared.

Subsequently, a mist descended which shielded the valley and monastery from view and it was overlooked by the Scottish raiders, who passed by. The foolish monks upon hearing this, proceeded to ring the abbey bells in celebration, and to signal to everyone in the valley that it was safe and that the dreaded Scottish invaders had passed.

Clearly they hadn’t passed too far however and, upon hearing the celebratory bell ringing, they duly turned around and ransacked the Monastery. There’s a lesson there somewhere!

Over the years the population of the Abbey reduced and by the early 16th century there were only 8 canons, and the Abbey was finally suppressed in 1539. The abbey church was considered far too large for the inhabitants of the village so a small chapel was built onto the tower to serve worshippers and the remainder of the church was simply left to decay.

John Wesley preached in Blanchland churchyard in 1747 and noted in his diary that 'There seems to have been a large cathedral church by the vast walls which still remain'.

5 years after Wesley's visit Blanchland became a parish in its own right and the estate trustees transformed the decaying ruins of the abbey church into the present parish church and built a vicarage.

And what we have now is a delightful parish church in a beautiful and peaceful village setting. So whether you are interested in history or not, it really is a lovely place to visit.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LSJFB18
Cumbria, UK155 contributions
Lovely little abbey
Feb 2020 • Couples
Nice to find the abbey was open so we could just wander in. Nice to see a bit of history and it is somewhere nice to have a quiet reflection
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sheepygold
london4,810 contributions
Very interesting
Oct 2019 • Couples
This abbey church was founded in 1165 though has been renovated and restored since. It sits in a very picturesque setting and has a lot of information about its history and that of the village on information boards inside. Well worth a look.
Written October 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Derek H
Freckleton, UK719 contributions
Lovely Abbey in picturesque village
Jul 2019 • Couples
Lovely Abbey is almost hidden within this picturesque largely unspoiled village near the Derwent reservoir. The Abbey is a must see tranquil place and it is well worth the walk around the village also. Great place!!!!
Written July 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Valeriemary
Knott End-on-Sea, UK110 contributions
Andrew
Jun 2019 • Couples
Perfectly kept a small Abbyey in the heart of the village Well worth a visit Amazing history Very pretty
Written June 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

RJH91
Chester, UK184 contributions
A beautiful little abbey in the picturesque village of Blanchland, Northumberland.
May 2019 • Couples
During our 3 night stay at the adjacent Lord Crewe Arms Hotel (see separate review), we enquired regarding access to the abbey next door. The friendly hotel reception team then gave us the massive front door key (this has to be seen to be believed!!), advised us that it was fine for us to walk round as long as we locked up after our visit.

The front door is located through the graveyard at the base of the bell tower. The abbey interior is in excellent condition and it is obviously proudly maintained to a high standard. There are a number of beautifully crafted features inside the building: notably the hand carved wood panel ceiling.

For interest, there is an excellent display board that illustrates the interesting history of the abbey which dates back to 1165 and was established by Walter de Bolbec II, originally as a priory. It became an abbey in the late 13th century. The hotel next door also has significant historical interest since this was once the Abbot's residence.

Anyone with an interest in ancient religious sites will find this delightful little abbey very interesting and an enjoyable explore. Out of respect, there is an optional donation lock box inside the building which I believe is only fair for visitors to contribute to. Enjoy.
Written June 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chandler_20
Harrogate, UK16 contributions
Nice little Abbey
Aug 2018
Some good history displayed inside, nice area.
Its not the biggest but the grounds are pleasant for a stroll.
Written May 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bibcay
Gateshead, UK3,599 contributions
Great
Feb 2019
This is a very old abbey. It looks very nice outside and inside. It has one bell too. Well worth a visit.
Written February 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

princeiseoluwa
Newcastle, UK531 contributions
Hidden treasure
Nov 2018 • Business
On a supporting artist job on this place and I was absolutely shocked with the kind of some unexpected surprises that I saw. The place is worth visiting but be ready to be out of this world for the couple of hours that you will be there. There is no known network all around the town. The town was beautiful and the Church was absolutely great and lovely. I will definitely go back for all day visit
Written November 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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