TYNEMOUTH, North Shields, NE30 4BZ
This is one of the very earliest Christian sites in England. It was founded in the early seventh century, and was so revered that two early Anglo-Saxon royal converts - Oswin, king of Deira, who was murdered in AD 651 and Osred, king of Northumbria, who was killed in 792, are buried here. Both died through treachery. It was hard to know who to trust in the many centuries of shifting loyalties as the Dark Ages drew to a close. As the Danes became more of a menace in the late eigth century, the monks of Tynemouth made some attempt at fortifying their home. However, the Danes came again, and after a final raid in ad 875 the priory was destroyed. Even so, the site was a natural stronghold, so in the mid-11th century Tostig Godwinson, Earl of Northumbria, took it as his seat. Tostig died at Stamford Bridge in 1066, fighting his brother Harold for the throne of England. The next few centuries are a bit confused, but by the late 13th century Tynemouth had become a combination of castle and monastery, with battlements commanding the entrance to the river. It went on being a castle long after Henry VIII's dissolution, and as late as World War II there were coastal defence guns emplaced here. You can see traces of the history of the priory and castle today, from the underground magazines beneath the 20th-century coastal battery to the priory arches and the sturdy remains of medieval walls.
Tel: 0191 257 1090
£4.80 (ch 5-15 £2.90, concessions £4.30). Family (2ad+3ch) £12.50. Members free. Prices valid until Mar 2015
Open all year, 30 Mar-Oct, daily 10-5
Nov-29 Mar, Sat-Sun 10-4. Closed 24-26 & 31 Dec, 1 Jan. Gun Battery access limited, please ask site staff for details
Average visit 1hr
Dogs allowed all areas.
Disabled parking, wheelchairs for loan, induction loop
Near North Pier