Enjoy a gentle walk to explore St Wilfrid’s Church. The walk starts and finishes at the Kirkharle Courtyard Car Park.
The Grade 1 listed church is dedicated to St Wilfrid (634-709AD). It consists of a nave and chancel, but has neither tower nor aisles. With the exception of the west wall, the porch and bell cot, the whole building is of one date. Holy Communion services are held at 11.00am on the first Sunday in every month from May to October. All visitors welcome.
About St Wilfrid’s Church
It is rumoured there was a church on the site before the present one; however nothing remains of this. Walter de Bolbeck, a Norman Knight, appropriated part of the Church of Herla to his newly founded Abbey of Blanchland in 1165. The Premonstratensian Canons provided for the ministrations in this church until the dissolution of their abbey during the reign of Elizabeth I; they wore white habits.
Most of the current building dates back to 1336, when a chantry was founded by Sir William de Herle. He played an important part in State affairs during the reigns of Edward II and Edward III.
One of the most striking features of this church is the excellent masonry. Every stone is carefully squared and the joints are of the finest character. Many stones in the chancel show their masons’ marks. Other notable features in the chancel include windows that are filled with reticulated tracery ,three sedilia, a piscina as well as a priest’s door and low side windows. There are also several monuments to the Loraine family.
The font, which dates from the late 15th or early 16th century, was originally in All Saints Church, Newcastle. In 1786 when this church was destroyed, the font was acquired by Alderman Hornby and placed in his garden. Thomas Anderson brought it with him on his move to Little Harle, with his son placing it into the church following restoration in 1884. The font has on each of its eight sides a shield of arms of old Northumbrian families.