About this church
Rooted in its landscape, this remarkable little church is isolated but intimate. Open to the elements, offering shelter on the hill, Corsenside has a strong claim to be an authentic resting place for the coffin of St Cuthbert (c634-687AD) when the monks of Lindisfarne carried it from Holy Island following Viking raids on the east coast.
Simple inside with natural light, St Cuthbert's church is a place to escape pressure, to be quiet in the calm. Inside are intriguing puzzles. Did the chancel arch come from the nearby Roman fort of Habitancum? Is the carved slab opposite the entrance part of a preaching cross or a gravestone or possibly a Celtic representation of the 'Tree of Life'? The churchyard is managed to maintain a range of habitats so that it can be a haven for wildlife.
In the meadow areas look out for wildflowers such as harebells (bluebells of Scotland), English bluebell, bush vetch, meadow vetchling, betony, yarrow, lady’s bedstraw and crosswort.
Graves range from grand sculpture on the south wall to a child's grave beside the path and Commonwealth war graves in the northwest corner of the churchyard. During the time of the Border Reivers (probably in 17th century), the medieval wooden village at Corsenside was destroyed, leaving St Cuthbert's church and priest's house alone on the hill.
This is a place of pilgrimage and informal retreat.