St Mary the Virgin, Lesbury
It is thought that Lesbury was established around 1300 years ago. The name derives from Old English Laeces Byrig or Burgh – the fortified place or dwelling of the leech or physician. The original Norman church which consisted of a nave and chancel with a tower added later was thought to have been put up in the early 12th century. A dowsing survey suggests an Anglo-Saxon church had existed under the present nave.
There are no records relating to the church before 1147 when Eustace FitzJohn de Vesci (created Baron of Alnwick in 1130) gave the first abbot of Alnwick abbey the church of Lesbury with the chapels of Alnwick, Longhoughton and Alnmouth. Up until the 14th century Lesbury was the principal township in the district and its church regarded as the mother church to the other chapels. There have been many alterations and repairs to the church over the centuries which even Sir Nikolaus Pevsner found it difficult to interpret.
In 1840 Archdeacon Singleton reported ‘the steeple if not unsafe, at all events is in an unsatisfactory state resulting in injudicious repairs after some neglect.’ In 1846 under the direction of the architect Anthony Salvin the south wall and a portion of the north wall were rebuilt and the roof and tower were repaired at the expense of the Duke of Northumberland and Earl Grey.
In the 'extra photo' there is another view of the church with a bit more foliage!
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