Stone Graves, Heysham

On the headland near the ruins of St. Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham, are a set of six stone graves, two straight-sided and four body-shaped, all with socket holes at the top where a wooden cross would have been placed. There are also two more rock-cut graves nearby. Cut out of the sandstone, they probably all date from the 10th century, and are often filled with rain water. St Patrick’s Chapel itself dates from around 750AD, but St. Patrick actually died around 490AD, giving the lie to the local legend that St. Patrick himself landed on the headland from Ireland and established the chapel there. It is believed that the chapel was built to serve a monastic community, although it could have been built to commemorate St. Patrick landing there. The graves are grade 1 listed, and form part of a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Although it was extremely misty this morning when we set off, fortunately the weather cleared and I was able to photograph the ancient monument.

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