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  #1  
Old 27-04-2010, 09:26 AM
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Default Chibburn Preceptory

Images of Chibburn Preceptory and the Dower House.

http://www.fusilier.co.uk/widdringto...ower_house.htm
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Old 27-04-2010, 09:29 AM
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By the time these lands were given to the Hospitallers I believe Saladin had kicked them out of the Holy Land and they were in Cyprus or Rhodes?

(I've seen the movie 'Kingdom of Heaven' )
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Old 27-04-2010, 09:38 AM
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Duck's nest in Chibburn Preceptory :

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Old 27-04-2010, 09:47 AM
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would love to know what was on those shields, was it something generic to the Hospitallers or something unique to Chibburn?


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Old 27-04-2010, 09:56 AM
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Documentary on Hospitallers:

Knights of St. John (6 parts)
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Old 28-04-2010, 10:08 PM
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Some nice photo's there Mike. I spent some time two or three years ago researching the medieval history of the preceptory and found out very little.
Regarding the shields, in most instances, in other structures i,ve looked at, they,ve bourne the coat of the lord of the manor. Perhaps one for Wyddryngton and the other the crest of the Knights Hospittallers ?
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Old 30-04-2010, 04:57 PM
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Hi Pete, that's a big shame there's not much info recorded.

Regarding the site itself, If I recall correctly the opencast went right around the site 360 degrees, and up to it real close. I wonder if it had a cemetery associated with it ? if so it will have been destroyed too.

Sometimes I wonder if opencasting is worth what we lose - the Widdrington-Chevington-Radcliffe areas may as well have been hit by some giant meteorite - it's an absolute sterile history-less place now. (apart from this little gem of course)
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:50 PM
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Yes, opencast mining is responsible for destroying vast amounts of archeology. I still fret that Chester House was dug up long before i ever had an interest in local history and metal detectors (with a name like that you just know there had to be tons of history there)
I can't remember if the actual field the Preceptory stands in was ever mined, and being pasture it's now hard to tell.
Thats a good point you make about a possible cemetary. I suppose there were a lot of outbuildings, gardens for produce, stables and pig-pens, etc. and i've never come across any archie digs on the site. The fence that now surrounds the buildings cannot be the actual boundary, so lets hope that everything hasn't been carted away.
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Old 31-05-2010, 12:14 PM
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Will be expanding the Chibburn page with some 19c notes in the next few days, which includes an interesting ground plan (shown below) "B" is the Dower House and "C" & "G" the chapel.
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File Type: jpg chibburn_preceptory_plan.jpg (32.6 KB, 8 views)
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Old 31-05-2010, 12:26 PM
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I have also found a nice piece on the 1691 raid by the French (Jean Bart) on Widdrington Castle and village - who torched Chibburn on his way back to his ship at Druridge Bay.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:27 AM
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Note that in the 1691 French raid the local militia eventually caught up with one 'overloaded' Frenchman and killed him. Wonder where he was buried ? Widdrington churchyard?

An account (written 1899) of this French raid is now published on the Chibburn Preceptory page. (bottom of that page)
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:32 PM
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Nice info. I was aware of the french raid but that has added more detail. Lets hope they left that frenchie for the crows
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Old 13-06-2010, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
Nice info. I was aware of the french raid but that has added more detail. Lets hope they left that frenchie for the crows


Yeah, probably rolled him into a ditch - if so he will have been 'opencasted' now.

Noticed in the reference to the French raiders memoirs that he, on inspecting his loot from the Widdrington castle chapel, realised the Widdringtons were catholics and felt guilty all of a sudden.
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Old 13-06-2010, 11:35 AM
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these are the artists impressions of the Preceptory days, and on the date of the French raid showing the building on fire:


(from my photos of the noticeboards at the site!)
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File Type: jpg chibburn_1400.jpg (36.0 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg chibburn_2.jpg (35.8 KB, 21 views)
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Old 13-06-2010, 11:42 AM
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Interesting to note in the earlier representation there's a graveyard at the east end of the chapel, I assume there has been some investigative evidence for the artist to place graves there - Although most would say highly likely anyway, probably graves within the chapel too, perhaps the Preceptors' themselves (choice real estate for the dead to be inside)

Wonder if there are any Knights that campaigned in the Holy Land buried there?

(wiki):

"The Hospitalier grand master Guillaume de Villiers or Guillaume de Clermont defending the walls of Acre, Galilee, 1291":







The Siege of Rhodes 1480, Hospitallers Ships in the foreground:





exciting stuff.
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Old 21-06-2010, 12:03 PM
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In earlier descriptions of the ruin note is made of a part sarcophagus/coffin set into a window, but this is reported not found on more recent investigations.

spotted this in the loose stones surrounding the ruin - possibly part of a sarcophagus lid or something?
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2013, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
Yes, opencast mining is responsible for destroying vast amounts of archeology. I still fret that Chester House was dug up long before i ever had an interest in local history and metal detectors (with a name like that you just know there had to be tons of history there)
I can't remember if the actual field the Preceptory stands in was ever mined, and being pasture it's now hard to tell.
Thats a good point you make about a possible cemetary. I suppose there were a lot of outbuildings, gardens for produce, stables and pig-pens, etc. and i've never come across any archie digs on the site. The fence that now surrounds the buildings cannot be the actual boundary, so lets hope that everything hasn't been carted away.
I went down the temporary opencast road once which went straight to it. It was surrounded by mounds of earth and the building was held together by scaffolding as the vibration was shaking it apart. They dug pretty close to it
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:44 PM
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Here's an interesting one of the Widdrington's Dower House still with the roof on. Looks like they've been patching the roof with an interesting mix of slates and tiles. I've often wondered what the windows would look like, but I suppose they've been changed a few times before the invention of photography!
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:28 PM
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It seems the opencast wasn't the first to attempt the destruction of Chibburn. A Newcastle Journal report of 1845 reports:
"There exist in the neighbourhood of Low Chibburn, the remains of some curious old buildings, now used as a farmstead, but of whose original use, there is not any accurate account in tradition or history....The parts now remaining seem to have consisted of a chapel, which is now used as a stable - a grange, or it may be a manor house, which is now the dwelling house, and a courtyard capable of being strongly defended, being surrounded by other old buildings; and, through the whole is found a great quantity of beautiful old oak timber of great length and thickness, many of the beams being a foot square and upwards. These remains are in a very lonely situation, and have probably never been visited by an antiquary. It is understood they will be pulled down through the course of the summer to furnish materials for repairs on the estate
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:40 PM
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Following on from Wilson's notes about the ruins, published in the Mercury in 1860, a correspondent from Canada sent a letter to the editor of the newspaper:

"Mount Healy, Canada West, 31 October 1860

Sir, I was surprised when Mr Wilson's paper on the ruins of Chibburn met my eye in this month's number of the Mercury. I have known the place since 1809, it was then known as Low Chibburn, and farmed by John Brown. I went there to harvest in 1815, it was then farmed by Robert Latimer and his son James. I mind the place well. The farm house was a low, long, two story building, with two doors in front, and covered with large grey slates, each held on by a sheep's shank bone.
The beams of the house were of large black oak, which we thought had not come far, as there were stumps to be seen at low water abut due east from the place. There was a ditch from the sea to a very near stable, with water in it at all times, being kept up by a rivulet that passed the place.
The stable was what had been the chapel. Not knowing of the hospitallers, and seeing its Gothic doors and windows, with no indication of its ever having a steeple, we had strange conjectures what it could have been used for, but thanks to the Mercury for making all plain."

JOHN DONALDSON
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