Exploring Local Historical Monuments

April 19, 2017

I love learning about the historical roots of my hometown. I've become to realise that the more I discover, the richer the history becomes, for a little town. I was in town yesterday running a few errands when I suddenly got an impulse to go and have a look at an old building in a small park thats right outside of town. I have driven or walked past it thousands of times and have always wanted to get a bit closer, but for some reason, I never actually did until yesterday. I do think that a part of it was perhaps because my uncle once told me that the building is very unstable and the reason it is fenced off is because it could collapse and cave in on people if they were inside. I have to admit, that did slightly put me off going closer. However, I plucked up the courage and went to investigate. 
The building was once a church named the 'Holy Trinity Church' which was built in 1835 as a peace offering after the victory of Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The initial purpose of this church was because of the outbreak of cholera in 1831 and out of a population of 7, 800, there were 124 deaths that had been recorded. My town needed to find a space that was convenient enough to bury the deceased as they thought that my current church was too close to the high street. In order to solve this problem the Prince Bishop of Durham, Bishop van Mildert, granted the town a plot of land on the outskirts of the high street and straight away plans were made to build a cemetery. The Bishop then granted another five acres of land which was used to build the church and a parsonage.
During its time as an operating church, it ran into financial difficulties, as well as the spire falling off during a gale and the steeple being too unstable. The steeple was dismantled as the town never had enough money to repair it. All of these factors resulted in the church closing down in 1982, before a mysterious fire in 1991. The story behind the fire was never discovered or revealed. 
It was so interesting learning about the history of this church as it was once just a building in the background that I would pass on my way to town. I never fully acknowledged it until yesterday and I am certainly glad that I got an impulse to go and check it out. Even though its not the most interesting aspects of the history of my town, it is part of what makes its history. I absolutely love visiting historical monuments if you didn't already guess from my Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle blog posts, and it is lovely to have a monument right on my doorstep as my town is very small.

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